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The Trendiest Kitchen Trends of 2020

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Throughout the decades, trends evolve, tastes change, but some things remain constant. The kitchen island is that constant. In the future, when smart kitchen are techy, minimalist sanctuaries, the kitchen island will still be there. It may be a chrome kitchen island, but it will remain firm as the central heart of the room. 

According to a recent survey from design and remodeling site Houzz, nearly two-thirds of renovated kitchens include an island. Homeowners are finding crafty ways of letting their kitchen islands scream as statement piece. They do this with a variety of shapes, colors and materials. According to the study, 39% created a focal point by contrasting the colors of the island's cabinets with the cabinets against the walls of the kitchen. About a quarter opted for gray hues, while a fifth chose blue colors, and one-tenth went for black. Black butcher tops and built-in appliances such as microwaves, dishwashers, garbage disposals, and cooktops were hot features that were highly common.

"We’ve always known that kitchen islands are popular. What’s surprising here is just how big and elaborate the islands are," says Houzz Principal Economist Nino Sitchinava. "From storage [to] lighting to cabinetry design to colors to appliances in the island, everything screams higher-end design. It's definitely a focal point in the kitchen.”

But these features aren’t cheap. Remodeling budgets are increasing as homeowners are becoming more and more adventurous in their design choices. In 2019, a median of $35,000 was spent on major kitchen renovation. That's mostly due to the high and rising prices of custom products and materials, says Sitchinava.

“Kitchens are the most expensive room to renovate," she says.

"Farmhouse had been growing for three years at a very rapid pace. Farmhouse is very distinct, with wooden elements and some cast-iron elements in chairs and furniture," says Sitchinava. "Transitional and contemporary styles don’t have distinct elements. They borrow from other trends that might emerge. They’re more hybrid styles that reflect the styles of today.”

Backsplashes are a popular choice for sprucing up the kitchen because they come in a multitude of colors. The most adventurous homeowners, about 11%, are extending their backsplashes to the ceiling. The majority, 63%, are taking them up only to their upper cabinets or the range hood above their stoves.

“While there's so much movement in style, there’s little movement in color. The dominant colors are still neutral colors," says Sitchinava. "Homeowners tend to be a little more conservative.”

Hardwood floors in the kitchen are up there in 2020 kitchen features that are growing in popularity every day. 29% of remodelers are selecting this natural flooring. Coming in hot at a close second is ceramic and porcelain tile with 23%.

"Vinyl is a really interesting material. It's extremely durable, but with new innovations it can now take any color, any pattern, any texture of any other material. It can look like tile, stone, or hardwood," Sitchinava says. "But it doesn't crack, it doesn't break, so it can last an eternity—and it comes at a very affordable price point."

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