20 Kitchen Trends That Designers Say Will Make You Rethink How You Design Cooking Spaces

An editor's guide to the most important kitchen trends this year — these are the styles, finishes, colors and shapes you need to know

a dark red kitchen with a brass fridge
(Image credit: Christopher Stark. Design: K Interiors)

There's something special happening in kitchen design right now, and it's exciting. Where kitchen trends had once felt like they were only heading in the direction of sprawling, architectural, open concept spaces, there's been a slight turn in favor to schemes that feel more intimate, welcoming and decorative.

'The kitchens of 2024 will feel like another extension of the home; like a room, an additional living space within the house rather than a utilitarian place to prepare food in,’ says interior designer Joy Moyler. ‘This will see more refined materials, art, and antiques, move into the space as it becomes less focused on pure function.’

No matter your style preferences, it's a time to challenge the status quo of the modern kitchen and I've curated 21 of my very favorite of the latest kitchen trends for this year so far — trust me, this list could be far longer, but these are the essentials I think you need to know now. Having worked for years as a specialist journalist in kitchen design, I've seen plenty of trends come and go — I think these ones won't be a flash in the pan, and they talk to a wider shift in how we're designing these workhorse spaces.

In this list, I've tried to ensure you'll find the most relevant, transformative and latest trends for kitchens right now, covering all the key areas, from materials and storage to color and style. While not all these trends will work together in perfect harmony in one space, what you will notice is a connected theme that's all about challenging what you know about kitchen design, and creating spaces that feel interesting and original. The kitchen of 2024 wants to make a style statement, and it wants to make sure you don't follow cookie cutter design principles.

1. The end of open storage?

A kitchen with natural materials

(Image credit: William Abranowicz. Design: Jeffrey Dungan Architects and Beth Webb)

The tide is starting to turn on one of the biggest kitchen trends of recent years — open shelving. While it's become a shortcut for less imposing cabinetry, 'truthfully, the benefits of open shelving are solely aesthetic,' says Bob Bakes, Head of Design at Bakes & Kropp. It comes at the cost of more sensible storage, and there are ways to get the best of both worlds.

This kitchen is a great example of enclosed storage (so less dusting), with an open feel thanks to glass fronted cabinets, perfectly styled in the way that kitchen shelving would be. 'We took a lot of the storage and background pieces out of the main kitchen and tucked them around the corner in a butler’s pantry, and with the rest of the kitchen we used steel and reeded glass along with bleached wood and marble to complete the serene scene,' says Jeffrey Dungan, founder of Jeffrey Dungan Architects.

2. Partitioned walls

large modern kitchen separated from the living area by partition walls that are black framed

(Image credit: Werner Straube Photography: Design by Summer Thorton Design)

The open plan kitchen, one of the most important shifts in design and architecture in our homes in the past 20 years, is also evolving as people try to capture a sense of openness with the practicality of defined, separate spaces. Be it interior glass windows to generous arched doorways, room dividers can shape and structure to a large space, as well as offering functional benefits too, like helping to limit noise travel and cooking smells, when opting for an enclosed partition.

This example from Summer Thornton is a good balance for those who still love the open plan concept. ‘The apartment's architecture was strong so the kitchen divider had to have similar aesthetic weight and strength,’ explains Summer Thornton, founder of Summer Thornton Design. ‘Steel and glass with just enough detailing would feel modern but not get trumped by the historic architecture.’

3. "Communal" seating

A kitchen with built in seating by the wall

(Image credit: Daniel Schäfer. Design: Carlo Berlin)

As kitchens become more sociable spaces, the way we approach seating in them has changed too. Now we want the type of seating that makes it easy for people sitting in the kitchen to interact with someone cooking —comfortable seating that makes people want to linger in these spaces. Be it banquettes, window seats, booths, or small diners, this eat in kitchen idea encourages you to spend more time in this room.

This small space is the perfect example of this kitchen trend. 'For the kitchen, we emphasized a unifying look, making it seem as if the cabinets flow seamlessly into the seating area,' says Charlotte Wiessner, founder of Carlo Berlin. 'To get this effect, we designed this custom in-built furniture and had it implemented by a local carpenter.'

4. Chopped islands

a modern kitchen with a triangular brass kitchen island

(Image credit: Pion Studio. Design: Studio Akurat)

Feel your space is too tiny for a kitchen island? Designers have the perfect solution that adds an island on a smaller scale. Say hello to the chopped or half kitchen island trend. In this design, one or more corners of the island is removed to get an angled edge. This brings down the overall footprint of the island but still retains its sense of proportion and use.

'By simply offsetting the directions set by the walls and juxtaposing the outcome with the apartment's main axis we defined a shape that felt in harmony with its surroundings no matter from which direction you would approach the furniture piece,' says Maciej Ryniewicz, creative director and founder of Studio Akurat.

