Effects of the pandemic propelled the themes of wellness and multifunctionality into kitchen design the last several years as homeowners sought to create home oases while meeting adapting needs. Kitchen trends in 2023 will refine, elevate, and elaborate on that idea with a continued emphasis on personal style, according to data from Houzz, the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), and interior designers.
Transitional kitchen design has long remained the top design for homeowners, according to data from the NKBA and Houzz, combining elements from both traditional and contemporary aesthetics. A lean toward more traditional design elements could be on the rise this year, notes San Diego-based Jackson Design & Remodeling.
The remodeling company’s annual 2023 design and remodeling trends forecast notes that traditional design lends itself to comfortability because of its familiarity resulting from ties to history.
“Traditional design tends to be not only elegant, but I feel like it tends to be really cozy and comforting. And so I think that’s what people are looking for,” says Jackson Design & Remodeling Senior Designer Jen Pinto.
Portland, Ore.-based Neil Kelly’s Design Director Barbara Miller echoes a shift toward comfort in kitchens, noting that this space is not just a work zone now, but a hybrid work and living space.
More warm and familiar color palettes often seen in traditional kitchen designs are sparking interest in homeowners. Wood-tone cabinets were part of kitchen remodeling plans for 24% of homeowners, according to Houzz, a slight 3 point increase from last year.
Dark woods may come into play more, according to Pinto, to further the traditional look in kitchens. To elevate this design choice and include touches of personality, homeowners and designers may pair more natural wood-tone cabinetry with strong dramatic colors, notes the NKBA.
Despite the growing return to wood cabinetry, all reports find white cabinets to remain the most popular choice in kitchen cabinetry for the next few years.
A return to classic kitchen styles may be influenced by homeowners’ strong desire to make sustainable choices, according to Houzz. When questioned about what sustainable choices homeowners’ made during their recent remodel, 47% said “focused on timeless design.”
NKBA found the most popular sustainability trends to be accessible ones such as LED lighting, recycling storage, low-E windows/doors, EPA Energy Star-certified appliances/ventilation, VOC-free paints & stains, and alternative energy-efficient water heaters.
It’s only sometimes that a designer considers the manufacturer’s sustainability practices when making recommendations, according to the NKBA. And Pinto notes that while homeowners very often ask about eco-friendly products, it’s a give and take between achieving the look they desire and selecting green products.
“There’s always a compromise. They always weigh in both of those aspects,” explains Pinto. “Yes, I do want to be environmentally friendly, I want to be sustainable, but at the same time, I might compromise on something to get what I want at the end of the day.”
Home offices, butler pantries, and laundry rooms are becoming the norm, but in 2023, these functional spaces will receive greater design interest through luxurious touches and wow-worthy products.
In kitchens, butler and walk-in pantries will be the most popular in 2023 and beyond, according to the NKBA. It can be a way to also hide the less aesthetically pleasing parts of a kitchen, notes Miller.
“They’re wanting to hide the practical everyday stuff, so they just see the pretty things when they come into the kitchen. It also continues the living room feel because you’re not seeing the appliances that make it a kitchen,” says Miller.
Pinto sees some butler pantries with carbonated water dispensers, adding a luxurious touch, and ice makers that dispense specialty ice, in addition to other products that homeowners may use for special occasions, such as a kegerator.