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2018 Design Trends: Kitchen

Youxi988 Design Trends 2018 Kitchen No Upper Cabinets 06

Last week we pulled together some of our favorite “trends” for the bathroom and today we’ve moved into the kitchen. We are putting “trends” in quotes as although we see a lot of these styles being big in design in 2018 it doesn’t mean that it is something that necessarily is what you should do with your home nor does it mean that every single one of these will work in every style of home. But we had fun doing the research and pinning some beautiful inspiration images so we thought it would be fun to collate it all together and let you know what we are seeing that feels fresh and new for 2018. Let’s get into it.

Banquette Seating:

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The 80’s called… they want their seating back. But really though, are we into this one? We are seeing a lot more of it and it has gotten a HUGE makeover from the 80’s oak and cherry seating arrangements we all knew so well which is why we have included it in this list. I mean, who wouldn’t want to sit at that sunny little alcove above for breakfast every morning?

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The biggest changes that we are seeing that make it feel more fresh and updated are a use of more refined materials and details, or the lack thereof. The banquettes of the 80s and 90s had quite a bit of detail work in them whether that be carved wood moulding, stenciling of some kind, or a paint treatment that we would rather forget.

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You’ll also notice that most of the inspiration images we have rounded up show a bench seat on one or two sides but not on three sides of the table which is another reason why these feel more updated and fresh. If it is something you are into then try doing a long built-in bench like you see above and below and then flanking the other side with a few more modern style chairs.

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Whether you add pillows or not is up to you like you see in the pics above and below, but if you do choose to “accessorize” said alcove then keep it pretty simple with the pillows – maybe one or two in the corners, but there is no need to have a row of pillows as that will just end up looking stuffy and crowded.

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We love the channel tufting on this one as well as how they split the table into two so that you don’t find yourself scooting down a big ol’ bench to get to the center seat. Well done.

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Black Fixtures:

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Next up, black fixtures and faucets. We highlighted this same trend in bathrooms and the trend also works for the kitchen. As we mentioned before, black is classic in the fact that it will always work with just about every style and color palette that you have going on.

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It feels simple, modern, and adds a visual , it won’t show wear and tear or water spots as easily as some other finishes which is always a bonus in the kitchen. Our tip for this one would be to make sure to pepper a few other black elements around the room so that it doesn’t feel jarring visually to have a black faucet when everything else is in a different color vibe. The kitchen above has a row of black lower cabinets, whereas the kitchen below has some black pantry cabinets as well as the black stools and light fixture to help balance it out.

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Built-in Sinks:

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This one might be one of our favorites, and we are calling it “built-in sinks”. Which basically translates as having your sink be the exact same material as your countertop creating a seamless transition between the two and keeping the whole area looking very clean visually. We are pretty sure that the above marble sink is not an affordable option but man does it look beautiful in that kitchen.

Youxi988 Design Trends 2018 Built In Sink 05
Youxi988 Design Trends 2018 Built In Sink 04

In the two kitchens above, they used concrete to create a countertop and sink area which is a much more affordable option than marble and also allows pretty limitless customization on sizing and color.

Youxi988 Design Trends 2018 Built In Sink 02

Brass and marble will always win in our book, and this kitchen is definitely winning at life. You’ll also notice with this one there are a few different ways to install a “built-in sink” the marble sink above looks like it has mitered corners where the sink meets the countertop which helps it to feel seamless and visually clean of extra lines whereas the sink below was built in below the countertop surface so you can see a line where the counter meets the sink.

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Concrete:

Youxi988 Design Trends 2018 Kitchen Concrete 01

Concrete is making its way up from the floor to the countertops and we love the look. As we mentioned above concrete gives you quite a bit of liberty when it comes to customization as well as color and it is also a very affordable option. But it isn’t just for counters, your walls can look just as chic in the material. If you are putting it on your walls I would steer clear of anything that is too dark, as visually it might end up feeling like you live in a prison but these lighter toned walls with a slight texture are so beautiful and have a wonderful color variance to them.