5. Statement-making hoods

modern blue kitchen with cylindrical hood

(Image credit: Derek Swalwell. Design: Studio Doherty)

An extractor hood ensures a clean and odor-free kitchen — and makes it a breeze to work in. Its suction fan helps to filter the air in the space by either recirculating it or blowing it through the exhaust pipe. While "invisible", hidden extractors for these features are popular still, the biggest trend seems to have swung back to more statement-making designs.

'Instead of making them disappear, some architects are leaning in, letting the hood stand out,' Keith Flanagan, contributing editor to Livingetc, says. 'A little creativity can turn these eyesores into eye-catching moments of design.'

6. Zellige tiles

a kitchen with a tiled cooker hood

(Image credit: Ema Peter. Design: Gillian Segal)

When it comes to kitchen tiles, zellige remain the most popular choice we're seeing in contemporary spaces.

'In terms of tiles, it's zellige all the way,' says Candace Shure, founder of Shure Design Studio. 'People are obsessed with the hand-hewn look and subtle earthy tones of the classic Moroccan tiles right now. Specifically the square shape and in varying shades of taupe and creams. We love them too but try to encourage our clients to go for more unique shapes of the tile or for a deeper, more interesting color that will add more of an impact to the space and accentuate the handmade characteristics that draw them to the tile in the first place. We’re also seeing a lot of ribbed and fluted subway tiles that have that same handcrafted feel popping up a lot in designs right now.'

7. Light blue

large kitchen with pale blue and dark wooden cabinetry

(Image credit: Julie Leffell Photography. Design: KA Design Group)

We've seen many of the color trend predictions for 2024 come true this year, especially around light blue tones — a color that has often felt too childish or traditional for modern interiors before. 'Cool, pale blue is a calm, restful shade — a little bit dreamy, a little bit ethereal,' says Ellen Finch, deputy editor of Livingetc. 'If the outside world feels too busy right now, this shade can help create a sanctuary in which you can decompress.'

A beautiful foil for many of the other kitchen trends we're seeing surge now, like brass and dark wood, for example, it's a surprising color to see used for such modern, sleek cabinetry, but it just seems to capture the mood of the moment — something we're calling "Playfulism" here at Livingetc.

8. Layering texture

a black kitchen with a reflective extractor hood

(Image credit: Ema Peter. Design: Kelly Keay)

Glossy or matt, ridged or embossed kitchen wall tiles and surfaces will be doing a lot of heavy lifting in 2024, bringing texture to a room that always benefits from a point of contrast. It's a trend you can buy into even if you're averse to color. In fact, we'd say that it's crucial to make neutral spaces feel far more interesting with texture. Look closely in the image above, and you'll notice the glossy textured tiles, created using an old-fashioned press, after a double dose of detail.

'Creating that 'wow' factor in a kitchen is all about the materials you use and the finishes you choose to use those materials in,' says Katie Paulsen, interior designer at Maestri Studio. 'Are you utilizing honed or polished textures with your countertops and tiles? All these add layering to the space.'

9. Pared-back hardware

a sage green kitchen with a wood island

(Image credit: George Barberis. Design: Casework)

When it comes to handles and hardware, a pared-back approach is the chicest way to finish a kitchen right now. 'A unique mix of materials and textures for kitchen cabinet knobs are having their moment,' says Nadia Watts, founder of Nadia Watts Interior Design. 'Integrated pulls are sleek and functional and handleless cabinets are all the rage. Sleek, clean lines still rule with knobs and handles going incognito allowing simplicity to shine and the cabinetry to take center stage.'

In the green kitchen above, Casey Keasler of Casework developed an intriguing minimalist style for the design. 'They're fully custom, and something we've actually been working on for years that started with the finger pulls in my own home,' she tells us. 'This time around, we incorporated my personal experience of custom finger pulls and worked with our cabinet makers to make dial it in even further. Cabinet hardware changes the look of cabinets and while we didn't want the look of no hardware, we wanted something similar and minimal.'

10. Sculptural stone islands 

A kitchen with a stone island

(Image credit: Yellow Cloud Studio)

Dramatically dark and veined stones continue to be a popular look for kitchens, but you can take it one step further by carving unique kitchen islands out of blocks of stone. The latest stone islands feature ribbed or fluted detailing and can lift a large apartment kitchen and fill it with personality.

When it comes to the choice of stone, kitchen design trends these days are favoring a mix of classic and contemporary styles. 'In terms of marble colors, the most popular choices are timeless white and light-colored marbles,' says Aparna Kaushik, founder & architect at Aparna Kaushik Design Group. ' White marble, such as Carrara or Calacatta, remains a top choice due to its elegant and clean appearance, which complements various kitchen designs. Light-colored marbles with subtle veining are also trending, as they add a touch of sophistication while maintaining a sense of simplicity. These marble colors create a bright and open feel in the kitchen, making them particularly popular for smaller spaces or those seeking a modern and fresh aesthetic.'

