A few years ago, it seemed like all kitchens were white. There wasn’t a lot of room to get creative, if being stylish was your goal. Recently that’s begun to change. While white is ever popular for a clean aesthetic, and a great option for resale, kitchen design is swinging back in the direction of funky, eclectic and open-ended. You can make your cabinets different colors, install new and unique types of countertops, and explore a variety of new materials – all while following 2021 kitchen trends. If you’re seeking ways to make your kitchen look beautiful this year, here’s what’s popular.
Natural Marble Countertops
Granite was the king of countertops for many years, because it was ultra-durable, scratch-resistant, stain-resistant and came in many patterns and colors. The tides have turned now, and homeowners seeking a new countertop have turned their sights on marble.
In all honesty, this natural stone isn’t as scratch-resistant as granite – but it’s possibly the most elegant stone you’ll ever see in any home. It comes in a range of colors, including soft white, dove gray and some surprising hues like red, blue, green, gold. Just like granite, marble needs regular sealing to be protected from stains. Cutting boards can help protect your marble from scratches, and hot pads and trivets can prevent heat damage.
If you like the openness of floating shelves, but crave storage behind doors, you’ll love countertop hutches. Fitted with glass or solid doors, countertop hutches are practical items that add classic beauty to your kitchen while creating storage space for dishes, spices, teacups or whatever you’d like to store. Add a coat of paint to your countertop hutch to make it stand out. If you’re feeling extra creative, consider distressing or antiquing your piece to give it a care-worn timelessness.
Cool tones were very popular for a long time. White, gray, navy and nickel/chrome finished dominated kitchens for a decade or more. Now, in 2021, warm tones are finally finding their way into kitchens around the country. Warm paint colors, warm metals and wood tones make your kitchen look and feel homey, inviting, and cheerful.
Go ahead: order your new cabinet doors in a warm creamy color. Install a brick or terracotta backsplash , and try out brass or oil rubbed bronze hardware. Your kitchen is the heart of your home, so it should look the part.
For ages, the backsplash was a tile mosaic, often an artistic and attractive, but sometimes busy and distracting part of the kitchen. This year, some of the most contemporary backsplashes are a continuation of the countertop. Is your countertop made of marble? Extend that marble countertop up the wall into the backsplash. Homeowners love this design because it makes your kitchen look a little more open, airy, and less cluttered.
Slab backsplashes are also easier to clean, with far fewer cracks and crevices, and no grout to get stained. If you’ve been cleaning a tile backsplash for the last several years, you’ll love this change.
Plaster Range Hoods
Plaster range hoods are a fresh look from the traditional stainless steel hood, or older microwave/hood look, and provide a fresh look and focal point in your kitchen. Often nestled between floating shelves or as a standalone accent surrounded by dramatic backsplash, plaster hoods contain the range hood extraction unit, but are surrounded by drywall and typically finished with joint compound, Roman clay, paint, or limewash.
DIYers are turning to plaster range hoods as a fun project in their kitchen remodel. By following these simple steps you can transform the look of your kitchen from simple and functional to modern and custom!
Gold Finishes and Mixed Metals
Gold and warm metal finishes are very popular right now, in part because they match the wood tones and warm colored cabinetry popping up in renovations. Mixed metals are also popular, with copper tones, brushed brass and oil rubbed bronze all taking a front-row seat in kitchens.
Faucets aren’t the only fixtures to consider for these interesting and beautiful metals. Everything from cabinet knobs and pulls, to light fixtures and range hoods come in metals of different colors. If you’re feeling brave, take this opportunity to mix and match.
Loosen Up and Enjoy Yourself. It’s 2021.
If there’s one thing you can take away from this article, it’s that you can have fun designing your kitchen. Let your hair down, figuratively speaking. Fill your room with interesting new colors and materials and patterns. Don’t be afraid to try something different, and break out from the styles of previous years. This is your chance to make your kitchen eye-catching, beautiful, and wholly different from its previous existence.
