Kitchen Trends 2022 with all the information you’ll find here is now available in magazine format, FREE to your inbox!
Learn the 7 kitchen trends for 2022 and the 3 key themes that will drive trends in the years to come.
Oh, KBIS, how we’ve missed you!
Every year the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) puts on the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (also known as KBIS). Co-located with the International Builder’s show, it is part of Design and Construction Week (DCW), when brands from around the world bring their latest innovation and preview what is new or coming to the market in the coming year. Kitchen & Bath designers, contractors, builders, architects and trades come from around the country, in addition to media and influencers who cover the event.
The purpose of the show is to promote learning & networking, introduce products & technologies, and open up conversations about what is going on in the industry. What trends are forthcoming? What problems are we solving for? How are we solving them? And what innovation do we need to bring to the forefront of discussion and awareness? There are educational seminars, product launches, initiatives and inspirational displays. Designers and specifiers get to experience products firsthand and establish relationships with suppliers for resources.
What was most significant about this year’s show is that it was the first in-person industry gathering in over 2 years. There was some understandable apprehension about safety, and the event organizers worked tirelessly to create an environment that felt reasonably safe to attend. And the response was overwhelming! Even in the middle of one of the busiest years we’ve seen in a long time, the attendee count was over 60,000.
Each year, I come back and sort through my notes and photos (and there are over 1000!) to tease out the threads that feel most important as takeaways. It’s a combination of trendspotting, forecasting, and spotlighting innovative solutions.
Before we dive into what’s trending, I want to mention that there were a lot of conversations happening around wellness, sustainability, and smart home technology.
I have not listed these themes in the trends discussion below, because I consider them to be the center of an industry-wide shift that will be growing and evolving for the foreseeable future. All three will certainly play a role in the way we think about the home and create products and solutions moving forward. And they have most definitely influenced many of the trends for 2022.
For example, Beko Appliances has made healthy living, environmental quality and sustainability part of their core mission, and just announced their industry-leading Healthy Kitchen Council, a panel of design, nutrition and health experts, whose goal is to inform product development that truly makes a difference in the way we live.
Products in several categories — and particularly for their innovative solutions around the topics of home technology, sustainability and healthy living — were nominated for the coveted Best of KBIS award, and they are all worth checking out in more detail here.
So what were my top takeaways from KBIS 2022?
Well, I’ve narrowed it down to the 7 Trends for 2022 in Kitchen Design and in Bath Design. This post is all about 2022 Kitchen Trends, and I’ve written a separate wrap up post for 2022 Bath Trends.
So let’s take a look!
1. A SEA OF BLUES AND GREENS
2022 Kitchen Color Trend: blues and greens
By far, blues and greens were the colors of choice – in shades ranging from the palest whispers to bright and unapologetic. While they are not new to this year’s show, they were certainly in abundance in 2022.
Probably THE most photographed kitchen at this year’s show was the Iris Apfel -inspired GE Cafe space, designed by T.K. Wismer of Department of the Interiors. Celebrated by Cafe as a “beacon of self-expression”, Apfel is the perfect muse for this over-the-top expressive space. With a custom mosaic tile hood, bold contrast, big color and whimsical oversized lighting, this space is as personal as it gets. Note this kitchen includes a large amount of black and white, which is still trending as well.
We’ll continue to see blues and greens as the strongest color trends, because they’re nature-based colors that calm and restore. We’ll increasingly see mixed metals and wood together with these colors too.
Color and personalization
Cookie-cutter spaces – and designs that are dictated by mass-produced sameness – are a thing of the past. From custom cabinet colors to personalized mosaics, statement lighting to mix-and-match fixtures and handles, you can truly create a one-of-a-kind space that fits and reflects you – and is as personal as the rest of the home.
Whether you’re a minimalist or maximalist, lean modern or traditional or somewhere in between, the options to personalize your look are better than ever: we have faucets and hardware with mix and match finishes and materials; the ability to create custom tile mosaics, more and more statement hardware and lighting, and a broader range of appliance options, from professional style to fully integrated.
