After the better part of a year in different degrees of lockdown, it’s EASY to imagine why we’re giving our kitchens some sideways glances.
Just think about the moment your outdated countertop started to bug you more after 300 days of eating in…
Or the too-small cabinets officially drove you NUTS when another week of groceries just wouldn’t fit.
And now, you’re painfully aware of how functionally challenged your cooking space is!
More than ever, as homeowners we’re reconsidering the entire layout of our kitchens these days. From appliances with life-changing benefits and “smart” connections to MAJOR trends in cabinetry, 2021 has a LOT to offer when it comes to kitchen updates…
If you ask me, I think 2021 will be the year of the kitchen saving us all. It’s where we’ll spend the most intimate time with those we love. It’s where we’ll redefine how we interact with food. It’s where we’ll save more money on food, too. And it’s where we’ll have that third cocktail on our next Zoom call!
Keep reading to see what 2021 kitchen trends I’m most excited about right now and be sure to tell me which ones stand out to you!!
1: Connected Appliances
We all want to be “smart.” But when it comes to intelligent kitchen appliances, how much is “smart” worth?
The popularity of connected appliances has grown exponentially the last few years, and in general the costs of appliances with this capacity has come down as a result. It’s still an investment, though, and the real question for homeowners is whether the smart appliance connections are worth it.
My advice? Look to your lifestyle to decide and ask yourself how much you value certain conveniences. For example, if any of the following scenarios seem like they’d take the edge off for you, or would make your life even a LITTLE easier, then connected “smart” appliances are worth looking at…
- Imagine you’re on your way home from the store and want to get a head start on preheating the oven. With smart appliances, you can do that from your phone.
- Picture an afternoon at work when you just can’t remember if you’re out of milk at home. Log into an app and see a camera feed from inside your refrigerator!
- If you’re outside entertaining one afternoon, or just relaxing, do you get up to check the oven? Or do you turn it on or off from your comfy perch with you cocktail?
- You’re cooking one day. Don’t want to touch your faucet with your chicken-covered hands? Ask Alexa to turn on this Delta faucet for you.
2: Steam Ovens
Steam cooking is trending upward—and fast. While this cooking method has been popular in Europe for years, in the United States, gas ovens have remained the favorite for generations.
The thing is…it’s actually pretty rare for a new cooking method to make such BIG waves. Steam cooking is truly something to look into if it’s caught U.S. homeowners’ attention, because making a dent in the gas oven market is no easy business!
Gas isn’t going away just yet, however, which is why we’ve seen an even newer trend in ovens with a built-in steam CAPACITY for steam cooking that aren’t steam-cooking exclusive. So, instead of having to do a water bath before baking something, you can just flip on the steam function on your multi-method oven and voila.
If you’re curious to learn what the appeal is with steam ovens, some of the top benefits include:
- Steam cooking retains more nutrients in your food
- Food also keeps more of its color when cooked in steam ovens
- Steam ovens also eliminate the need for oil (making for healthier cooking)
3: Food Preservation
Once you get into the higher-end refrigerators today, you start to read a LOT about food preservation.
It seems like 2021 trends aren’t only about cooking more at home…they’re also about cooking better, PLUS getting more from your food as well as your kitchen space.
But HOW can a fridge help with food preservation any more than it already does?!
It’s about more than just keeping consistent temperatures, I’ll tell you that.
For instance, a standard Whirlpool fridge-and-freezer box will use the same cooling filter and mechanism for the refrigerator that it does for the freezer, meaning you get a LOT of transfer of gases between the two compartments.
The gases I’m talking about, by the way, are those naturally release by food. It’s what makes stuff go bad.
Higher-end refrigerator options today like Monogram, Thermador and Sub Zero set themselves apart by using multiple filtering systems. They also come with guides on where to put food for maximum preservation. For example:
- Apples put off a lot of gas, so when you put them in the fridge, they should be alone (never next to other foods that easily spoil)
- Milk and eggs should never be stored in the door of a fridge since they need constant temperatures
- Keep raw meet and poultry on the bottom shelf of the fridge, and ALWAYS in sealed containers
4: Better (and More Beautiful) Cabinets and Organization
Reorganizing a space as crucial to your daily living as your kitchen brings HUGE benefits.
Whatever your ideal look and feel of kitchen organization, I’m sure that the current scene in your kitchen is NOT what you’re really after…if it were, you’d skip over this trend.
Even before the crazy 2020 we had, a lot of old ideas were getting thrown out in kitchen cabinetry. Function HAD to come with beauty…it wasn’t comfortable anymore to overlook practicality in the name of passing fads.
Kitchen islands, for instance, are starting to provide MORE practical space…the fact that there were EVER faux cabinets on islands stuns me. That’s prime real estate for storage!
The kinds of cabinets and cabinet inserts installed in your kitchen make a difference, too, and more homeowners have become drawn to these personalizations when designing cabinetry for their lifestyles.
For instance, take this kitchen remodel we did last year…while 94% of nationwide remodels made SOME change to cabinets last year, this family went all-out and personalized the whole layout of their storage.
That island, mind you, is the ULTIMATE example of really maximizing that storage space as well as functionality!!
Bigger pantries, too, have been part of the panoramic for kitchen storage in the last several months. I see this trend continuing in a BIG way through 2021…of those same remodels where changes were made to cabinets, for example, over a quarter of them involved adding more. This means that people are definitely looking to more storage as a central factor in the functionality of their kitchen space.
For an example of a no-holds-barred pantry install with all the room this household desired, just look at this project we’ve been working on!!
5: Flush-Mount Appliances
There are a lot of industry terms we throw around when it comes to installing appliances…
The trend I’m REALLY interested in for 2021 are flush-mount installs.
A flush-mount inset refers to any appliance installation where the appliance is on the same plane as the surrounding surfaces, whether those are your cabinets or countertops. Cooktops, ovens, fridges and dishwashers can all be installed this way, though it does require the manufacturer to make the appliance flush-mount capable.
If you’re going for a seamless or luxurious look in your kitchen, this simple detail will make a WORLD of difference.
Other appliance trends have followed suit with this sleeker look, too. For example, LOADS of refrigerators now are paneled instead of made to look like giant hunks of steel, blending the in beautifully to the cabinets around them…
Personally, I’m loving this trend!! Let me know what you think, too!
6: Colored Ranges
Along the lines of paneled fridges, there’s also a trend I’ve been totally enamored with in ovens…
Not only can you elect a STUNNING color to bring your appliances into your dream design, you can even change out handles and make loads more customizations we never could before. I’m really loving this!
This kitchen look leads to less stainless and more of “you” in your kitchen. Monogram and Wolf ovens are some of those we’ve seen pop up most in remodeling selections of late.
After the 2020 we just lived through, MANY of us have discovered things about our homes that no longer work for us.
During the early days of lockdowns, it was the more superficial stuff that drove us nuts.
Later on, though, it was some of the very design elements of our home that we realized were NOT supporting the lifestyle, look and feel we wanted to spend our lives in.
Home remodel projects have skyrocketed as homeowners have reached their breaking points, and to the benefit of everyone who’s remodeling today, these fabulous trends have risen with the demand for more lifestyle-centric remodels.
Integrate any one of these trends into your kitchen renovation, and I can assure you a return on enjoyment.