Youxi988 Design Trends 2018 Kitchen Concrete 04

Eat-in:

Youxi988 Design Trends 2018 Kitchen Eat In 05

By a show of digital hands, how many of you have a formal dining room that you never use, and end up crowding around a small little table in the kitchen or hovering your plate over the island as you dish it down? Eat-in kitchens are the solution to this and although they don’t work for every floor plan, visually we are very into them. It’s the new ‘kitchen table’ and while that may seem obvious for a while it took a back seat to more formal kitchens (pun-intended).

Photo By Amy Bartlam. Design By Jette Creative.

You need quite a bit of kitchen space for this one, but if you do have the space then think about getting rid of the island and doing a u-shaped kitchen that is centered around a dining and seating area.

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Youxi988 Design Trends 2018 Kitchen Eat In 03
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We love the look of a farmhouse table in a kitchen area, one that has a lot of age and that you aren’t scared of throwing a dish of food on, or clearing off for the kids to do a project on.

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And if you don’t have room for a huge seating area you can do a small-scale version of this with a circular 4 top like you see above, which also incorporated the banquette seating trend. Or you could float a smaller circular table like they did below.

Youxi988 Design Trends 2018 Kitchen Eat In 01

Flat-Front Cabinetry:

Youxi988 Design Trends 2018 Kitchen Flat Front Cabinets 01

The last 5 years seemed to be dominated by the shaker style cabinet and although that will ALWAYS be in trend and something that is timeless we are loving some of the slimmer flat-front panels that we are seeing in some of these kitchens.

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Whether it is out of a beautiful wood like above and below.

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Or painted out in a color like the rest of the inspiration images it is a simple and rather affordable door option that keeps things feeling very simple and modern.

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Will it work for every style of home… probably not. If you live in a traditional, rustic, country or french style home then it might make sense to have a cabinet door with a bit of detailing on it to echo the architecture of the home, but when this simple flat front door is done right it is a trend that we are loving for the kitchen.

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Yep, this kitchen sells it pretty well. Granted there are some pretty impressive windows, beams, the beautiful island and eating area going on as well in the pic, but the simple flat front cabinets work so well with everything and don’t scream out “look at me, I am a kitchen cabinet” in an obnoxious way as a lot of other overtly detailed cabinets can.

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Hidden Hoods:

Youxi988 Design Trends 2018 Kitchen Hidden Hood 05

Do you remember when hoods came into the kitchen game and everyone was like “HEY, LOOK AT MY MASSIVE STAINLESS STEEL HOOD IN THE MIDDLE OF MY KITCHEN”? It was a time when the hood was so new that it made sense to show it off, and yes there are definitely still times and houses when it makes sense to have your hood exposed or showcased. But, we love the trend of the more subtle “hidden” hood that these kitchens are showing off.

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See that beautiful hood up there? Yep, neither do we, but we know it is there – expertly hidden behind that facade of marble or plaster above the range.

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You can also build it out slightly but cover the box with a material that works with the kitchen without being too obvious like my friend did above in this kitchen. Or below, where they built out the marble box around it creating an almost floating hood.

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Lastly, there is the option of treating it as almost a fireplace area and creating a large mantle piece above it like the kitchen below did. All of these hidden hoods are a great way to seamlessly incorporate a much-needed item in your kitchen without drawing too much attention to it.

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Integrated Appliances:

Youxi988 Design Trends 2018 Kitchen Integrated 01

Which brings us to the next trend. Fully integrated appliances. This isn’t a “new to the game” trend, or something that we haven’t seen already but it is something that we love currently. Do we all love being able to get fresh water and ice out of our fridge doors without having to open the door? Absolutely. But if you are looking for something more modern and seamless then integrating all of your appliances will visually pull the kitchen together.

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The kitchen below is a perfect example of when to integrate your appliances. Imagine this picture with two huge stainless steel units on the right side of the frame. It just wouldn’t have the same visual effect that this one has, and also would take away from the beauty of all the other simple and understated elements of the kitchen.

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And if fully integrated appliances are something that seems out of budget for you as they can be pretty expensive then think about hiding them behind sliding doors like the did kitchen below. We are pretty sure that they integrated the fridge and freezer on the right and then the other appliances like the oven and microwave behind the sliding doors.

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These modern kitchens below are all so simple, clean and understated due to the fact that you don’t see any massive appliances immediately.