Never have the options been more customizable or flexible.
And, color is not limited to cabinets and tile: BlueStar introduced a host of new appliance front color options, including range knobs and bezel finishes, and Kucht already offers changeable appliance fronts in multiple colors.
The kitchen, like the rest of the home, should be inspired by — and a reflection of — the personalities in the home.
2. Arches and Lines
Arch you Lovely?
Just as the nature-inspired blues, greens, and wood tones are at the forefront of the color story, the arch is the shape of the moment, as is the double-ended arch, or oblong.
By incorporating arches, we add both softness and drama. The oblong – aka pill shape – is a rectangle with rounded corners, and is an emerging trend that maintains a modern feel and works well with repetition such as vanity mirrors.
In addition to arches, strong vertical lines were everywhere at the show, particularly in spaces that are otherwise very horizontal in their nature. But what’s most notable is the type and repetition. We’re seeing narrow vertical lines with lots of repetition, to creates textural interest and great balance. Like us, these vertical lines are better in a community!
Repetition is key
A great example at the Caesarstone booth was this bath space.
Note the narrow vertical orientation of both the mirrors and sconces that balances the wide space and horizontal layout and draws the eye up. But the star is the wall treatment created with narrow strips of contrasting quartz in a yin/yang balance that still feels restful due to the horizontal color banding.
These reeded wood panels are another way to create great textural interest. They’re as well suited to a curved application as they are to functioning as cabinet fronts and feature wall treatments.
3. LINEAR KITCHENS.
Speaking of using verticals to balance a wide space:
The linear kitchen is an open-sided island version of the galley kitchen that’s both clean and inviting. The range hood is the centerpiece, with refrigeration and ovens creating balanced bookends, and the island creates an invisible wall that provides valuable storage, seating, and flexible workspace.
The traditional island is being replaced by what some of my clients have jokingly referred to as a ‘continent’. It’s a long island that runs parallel to the primary kitchen wall. This allows for a linear kitchen that is open on one side for easy gathering and entertaining, and readily flows into adjacent living spaces.
The linear kitchen isn’t a new concept. It has typically been a more modern and minimal approach, but it’s gaining in popularity, and certainly stood out as a trend at this year’s show.
There are two major reasons for this:
#1: More cooks in the kitchen.
The linear kitchen creates zones and is multi-functional. The traditional triangle is still present, but may be secondary to the way these spaces are designed with zones in mind that allow everyone to participate in preparing meals. The linear layout with a long island feels open and balanced, and allows for flow, connection and conversation.
The kitchen is the workhorse of the home, and often the information hub, shared workspace, and multi-purpose room. The linear kitchen, with its long expanse of large counter, creates a flexible work surface for myriad functional uses that is easy to access and clean. It also eliminates the inside corner of an L- or U-shaped space in favor of more usable counter space.
#2: The kitchen is becoming more and more of a living space.
No longer a utilitarian space that is boxed in with cabinetry, the kitchen is beginning to integrate into the adjacent living spaces. It is a gathering place to linger over conversation, and in an open plan the linear kitchen easily flows into other spaces.
Entertaining is the new going out… and we want our homes to feel share-worthy! One big takeaway from the big “stay at home” period we’ve all shared is that we have a new appreciation for time spent with loved ones. We value home cooking and want it to be an enjoyable and social experience.
We want to be fully at home in our spaces, and we want others to be at home when they are with us. The linear kitchen is open-sided so that it is incorporated into the surrounding spaces, creating flow with other areas and giving guests ample space to hang out and lend a hand without the kitchen becoming overcrowded.
4. NATURE-INSPIRED ELEMENTS.
Owing to the growing focus on wellness in the built environment, we are seeing a surge of nature-inspired elements in both design and product development. It’s a refined rustic aesthetic that is still clean and modern, but also warm and cozy.
