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These Two Kitchen Styles Are Trending on Pinterest—And They Couldn't Be More Different

In 2015, designers shoved the modern farmhouse kitchen trend down our throats like a mama bird. Then— as a reaction to the pandemic—we were told that grey walls and gather signs are *out* (condolences, Chip and Jo) and to replace them with warm, earthy finishes and organic modern accents. So now, as we head into 2023, we’re seeing two very different design trends that tell the same (bold) theme: moody and whimsical kitchens.

According to a recent Pinterest report, searches for both “dark and moody kitchens” and “whimsical kitchens” have increased six times since August of 2021. What’s most interesting, however, is how completely opposite these looks are. On one hand, you have moody kitchens, which are all about understated sophistication and bold, minimal accents. Then, on the other, you have whimsical kitchens which involve jam-packing a space with pattern, color and artwork. 

Yet, despite their contrasting aesthetics, both looks share one important trait: color. Amber Shay, National VP of Design Studios at Meritage Homes, explains: “People are anticipating increased demand for bold colors as many look to add [brightness] to their [kitchens] following two years stuck at home for extended periods of time. The colors I’m most excited to see people use more are rich, moody colors, vintage and retro colors, and lots of shades of green. I also expect to see people using colors in unexpected ways throughout their homes, like creating a statement island in the kitchen or painting the ceiling [to] serve as a ‘fifth wall.’” 

So below, find a breakdown of each trend (plus some swoon-worthy kitchen pics that you’ll definitely want to save to your Pinterest board). 

MOODY KITCHENS

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Cambria Surfaces (Design:Chad Dorsey|Photography:Stephen Karlisch)

First, let’s just get one thing out of the way: a moody kitchen doesn’t necessarily mean a black kitchen (although, Pinterest searches for “black kitchen island ideas” have doubled since last year). While the look certainly incorporates darker tones (think: navy, chocolate brown, hunter green, etc.) it also incorporates a number of sleek natural materials—from marble to dark wood. 

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Shop by Amber Lewis Interiors

“I suggest bringing in more mixed materials, like different wood grains, metal, brass and marble,” says Amber Dunford, Overstock’s Style Director. Basically, the look serves as a compromise between rustic-glam, where moody hues and sleek surfaces are offset by wooden accents and natural materials. 

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deVOL Kitchens

Lorena Polon, senior design consultant at MandiCasa also adds: “When combining materials like solids and woods, it’s all about finding the right balance between the textures and finishes of all the elements within the space so that they blend seamlessly. For cabinetry, I recommend using cooler metal lacquer finishes because of their pearlescence and constant texture and mixing them with heavily textured natural materials like darker wood.”

WHIMSICAL KITCHENS

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deVOL Kitchens

Now, for a newstalgia meets cottagecore kitchen look that couldn’t be more opposite. This trend takes a more fun-loving, carefree approach where it incorporates everything from candy-colored hues (green, pink, blue and yellow) and boho patterns to retro artwork (or antique kitchenware that’s displayed as artwork). “Things are being introduced into the kitchen that we weren't seeing as much as before,” explains Dunford. “You can get this look by bringing in vintage style runners and hanging art in the kitchen and creating gallery walls.” 

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Farrow and Ball/Marin Montagut

To that end, Pinterest searches for “colorful bar stools” are up by 80 percent since 2021, and “refrigerator art” is up by 90 percent year-over-year. “I predict that designers will move past the farmhouse style of the past and evolve this trend in more graphic and modern options,” explains designer Hillary Matt. “We are already seeing this trend come to life in cottagecore style kitchens that utilize the open shelving to create a cozy, lived-in look.”

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Granada Tile

Nancy Epstein, founder and chairman of the board at Artistic Tile, also adds: “We’re seeing more ornate and colorful backsplashes, and in a continuing trend, those backsplashes are now going up the entire wall behind stoves and above countertops. Where designers once created smaller decorative panels, now they’re using more decorative elements on the entire backsplash.” The TL;DR? Welcome back, Moroccan tiles—we’ve missed you. 

The 7 Rules of Styling a Kitchen in 2022


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