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Marble (a lot of it):

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Marble is a trend that is definitely not new, but what we are highlighting today in this post is using marble in a grand scale. And by grand we mean… the entire wall… like you see above. This kitchen is so stunningly beautiful and while yes, it would still be quite remarkable with a tile backsplash or drywall on that far wall, the marble creates this incredible focal point and sets the tone for the entire kitchen.

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So, don’t be shy about your marble use, take it wall to wall, floor to ceiling and use it just about anywhere in your kitchen. A few things to avoid if you are trying to adopt this trend. Steer clear of anything that has too much color or veining which can create a visual mess. Also, you will want to either use the same marble for your countertops or keep the counters very simple so that it doesn’t compete with your walls.

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Last but not least, if you do a huge installation of marble then the cabinets should be very simple as to not compete with the marble. Lots of marble + Lots of detailing in your cabinets = looking like you live in a French chateau from the 1500’s.

Youxi988 Design Trends 2018 Kitchen Marble 09

No Upper Cabinets:

Youxi988 Design Trends 2018 Kitchen No Upper Cabinets 01

Last year was the year of the open shelf (or the single shelf), this year might be the year of no upper cabinets. Is this totally practical for everyone or every kitchen, no. Most of us have very limited storage space as it is, so eliminating upper cabinets is something that doesn’t make sense at all. But if you have the storage elsewhere and don’t need upper cabinets then this trend is something that can not only cut costs (half the kitchen cabinets) but create a much more open feeling kitchen. Due to the fact that the upper half of the room is more open visually.

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With this trend you will want to make sure not to disregard that area where the upper cabinets would have been completely or else it might end up looking like you ran out of money halfway through the build. The kitchen above carried the same material from the lowers up on the wall for continuity whereas the kitchen below used a few well-placed pieces of art to help fill the space.

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This kitchen has the windows on the wall which is probably why they didn’t do uppers, but the thought is the same with the upper area staying open.

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We’re not quite sure what this soffit area is housing above the kitchen or if that is the reason why they didn’t do uppers as they weren’t able to build in that area but either way the visual openness above makes this kitchen feel much larger than it probably is.

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This might just be the English country kitchen of our dreams… vaulted ceilings, eat-in kitchen area, antique style stove, large windows… the list goes on and on, but by them not adding in uppers it allows the ceilings to carry your eye all the way up rather than have a visual stop in the middle of the wall when the cabinets stopped right before the vaulted ceilings.

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Square Tiles:

Youxi988 Design Trends 2018 Square Tiles 01

We have quite a few trends that are stemming from the 80’s in this post that have now found a new and much more polished way of showing themselves off. Square tile is one of those trends. It was huge in the 80s and 90s, mostly because it was easily accessible and extremely affordable but guess what… the same is still true.

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Square porcelain tiles whether they be large or small are one of the most stocked items on the shelves, which means that the price is very affordable. We did a post a while back where we talked about the difference grout color can make in the look of your tiles, and those rules come into play in these types of tiles. Because the tiles are simple both in finish and shape you can make them a bit more exciting by contrasting it with a different color grout or installing the tiles in a different pattern other than just the typical grid. Head back to that post to read more about it.

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But, if the porcelain tiles aren’t your jam, then the same square motif can be found in some more handmade tiles like those from . All the tiles are slightly different which creates a beautiful texture, variation of color and sheen on the wall and looks pretty incredible once it is all installed.

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If you are daring enough to do a full room like above then be our guest, but if that pink tiled kitchen scares you then something more subtle like below could work in your kitchen. Especially if you are working within a small budget. Rather than filling the entire wall with budget-friendly tiles consider using a special handmade tile that will really stand out in a smaller area like they did in this stove alcove.

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Subtle variance and sheen = texture without business.

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This tile will never go out of style, and the simple square shape only reinforces the timelessness of it.

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But even the 4×4 builder grade tiles can look chic when done in a special color like below.

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Or go small like these 2×2’s which they used below.

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Terrazzo:

Youxi988 Design Trends 2018 Kitchen Terrazzo 01

We talked about Terrazzo in the bathroom as being a trend, and it also works in the kitchen (among many other areas). It is one of the trends that is definitely a commitment in the fact that it isn’t something you can readily go out and buy. It typically takes working with a craftsman if you plan to do a seamless large installation on your floors or countertops like you see above and below. But there are a few companies out there now that are producing the same technique and look in tiles which makes for a much easier installation and process.