When was the last time you replaced your kitchen countertop? If the answer to that question is more than 10 years ago, you might be surprised to learn all the ways that countertop trends have evolved in recent years.
Countertop materials are more varied than ever. As a homeowner, you have choices! Knowing your options, including their costs, pros and cons can help you choose the best countertops for your kitchen.
Here’s a look at the most popular counter materials in 2021:
Cost range: $50 – $150 per square foot
It wasn’t that long ago when most homeowners had never heard of quartz countertops. Today, quartz is one of the most sought-after kitchen counter material available – and for good reason. Quartz is durable, affordable and available in a wide variety of patterns and colors.
This engineered material is made from crushed stone and resins mixed together to form the hardest, most scratch-resistant material found in kitchens. Homeowners also love quartz because it can be molded to take on the appearance of nearly any natural material, including marble and granite.
Want the look of a marble counter without the maintenance? White quartz countertops are your best bet. Seeking the beauty of a granite countertop, without the sealing to prevent staining? A granite look-alike quartz countertop is right for you.
No sealing required
Very scratch and chip resistant
Almost indistinguishable from natural stone counters
Once upon a time, granite was the high-end countertop material that all homeowners craved. They loved its durability, longevity and its beauty. Today, granite’s popularity has declined in favor of quartz countertops. Still, homeowners who are dedicated to natural stone counters tend to prefer granite because of its incredible hardness and scratch resistance.
Available in a range of patterns and colors
Requires regular sealing to be protected from stains
Marble Kitchen Counters
Cost range: $65 – $95 per square foot
Marble is a lovely countertop material available in stunning colors and patterns. Its classic beauty is unparalleled. That said, marble has never been as popular as granite, probably because it’s a soft stone that can stain and scratch easily. You can prevent some of these problems by using trivets and hot pads, and by sealing your counters regularly. Families who are rough on their kitchens or have small kids often opt for an imitation marble-look quartz if they’re not prepared to maintain marble.
Long-lasting when properly maintained
Susceptible to staining and scratching
Regular sealing required
Butcher Block Kitchen Counter
Cost range: $75 – $150 per square foot
Butcher block a.k.a wood countertops have their own unique charm. They’re not as hard as stone, which some homeowners like (no noisy clinking sounds when glasses and plates are set down!).
On the other hand, wood can rot, so special care is needed to clean up any spills as soon as they happen. Wood also needs regular oiling to remain water-resistant. Over time, that oil leads to the development of a patina that some homeowners like and others dislike. In a farmhouse or coastal style kitchen, butcher block can be a huge hit, and can softens the harshness of all-white kitchen cabinets.
Unique appearance that can’t be replicated with other materials
Soft surface that is not as loud as hard stone
Wood is antimicrobial
Scratches and stains can be sanded out
Can be stained by liquids
May swell or shrink with changes in humidity
DIY Kitchen Countertops
Cost range: variable
Whether you’re making your own wooden counters, creating an epoxy countertop surface, or trying your hand at concrete countertops, there are many pros and cons to this kind of home improvement project.
Most cost-effective way to install a countertop
Can be fun to install, if you enjoy DIY projects
Done incorrectly, DIY counters may not be as durable as commercially sold countertops
Many people are not comfortable installing their own counters
If the work is not done properly, it may not look like your dream counter
How to Choose Your Countertop Material
Before deciding which counters to install, you’ll have some things to consider. Doing research in advance can help.
Make a budget. If the material of your choice seems like more than you can afford, be prepared to shop around.
Visit a material supplier. Visiting a material store is a great way to find the look and product that appeals to you the most. It’s always helpful to see these materials in person, and take home a sample if you can!
Consider value, durability, maintenance. Be sure you’re prepared to perform maintenance on the countertop of your choice. Do not install a counter you’re not willing to care for.
With a little research, you can find the kitchen counter material that’s right for you, whether that’s solid surface countertop, a DIY, or the ever-popular quartz. Shop around! Be sure to see the materials you’re considering in person. Seeing the materials up close will give you a much better sense of how you’ll feel about those countertops if you decide to install them in your home.