11. Jewel Box Pantries

a white kitchen with a colorful pantry

(Image credit: Joe Schmelzer. Design: Mercantile & Merchant / Ryan Perella)

When it comes to kitchen pantry color ideas, there is a shift towards using darker tones, to fill this space with personality, while also providing a little practicality. Even where kitchens are kept neutral, hiding away pantries with a pop of color makes these spaces feel special and happy, just like in this design by Sam Donnely, designer and property developer at Merchant & Mercantile.

'The pink pantry is a riff on traditional English pantries, that are so pratical. We thought it was a good spot to really go for some fun and personality without overwhelming the living space,' Sam says. 'A lot of work and thought went into this tiny room and it's one of our favorites. I think it worked out pretty well, I have yet to meet someone who doesn't smile when they see it, and who doesn't want a little joy with their cereal?'

12. Rounded islands

A kitchen with a rounded edge island

Tangram kitchen collection by Cesar

(Image credit: Tom Kruek. Studio credit JT Grupa)

Why does a big or small kitchen island have to have a sharp corner? Answer: of course it doesn't. And designers are realising that actually rounded edges are more convivial, and conducive to friends and family sitting around their kitchen together. Plus, it creates extra circulation area in the room.

'Curves are so much more inviting than hard edges,' says the interior designer Bryan O'Sullivan. 'They soften a space.'

13. "Back kitchens"

A back kitchen inside a passageway

(Image credit: Image credit: Haris Kenjar, Studio credit: Hoedemaker Pfeiffer)

The back kitchen trend has been gaining popularity, especially since celebrities world over have embraced this concept too – most recently seen in Kris Jenner' home. This highly essential space hides all the clutter of the main kitchen. Think: dishes, linens, dry goods, appliances, groceries, hardware and more. In fact, for busy families, this space is used as part pantry, part prep kitchen and part storage space.

As the kitchen is becoming more and more a room to host parties and for friends to gather around, the need for this space has increased. 'People prefer not to have dirty dishes and mess on display while entertaining,' says Kashi Shikunova, director of interior design practice Yam Studios. 'It's essential to ensure that the scullery offers plenty of storage and workspace.' This space houses cleaning facilities such as a spacious sink and possibly a dishwasher, along with cooking equipment and a fridge, making it the perfect functional space.

14. Colorful taps 

a kitchen with a marble island and red faucet

(Image credit: Prue Ruscoe. Design: YSG Studio)

If you're wondering how to choose a kitchen faucet, it's time to go bold. It's natural to turn to muted color palettes, but that wouldn't be a Livingetc-approved trend without a little twist. It's the pop of a jewel-bright tone or a bright color on the faucet that gives a little jolt of energy a room like this really needs.

In this kitchen by YSG Studio, there's an example of unexpected red theory that brings this kitchen to life. 'The deep Mexican reds and ochres stroke walls (and ceilings) giving it an instantly aged patina, while a brighter shade activates the kitchens island feature with an energetic pulse, sandwiched between two types of natural stone to enhance the complementary pairing,' says Yasmine Ghoniem, Director YSG Studio.

15. Porcelain countertops

A blue painted kitchen with porcelain countertop

(Image credit: Billy Bilikhodze. Studio credit The Wall)

While marble, granite and quartzite have long been the most common materials for kitchen counters, new innovations have seen porcelain step into the arena of best kitchen countertop material. It makes sense – as substance, it's hardwearing, durable and – just as importantly – quite beautiful to look at.

'Porcelain countertops offer a multitude of benefits that make them an ideal choice for kitchens,' says Aparna Kaushik, founder & architect at Aparna Kaushik Design Group. 'Their exceptional durability ensures they can withstand the rigors of daily kitchen activities, resisting chipping, scratching, and cracking. The non-porous nature of porcelain makes these countertops highly resistant to stains, spills, and the growth of bacteria, ensuring a hygienic and easy-to-clean surface for food preparation. Additionally, their heat resistance allows for direct placement of hot pots and pans without damage. Furthermore, their fade resistance ensures that they maintain their appearance over time, even with exposure to sunlight.'

16. Slim Shaker styles

a white slim line shaker kitchen with an island

(Image credit: George Barberis. Design: Casey Keasler)

Shaker kitchen cabinets are a design classic, but for a more contemporary take on the look, designers have been choosing slimmer panels on doors to elevate the look.

'We've been calling this a slim line Shaker cabinet,' explains Casey Keasler of Casework.' It's similar to the traditional Shaker cabinet door, only instead of a 2" or 3" frame, it's 1/2".'

