As the year draws to a close, we're taking a look back at some of our favorite kitchen trends for 2016. Here are seven looks that have been shaping kitchens this year — and that we predict will have staying power for quite some time to come.
1. Open Kitchens
The trend, for a long time, has been towards kitchens with little to no upper cabinets. First we saw open shelves, and then kitchens with walls that were bare entirely. A neat little compromise is a combination of upper cabinets and open shelving, or a single shelf above countertop height, as shown above. Eliminating the upper cabinets may seem less than practical, but it does make for more wall space for windows and art, and a much lighter, more open kitchen.
2. The Rise of the Range Hood
The disappearance of upper cabinets has had the effect of putting the range hood front and center. This previously humble appliance is suddenly a focal point of the kitchen, and has gotten a makeover in accordance with its new status.
3. Stainless Steel
Whether you opt for a stainless steel countertop or shelves or decide to go all out with stainless steel cabinets, this is a great way to bring a bit of an industrial edge to a modern kitchen.
4. Black Cabinets
After years of all white kitchens, the current trend towards black cabinets is a welcome change. Black cabinets hide dirt and grime, and add a welcome bit of contrast in a modern kitchen.
5. The Pot Rail
When you take out the upper cabinets, you've still got to put all that stuff somewhere. For things you want to be able to access on a daily basis, the kitchen utensil rail provides a convenient solution (and possibly a very beautiful one, depending on the attractiveness of your kitchenware).
6. Mixed Materials
Can't decide on light or dark cabinets? Love the look of marble countertops, but concerned about the maintenance? In the new kitchen, everything doesn't have to match. Mismatched upper and lower cabinets, or countertops that contrast with the surface of an island, add a little extra interest.
The return of color to the kitchen is a welcome change — not in bright 1950s candy colors, but in more subdued shades like navy, sage green, and light blue. Modern and minimal doesn't have to mean boring.