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Youxi988 Design Trends 2018 Kitchen Terrazzo 02

One of the biggest selling features of Terrazzo is that you can customize it to any look or color pattern that you want. So if you want something more tonal like above you can keep the aggregate to just a few colors. Or you can get more bold with your color choices like in the next few pics.

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Anyway, you do it you can make it pretty darn special and we are very into it.

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So, which of the kitchen trends are you loving, and which are you hating. And do any of you already have these going in your kitchen? Let us know below and let us know if you want to see more of our trend predictions for the bedroom or other rooms in the house.

 



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  1. So many pretty spaces! Thank you, Emily, for the inspiration.

  2. Love this type of post with tons of inspirational images – thank you. 🙂

  3. I can’t imagine dealing with the banquet in the alcove. It is like a restaurant booth which works at a restaurant because you are being weighted on! In my house, someone is always jumping up to refill a glass of water or get seconds or leaving early because work/sports/homework calls. The banquets with just one bench are more realistic I think for real living.

    1. 100% Agree. Banquets can help with space in a small kitchen if you absolutely have to have a table, but they are logistically impractical (my grandmother still has one – tiny kitchen).

      Also, a table in the middle of a U-shaped kitchen is just something to walk around when preparing a meal. An island can and usually is used during prep so it’s not an obstacle.

      Love hidden vent hoods, but we’ve been doing them since we built a house in 2003. I like the look of no uppers, but need the cabinet space and am a big fan of flat front doors.

      We’re gearing up for a kitchen remodel of our very 80’s kitchen so this was timely:)

  4. Just an absolutely fantastic post. Thank you! My eyes are so happy!

  5. I love almost all of these. Although I’ve finally realised why I don’t like black taps – they remind my of school science labs.
    On a fairly unrelated note, why have you taken the “pin” button off all your pictures? I would pin loads of these

    1. Haha… That’s exactly why I love them! I have one in my kitchen, but I’m a bit of a science nerd. 🙂

    2. Good morning! My computer shows that the pin button is still there: upper left corner.

      1. You could try refreshing or updating your browser or opening from another browser and it should pop up. Hope that helps xx

  6. Not to be “that person” but the first header in the post should probably be “Banquette Seating” instead of “Banquet Seating”. 🙂

    The terrazzo featured in two of the pics is actually a tile! It’s Marmoreal White produced by Dzek:

    1. Wow, amazing! I can’t believe that’s TILE! So gorgeous!

      Reminds me of the terrazzo that Sarah Sherman Samuel is doing for Mandy Moore’s house right now.

      1. I was just thinking that it reminded me of the terrazzo on the fireplace hearth at Mandy Moore’s house. Which I really love seeing. It’s not often that you get to see so much of a celebrity’s home after they’ve bought it (unless they’re selling it). It’s nice to see the process and how it’s turning out (which I would still love if it was a “regular” person)

    2. Melissa I think it’s still considered a terrazzo cause terrazzo is made of fragments of marble, quarts, granite, etc. but yes it sure is pretty!

  7. I like so many of these and have been eyeing a few of these ideas for when we finally redo our kitchen. Question for Emily and anyone with kitchen design experience: do you think flat front cabinets would look good in an early 1900s kind-of-cottage?

    1. I would say no unless you are incorporating a lot of other modern elements in other places in the house. Good luck!

  8. These are some incredible kitchens, for sure. That green base cabinet with the Terrazzo countertop gets me every time. 🙂

    I just installed a banquette in my tiny kitchen last year, and the effect was magical. It somehow made my kitchen feel bigger and cozier at the same time. Now, I can’t even imagine the space without it. Total game-changer.

  9. Yes bedroom post please!

    I feel very validated with the hidden range hood and the square Cle tiles as these are both of my wish list for our kitchen 🙂

  10. I pinned so many of these – THANK YOU!!!

  11. Great post with such a great round-up of illustrations! That’s why we love you Emily! Please keep it up!

  12. I love the fact that so many of these trends are about making kitchens feel less utilitarian and more like living spaces that are integrated with the rest of a home ❤

  13. Just an FYI: in the article you state that concrete counters are an affordable choice….I have not found that to be true though.