- Colors: Blues, Greens
- Natural wood: the trending brown
is showing up in floors, cabinetry, furnishings, countertops,
and even backsplashes
- Mixed metals
- Curves: arches and organic shapes
- Textures: matte, honed and imperfect surfaces,
knurled metal, coarse textures,
- Bringing the outdoors in
Nowhere in the show was this better displayed than at the Monogram booth.
Monogram, under the creative direction of Richard T. Anuszkiewitz, created the “Villa Monogram” concept at this year’s show, which showed kitchen centers blended seamlessly into living spaces.
In the living and dining concept shown here, appliances are worked in like furnishings. The refrigerators are concealed behind doors that look like stacked wood niches. There is a prototype rotisserie oven on the fireplace wall, and a range at the back to finish meals right in the dining space.
Notice the backsplash behind the range includes a mirrored niche, allowing the person standing at the range to see the room reflected, creating a more enjoyable cooking experience and a greater feeling of connection.
Wood and metal kitchen elements
We’ll see a growing number of kitchens with wood finishes, mixed with painted cabinetry and mixed metal finishes. While shaker is still popular, slab doors and flat panel doors with a minimal routed edge were the most common at the show, indicating a trend toward simpler and more modern styling. We’ll even see wood in the kitchen sink space thanks to the rise of the workstation.
Also big at the 2022 show: textured wood paneling, and flexible wood features such as ribbed wood panels that can create curves to soften a space.
Hardware is softening too – Emtek introduced a limited run of 3-D printed door handles called the “Galapagos Collection” with sea life – inspired designs; Belwith Keeler showed a collection of cabinet hardware with rich textures and even a bamboo-shaped pull; and Richelieu showed a leather pull collection.
Countertops Inspired by Nature
Quartz is getting better at mimicking natural stone, and the trend is toward low-sheen (matte or honed) finishes as well as leather textured surface finishes. These contribute to a luxury experience with a softer feel than a typical polished surface.
The added benefit of a low sheen countertop is that there is less glare from reflected light than with a typical polished countertop, which can reduce eye strain in the kitchen. Not every slab is available in a matte or honed finish, so it’s always good to confirm before making color selections.
Caesarstone launched several new nature-inspired colors in neutrals and greiges this year.
It Keeps Getting Better
Cambria launched their Inverness Collection, with several colors that include debossed veining (pictured). They have also introduced several thicknesses for a broad range of applications, including 6mm that can be thermoformed (molded using heat) for applications like the curved one shown here.
Thin slab options can also be used for applications such as shower surrounds, backlighting, backsplashes, and some can now be bookmatched.
Cosentino highlighted their HybriQ technology, which uses both raw and recycled materials, and launched their new Sunlit Days line, which is the first carbon neutral quartz product to market.
5. WORKSTATION SINKS
2022 Kitchen Trend: workstation sinks
Another growing kitchen trend in 2022 is the sink workstation: a zone in and of itself where you can wash, rinse, prep, chop and drain in one place.
It’s a great solution that is becoming more popular for several reasons:
- We are cooking at home more, which means more time spent in meal prep. The convenience of being able to do so in a single zone means we can complete the task with greater efficiency. And no more water being dripped across the floor or counter from rinse to prep station.
- There are more cooks in the kitchen (sound familiar? it’s a theme that plays out in more than one trend this year!) – so creating a self-contained workstation allows for more participation while reducing traffic and crowding in the kitchen space. Longer workstation sinks will include double faucets as well so two people can work in the same zone at the same time.
- It’s commonly a larger sink, which means it’s easier to contain everything for cleanup.
- It maximizes counter space. With all the accessories in place, the sink space is transformed into a work surface — and beautifully conceals the messy dishes until cleanup is done.
6. VIVA LA REFRIGERATION.
A consistent theme at this year’s show was thoughtfully designed, well-planned, and flexible refrigeration. The core takeaways from KBIS 2022 for refrigeration are: customization, integration, and precise food preservation.
