If the all-white kitchen you loved in 2012—or the Tuscan-inspired one you dreamed of in 2002—is making you want to tear out your cabinets, you’re not alone: Roughly 42 percent of people decided to renovate their kitchens recently, simply because they couldn’t stand their outdated style. It was the top reason cited for a remodel, according to Houzz’s 2023 U.S. Kitchen Trends Study, which polled 2,380 people on their renos—and design decisions. So, what trends prevailed? And which looks are designers starting to see everywhere? We did a deep dive to uncover the top kitchen trends of 2023, and (spoiler!) this year marks the return of minimalist lines and maximalist colors.
Designers (& 2,380 People) Have Spoken: These Are the Top 7 Kitchen Trends of 2023
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1. Wood Cabinets
We started to see wood cabinets—particularly white oak and walnut styles—on the rise in 2022, and they’re only gaining steam in 2023. Nearly one in four people choose the natural look, Houzz found. Why? “Our desire for warmth and comfort is driving [this] trend of mixing wood tones in all different shades of brown, creating a sense of peacefulness,” Lynne Tocchet, director of interior design at Pacaso, told us.
2. Two-Tone Kitchens
If all wood cabinets feel like too much of a commitment, consider another major trend: two-tone kitchens. This can be a mix of wood and white (or color), or a pairing of two colors—one for the upper cabinets and one for the lower, or one for all of the cabinets and another for the island. Greens and blues remain a popular pick, bringing a sense of the outdoors in.
3. High-Impact Backsplashes
That pop of color could also appear as a statement-making backsplash. Georgie Smith and Hilary Gibbs, co-founders of tile company LIVDEN, are seeing an uptick in bold, vibrant backsplash tile, particularly designs that feature organic shapes, like their Honeysuckle and Pebbles styles. For a budget-friendly update, the duo recommends using this type of tile on a smaller scale, having it extend just behind the range, rather than wrapping your whole kitchen walls in it. “This creates an impactful focal point,” they explained.
4. Dark (But Not Quite Matte Black) Accents
Matte black has been popular for a while, but Emily Henderson’s design team is seeing more and more dark bronze and blackened steel. It catches the light and offers a moody element to the room without skewing modern farmhouse. It can also make for an interesting surprise-and-delight moment, like when it’s used in this Signature Accents undermount sink.
5. Hipstoric Heritage Rugs & Runners
Hipstoric Heritage—an aesthetic that blends historic, 20th-century interiors with modern eclectic accents—are trending big time, and that vibe extends to the kitchen. The easiest way to do this? Add a Persian or vintage-looking rug or runner to space. It'll provide a little relief for your feet as you cook, particularly when paired with a rug pad, and the worn pattern can hide stains. (We're fond of this Chris Loves Julia x Loloi “Jules” design, shown above.)
6. Sustainable Features
While style preferences differ, one trend is emerging across the board: People want sustainable features—like energy-efficient appliances and windows, more water-efficient fixtures and LED bulbs—in their homes (92 percent of those Houzz surveyed used ‘em, in fact). It makes sense: If you’re spending all that money upgrading your kitchen, you might as well use materials that help lower your bills (and help the environment) in the long-term, right?
7. Docking Stations
The kitchen isn’t just the heart of the home; it’s the hub. And as such, your phone should never run out of juice mid-recipe. Nearly one in two renovations (49 percent, to be exact) include a docking station in the kitchen. Installing one in a lower cabinet can give your junk drawer all-new purpose.