You may spend a third of your life sleeping, but has anyone considered how much time you spend in your kitchen? Cooking, doing dishes, staring aimlessly at the open fridge, trying to decide what to snack on next—not to mention that it’s a place everyone invariably ends up whenever you invite people over. So, it’s only natural to want to keep it looking up-to-date, and preferably without spending a small fortune on renovations. That’s why we turned to some of the chicest minds we know—designer Emily Henderson, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin of The Home Edit, and Cat Friscia, senior buyer for tabletop at Anthropologie (aka the store we’d move into if we could)—to uncover the top tricks for styling the space in 2022.
The 7 Rules of Styling a Kitchen in 2022
1. Runners Are the New Floor Mats
A waterproof mat is a functional must-have, but it can be an eyesore. For a more polished look, try a vintage Persian rug (or vintage-looking one) with a rug pad underneath. It’ll be just as cushy as the mat—thanks to the padding—and the worn, vintage look hides stains, Henderson’s team assures us.
Get the Look: Chris Loves Julia x Loloi “Jules” Runner ($62)
2. Turn to Ceramics for that Cozy-Meets-Contemporary Vibe
Modern farmhouse may be on its way out, but that doesn’t mean all things rustic are out. Hefty ceramics and earthenware—paired with natural wood bowls and furniture, and dainty embroidered linens for softness—add a homespun touch that’s still elevated. It’s more heirloom than arts and crafts; a look you can see firsthand in California designer Amber Lewis’s Easy Living collection for Anthropologie.
Get the Look: Amber Lewis for Anthropologie Garvey Kitchen Island ($2,798)
3. Colorful Glass Can Liven Up Open Shelves
Open shelves aren’t going anywhere—if anything, we’ll see them evolve to glass-front cabinets, as both options make a kitchen feel more open and airy, Friscia says. Colorful glassware has been trending for a while, and there’s no better place to show off your finds. Just cluster like items together for an eclectic look that doesn’t come across as cluttery.
Get the Look: Morgan wine glasses, set of four ($56)
4. Ease into Jewel Tones
All-white kitchens have had their moment, and these days, we’re all about weaving in plenty of color—particularly more saturated jewel tones. “These shades can feel intimidating,” Friscia admits. Rather than paint (or replace) your cabinets, she recommends starting small, like adding in a Dutch oven and other enameled cast iron in the same color. If you love that dose of color, you can start working it in even more, like getting a freestanding kitchen island in a similar shade.
Get the Look: Cast iron Dutch oven ($128)
5. Tidy Up Your Cabinets with Turntables
The Home Edit is known for their pantry transformation photos on Instagram—so much so that they partnered with Bush’s Sidekicks to host an organizing giveaway—so we had to get their tips for the latest ways they’re decluttering people’s cabinets. The top takeaway? You need a turntable, stat.
“It’s the best solution to see all your spices at once,” the duo told us via email. “We’re also huge believers in transferring your spices to matching glass jars so everything fits nicely.”
That uniformity keeps everything looking clean, and since you replace spices less frequently than, say, cereal or flour, it’s a lower-effort, high-reward upgrade.
Get the Look: Container Store Wooden Turntable Stand ($23)
6. Choose Calligraphy Labels Over Chalk Markers
We bid adieu to another modern farmhouse staple: labeling everything with chalk markers. The Home Edit now uses labels (in Clea’s handwriting, which they’ve turned into a font) instead. “The chalk marker tended to wear off, and that’s not beautiful or functional,” they wrote.
Get the Look: The Home Edit by iDesign Pantry Labels ($10)
7. Mix Metals—But Be Consistent
Designers always swear you can mix metals, but how do you nail the look without coming across as haphazard or cheap? Use the same finish on each surface. That consistency makes it look intentional. “For example, choose one type of metal for the upper cabinet run and a different one for the island lowers,” Henderson writes in The New Design Rules: How to Decorate and Renovate, from Start to Finish (out now). “You can also mix painted wooden knobs with metal handles, and I’d recommend having the knobs painted the same color, so the cabinets don’t get too busy-looking and the metal hardware can pop a bit more.”
Alternatively, you can stick to the same material and color—or finish—and assign a different shape to each surface, like using starburst-shaped knobs on the upper cabinets and rectangular pulls on the lower ones.
Get the Look: Lucille Fluted Kitchen Handle ($20)
Lead image reprinted from 'New Design Rules,' Copyright © 2022 Emily Henderson with Jessica Cumberbatch-Anderson. Photographs copyright © 2022 by Wing Ho. Produced and styled by Velinda Hellen. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.