Kitchen trends with a nod to the past

How we plan and use our kitchens varies across cultures and across the years. Recently I spied an article on hidden kitchen appliances that described a trend of designers ‘hiding’ appliances such as microwaves and under-counter refrigerators behind a panel that looks like the rest of the kitchen cabinets. The article asked the question “why didn’t we think of this sooner?” Well, people did, just a little differently. Every up-to-date kitchen in the 1990s had an “appliance garage” where you could tuck away seldom used items like mixers or blenders. Panel dishwashers have been around for decades, as have refrigerated drawers with cabinet fronts. It’s not a tremendous leap to apply this logic to microwaves or wine fridges.

That article led me to wonder what else is trending in the world of kitchen design. The old adage ‘there is nothing new under the sun’ seems to apply, as painted cabinets in colors other than white are currently rising in popularity. When I was researching vintage kitchens before embarking on the remodel of my cooking space in a 1910s house, I found many sketches and photos of colored cabinets. Light green was a popular color, but I saw navy blue, yellow, and more.

Wallpaper in kitchens is coming back as well. When we tore out the cabinets a few months back, we discovered a very old paper that probably dated to the 1930s or 40s. I was surprised at the bold colors that we uncovered as we peeled back the layers. Someone had painted the insides of the cabinets a bright pinkish-red, the wallpaper had splashes of black, green and red, and the lower walls were given a faux-tile plaster treatment and painted a bold green.

Other trends to watch out for include ‘new’ surfaces such as travertine (hardly new), a renewed focus on natural wood finishes, rounded islands, and patterned tiles. I have noticed that items from the 1980s seem to be creeping back into clothing (hello acid washed denim!), but it is my hope that most of ’80s kitchen fashion stay firmly in the past.

Post a comment

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!