    I have poured concrete counters, and I priced a bunch of different companies. The price per sq ft ends up being pretty on par with a more expensive material. Not as much as marble, but not “affordable” either. I love mine and def. recommend to everyone! But they are not as affordable as say butcher block or composite. Also they do wear and stain just like marble would, its concrete so they soak up liquid and grease. I like the worn look, but people are always surprised it’s not as durable as granite.

    1. If you have any DIY skills, concrete is something you can achieve on our own. My current house and my former condo both had/have concrete counters made by my husband and I for around $100.

      We have done two styles: poured into forms and then laid onto cabinets, and poured in place over existing laminate counters.

      Our current counters are waxed and so they do pick up stains and age over time. I love the patina – it starts to look like stone after a few years. Our former counters were sealed with a food safe polyurethane and they did not get any stains at all.

      Concrete has been a great choice for us. It is infinitely customizable, comes in any color under the rainbow, you can do all kinds of finishes….and, if you can do the work yourself, is very affordable.

      1. Hi Sheri,

        Wow, you guys are nifty DIY’ers. Do you know of any tutorials on how to do the poured over existing laminate counters method?
        I’ve looked around but can’t find anything comprehensive…

        1. Chris loves Julia did their own white concrete countertops, with details on their blog.

  14. What are you thoughts on trends for cabinetry color? I think it’s McGee & Co. who are predicting warmer whites in the kitchen, opposed to the stark bright white cabinetry that’s been dominating for a while. Do you agree? How about other colors? Or stained cabinets?

    The number one thing from your list I’d like to incorporate (though I don’t have the right space right now) is banquette seating. Your Griffith Park Sunroom project got me hooked on that!

    I’d love to see trends for any other room. Great stuff as always. Thank you!!

  15. Love these pics — thanks for all the good ideas! Are you sure those square tiles are porcelain? They look like plain old ceramic to me. A good opportunity to support your local tile maker — as you said, handmade makes such a difference, even if just as an accent. Also, FYI, concrete and marble slabs are really, really heavy. It’s important to make sure whatever you rest them on/hang them from can support their weight.

  16. Can you do some more on concrete? I love the look in all forms but cannot find anyone who will do it who does not mention cracking?!? Concrete is also incredibly porous and stains easily. Again, people just say “seal it” but with what? It sounds so simple but when I try and pull the trigger I get so many warning flags I stop dead in my tracks and question the decision. Help!

    1. There are only two types of concrete: concrete that IS cracked and concrete that WILL crack. If you aren’t OK with cracks, do NOT use concrete.

  17. Some of the square tile seems dated to me still (and definitely the terrazzo, always hated that actually) but I really like the things that make a kitchen quieter – the flat fronts, the integrated appliances, the hidden hoods. I have no hood vent or anything above my stove at the moment and am planning to do one in a simple shape the same color as my cabinetry, with a stained wood rim like a fireplace mantel. Nice to see it in your roundup 🙂

  18. This was so much fun to see, Emily! Thanks for the great post. One thing I was wondering though was more about color schemes – ie what colors woods, tiles, stone, etc are in style now. I really liked the look of “tuxedo” cabinets with black or dark on bottom, with white on top. Curious how you think that would age?

  19. If you like terrazzo, you should check out recycled glass counter tops! It is a similar effect and much more affordable, I would think. We love ours!

  20. What a gorgeous post full of beautiful kitchens. I love almost everything, especially the integrated sinks (that marble one) and the updated banquettes (one side with chairs). I hate the Terrazzo. I can’t get over how much I dislike it. It’s too 80s-office-community-kitchen floor.

  21. This is another great post! Some of these trends look very obtainable, e.g. black fixtures and square tiles (yes to both, please!). However, most of these 2018 trends look difficult to obtain (either because the materials are cost-prohibitive or because they require a lot of space) for the average person. Marble is expensive and is a lot more destructible than say Corian… In addition to not being a huge fan of eat-in kitchens generally (why have one when you can just having a nearby dining room serve double duty for casual dining as well as formal entertaining, I think), they do take up a lot of space… Having no upper cabinets is only really an option if you have a lot of space for lower cabinets, or it’s a single occupant dwelling, or if the space isn’t lived in 24/7 (like if it’s a vacation home, or it’s not the primary kitchen but rather a bar area)… Fully integrated appliances seem like a cost-suck to me because in addition to buying appliances, you basically have to buy or make cabinets that go around them… I’m not saying that any of these trends look bad – in fact, except for the flat-front cabinetry, which I don’t like because knobs are the jewelry of the kitchen – I like them all! They are just a little bit too far out of my particular grasp at the moment. I would be interested in seeing a living room 2018 trends post, just out of curiosity, since that’s the room I’m most likely to want and be able to redo in 2018.