We saw flexible refrigeration zones in many booths at this year’s show.
Signature Kitchen Suite introduced a 48″ built-in french door freezer that has 4 drawers, 2 of which have multiple temperature settings so you can use them for exactly what you need, and one has a dual icemaker that produces both standard ice and spherical craft ice.
Their refrigerators already stand out among peers due to their Inverter Linear Compressor, a uniquely different cooling system that is more efficient, quieter and more precise than traditional models.
They also include easy-adjust trays and shelves, and have lighting built seamlessly and invisibly into the shelves. With its metal interior that also helps keep the temperature precise while looking beautiful, this model creates the ultimate in luxury and flexibility.
Dometic introduced the Drawbar, a first-of-its-kind compact wine refrigeration drawer that fits in a 24 inch by 6 inch drawer space and holds 5 bottles.
Available in both a stainless front and a panel ready option, these wine drawers have multiple temperature settings depending on your flavor, and can be stacked in a single bank of drawers, creating a unique ability to customize your wine storage for optimum flexibility and wine preservation.
True Residential displayed a 78″ and a 90″ column configuration, each with a unified grille.
Monogram unveiled a bespoke appliance series by Richard T. Anuszkiewitz including built in refrigerators with customizable details such as leather pulls, upping the ante on luxury appliance features.
Integrated appliances fit flush into the surrounding cabinetry or niches, and can receive custom panels so they virtually disappear into the space.
Liebherr introduced several new fully integrated products, most notably some compact units that are perfect for smaller kitchens, bonus rooms, and/or accessory dwelling units (ADU’s).
Precise food preservation:
Especially after the last couple of years, we can all appreciate the value of refrigeration that can help preserve foods longer and maintain freshness and flavor. The topic is a growing trend in 2022 and we can expect to see more product introductions around this concept in the coming years.
Signature Kitchen Suite’s “true to food” tagline confirms their commitment to precise food preservation. With their inverter linear compressor and stainless interior panels, their products allow you to set – and count on – specific temperatures for each zone.
Beko has also launched a new initiative this year, partnering with Dole foods and several recognized industry leading experts in kitchen design, nutrition, and healthy living to create the healthy kitchen council. Their new refrigeration product due out this summer will include interior lighting that mimics natural sunlight to preserve nutrients and keep produce fresh for up to 30 days.
7. Outdoor kitchens are the one to watch.
Outdoor kitchens and living spaces are the trend to watch. And my prediction is that they will continue to grown in popularity, along with integrated indoor/ outdoor spaces.
Ideally, our indoor and outdoor environments should blend so harmoniously that they flow into one another as a continuous space.Crystal Hackl, Inspired Haven Design
This is a natural extension of our desire to create a space that not only feels like a staycation destination in our everyday lives, but that also supports special moments and creates opportunities for connection with our social circles.
In other words, outdoor kitchens and living spaces increase our capacity to enjoy life at home and entertain friends and family.
But it goes much deeper than that.
By creating living spaces outdoors, we are also increasing our connection with the natural environment, which can contribute immensely to our sense of well being, and can affect our wellness by encouraging us to spend time outdoors.
Why does this matter? Because no matter how comfortable and clean our indoor environment may be, the rich sensory experience of being immersed in natural elements has both a calming and restorative effect on all of us.
So the trend to watch for 2022 is outdoor living spaces. We are maximizing the built living space by extending it into the outdoors, for optimal enjoyment and wellness. In the coming year, I think we will see even more focus on outdoor living at all budget levels:
- Outdoor kitchens: weatherproof cabinets & appliances
- Mobile and built-in outdoor bars
- Pizza ovens
- Patio structures with the look and feel of natural wood and stone
- Freestanding fireplaces and chimineas
- Built-in gathering places with fire and water features.
- Patio lighting, fans and TV’s that create a true outdoor living space
AND That’s a wrap!
So, what was your favorite of the takeaways? Trends you are ready to embrace? What surprises you the most? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!