17. Architectural pendants

Pale kitchen with glass cabinetry, gray marble and large statement light

(Image credit: Cave Interiors)

While every aspect of the lighting is important, the lighting which goes over the island is an opportunity to have some fun and make a statement. For the last few years, the drop pendant – usually put up as a trio, has ruled the roost when it comes to kitchen island lighting. But this year we will see a sharper look which owes its design to striking architecture that makes a statement.

‘We selected these modern architectural pendants to complement the curves of the island and to offset the more traditional aspects of the kitchen design,’ says Georgina Cave, founder and creative director of Cave Interiors. ‘Creating a sculptural and unexpected design was key to the entire scheme.’

18. "Countersplashes"

Dark blue open plan kitchen with marble slab backsplash

(Image credit: James Merrell)

Is there anything more stunning in a kitchen than a countersplash? A wall of interrupted stone or marble from counters to backsplashes adds an instant focal point to a kitchen adding beautiful natural textures and shapes - modern kitchen backsplashes just keep getting more graphic.

'One popular and versatile backsplash material for kitchens is quartz,' says Aparna. 'Quartz backsplashes, also a great alternative countertop. offer a range of benefits that make them an excellent choice for many homeowners. Their durability and resistance to stains, heat, and moisture make them well-suited for the demands of kitchen environments. Additionally, quartz is relatively easy to clean and maintain, making them a practical option for busy kitchens. Their timeless appeal ensures they remain a classic choice that can elevate the overall look and feel of the kitchen while providing a protective and functional barrier against splatters and spills.'

19. Sustainable design choices

a modern kitchen with a marble countertop

(Image credit: Benedetto Rebecca. Design: Charles Cohen Designs)

Speaking of living more wholesome and sustainable lives, this is also having an impact on the materials we are now choosing to build our kitchens from, or decorate them with, like eco paints. Designer Hayley Robson predicts that: 'Materials will be purer and natural, rather than too polished or plastic. The concept of mixing materials will continue and we will see the trend for upcycling, reuse and hand-crafted pieces develop.'

'Much like fashion, we are conscious of our consumption; we will invest in craftsmanship, timeless and statement pieces - we’ll buy less stuff and make it last longer, with the clashing of styles resulting in a timeless aesthetic.'

20. Colorful wood stains

a grey-blue stained kitchen cabinet with wallpaper

(Image credit: The Misfit House)

Because wood can come in more than just various shades of brown. You can get all those lovely natural textures that come from raw wooden kitchen cabinets but opt for a colored stain for a bolder look - this is the same approach we're seeing in the world of colored concrete. 'I’ve started applying beautiful colored stains on wood,' says Charlie Smallbone, founder of Ledbury Studio. 'Stains allow you to celebrate the beauty of the wood grain while pushing it beyond its raw, natural state to enhance the overall beauty of the kitchen by adding rich texture.'

'So far, we’ve worked with grays, purples, violets, and pinks, but clients can have any color they want,' says Charlie. 'This chimes with increasing consumer demand for personalization in the kitchen; creating something unique to the individual.'

Color and texture? Ticks two of the biggest kitchen trends for 2024 at once.

What does a 2024 kitchen look like?

Imagine a kitchen packed with all the trends we're seeing in 2024.. what does it look like? It's undoubtedly a social space, where families congregate and parties take place. While open concept to a degree, it's also somewhere we're seeing more structure than kitchens of previous years, whether a "broken plan" layout, or with separate pantries, back kitchens or laundry rooms (often taking a bolder approach to their designs).

Forget white cabinets — they're more daring. Soft pastel shades are the new neutrals, though it may well be beige, too. Or it might just be a dark, enticing kitchen with moody glamor.

When it comes to kitchen trends, people are still looking for timeless appeal. With that in mind, Shaker style kitchens are still the ones we're seeing most used in homes. For more contemporary kitchens, however, we're seeing more streamlined, minimalist versions - without decorative molding, and often even with slimmer frames.

Slab doors are more popular with more modern spaces, especially where the "invisible" kitchen look is desired, helping cooking spaces feel more part of your general living quarters.

Hugh Metcalf
Editor of Livingetc.com

Hugh is the  Editor of Livingetc.com. From working on a number of home, design and property publications and websites, including Grand Designs, ICON and specialist kitchen and bathroom magazines, Hugh has developed a passion for modern architecture, impactful interiors and green homes. Whether moonlighting as an interior decorator for private clients or renovating the Victorian terrace in Essex where he lives (DIYing as much of the work as possible), you’ll find that Hugh has an overarching fondness for luxurious minimalism, abstract shapes and all things beige. He’s just finished a kitchen and garden renovation, and has eyes set on a bathroom makeover for 2024.