  22. It’s nice that there are many different ideas instead of being stuck into one trend etc so someone can interpret what they like.

    As for terrazzo in the kitchen we’ll be installing a Solid Vinyl Tile in the next month or so into our kitchen/hallway/basement stairs called Cortina Grande and it’s a pretty decent representation of a smaller aggregate terrazzo.

    It’s still expensive for an SVT since it’s a commercial product ($3.78/sqft in my area) but it’s not as expensive as real poured or tile terrazzo. It has the bonus of not being cold and hard like the real version. It’s perfect since I have a hard time standing on hard materials for long periods and I always worry about dropping items onto tile/real terrazzo floors and having it break.

    The disadvantage would be colour choices. It definitely comes in lots of colours but you can do anything custom like the real deal. It also needs to be sealed and have a top finish (I plan on hiring a janitorial service to do this for me) but the finish should last a long time before needing to be redone given that house hold use vs commercial use won’t put as much strain on the finish.

    Should last me a lifetime and it looks amazing with the hardwood being installed.

  23. Inspiration overload. Love all of these predictions!

    Michelle

  24. Thanks for this. Over the next month I’m Finishing up my eat in (at the island) kitchen now with black faucets, hidden hood, marble (lots of it) and integrated appliances. I was worried the whole time about not picking things that weren’t classic and would date the space but your post has me so excited for what I chose! Thanks!!!!

  25. Very nice – all of them and I am so glad that none of them have subway tiles.
    That horse has been ridden to death for sure.

  26. We just added a large bay window in our kitchen to give us extra seating. Its like having a couch in our kitchen, adds tons of beautiful light, increases the view, and makes our smallish kitchen appear much bigger, even though there is not any more square footage. We love it!

  27. Just installed a corner banquette with storage under the seats and a round marble and brass tulip table in our kitchen. Adding a chair or two on the opposite side. It’s a great use of a small space, a super handy place for my 3yr old to hang out and help with cooking!

  28. I LOVE terrazzo! It reminds me of my childhood in Florida and my grandmas house. We are looking to move to Florida and hubby and I have been going the rounds, I want the “old Florida” look with terrazzo floors and wood ceilings and he wants something built after 2001 because of building codes and hurricanes. Terrazzo is very expensive nowadays so it is not an option to install.

  29. AMAZING POST! thank you.

  30. Thank you Emily for sharing this. I love seeing posts like this where you can draw so many ideas and inspiration. I would absolutely love a modern kitchen with a hidden hood, integrated appliances, , and flat faced cabinets. Awesome post!

  31. Every time I think I’ve planned out my home and am settled on a feeling, style, color, etc, you have to show me new stuff. Thanks, Em, you ruin my life on the daily! I CURSE YOU! Just kidding. Thanks for being a boundless sea of inspiration. You make me a more cautious and deliberate stylist for my own home 🙂

  32. Can I hug you virtually, please? This is such a timely post, and I feel like such a trendy person for the first time in my life …. we have a kitchen renovation planned for this year, and my main “want” is flat-front panels, terrazzo-like (don’t know the name, but with the little glass pieces embedded) countertops. In addition to that, we own a 70s rancher that has a huge kitchen space that serves as eat-in-kitchen, but has no dining room. Thank you for so many awesome ideas!

  33. I love the kitchens without upper cabinets!

  34. Great post! Where could I shop for a new banquette?

  35. I want a 90s style banquet for this year about as much as I wanted an 80s style jumpsuit last year. They both look great, but are a hassle to get out of.

    I like the black fixtures and the flat front cabinets.

  36. I like content very much. Clean and true hints. Thanks

  37. This is appreciable and wonderful post that you have provided for us.Great site and a great topic as well i really get amazed to read this.

  38. Seriously obsessed with all these kitchens!

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