The kitchen is often the heart of a home, and this sentiment seems to have grown over the past two years. With more time spent at home—and, as a result, more time spent in the kitchen—buyers are looking for spaces that can both support and inspire their daily lives.
“This year, a lot more was asked of a kitchen than ever before. Kitchens were used heavily as pandemic closures became the norm and, in many cases, kitchens doubled as work spaces,” says Mia Cottet, Luxury REALTOR, Sotheby’s International Realty – Los Feliz Brokerage. Heavy usage and the need for the kitchen to act as a transitional space have led to the emergence of several notable design trends.
Neutral tones and minimalism remain popular, but with accents of the outdoors
Sleek styles and clean lines remain popular among buyers, but agents have also noticed the addition of more organic, natural elements. “White is always popular in new construction, or for a quick fix-up before a sale, but this year brought more warmth—wood finishes, pops of color, and tile backsplashes extending all the way to the ceiling, creating texture and interest,” says Cottet.
“The Shaker kitchen style has been redesigned and modernized with the use of metal frames and glass doors,” says Sonja Stevens, Senior Global Real Estate Advisor for Sotheby’s International Realty – Palm Beach Brokerage. Stevens has seen an increase in a combination of materials being used in one kitchen, like wood, glass, and stone, as well as the use of “light grays and woods combined with Nordic wood finishes.” Cottet has also noted similar trends, such as the use of accent wallpaper featuring flora and fauna patterns: “These trends reflect the need to bring the outdoors in and create the festive feel of a boutique hotel at a time when everyone is experiencing pandemic fatigue.”
With so much time spent at home, the kitchen has inadvertently become a space where more than just cooking happens—it’s an office space, a homeschooling space, and the room where most of the living happens. As a result, buyers want kitchens that can reflect their changing needs. “Convertible uses of space—nooks doubling as desks and printers tucked into cabinets, plugged in and ready to go—were evident in kitchens of all sizes [this year],” notes Cottet.