Kitchen Design Predictions

Published: December 13, 2021

Many months spent cooking at home has spurred a renewed desire to invest in the kitchen. Whether it’s the sourdough starter we’ve been nurturing since March 2020 or a burgeoning need for upgraded storage, the pandemic has shaped the future of the kitchen. Designers are talking about trends toward vibrant colors, sleek islands with hidden drawers, wine fridges, talking refrigerators and more. Three talents from across the country share their kitchen design predictions below.


kitchen design bakes crop

Photograph by Bakes & Kropp

From Bob Bakes, Co-Founder and Head of Design, Bakes & Kropp, New York and Plymouth, Mich:


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I’m excited to see that people are becoming increasingly more experimental in their design choices, from mixing metals to integrating a variety of textures. This broadened, more inspired vision for design is resulting in spaces that demonstrate a clever and thoughtful balance of different looks.

Structured Modernism

2022 will be a continuation of the sense of expression we are seeing in 2021. People are steering clear of true minimalism and are opting for a structured modern twist with some softer elements. We will continue to see a trend toward vibrancy and expression.

Color Expression

In 2022, we will see a continuation of color expression in kitchen design as people are accessing their need for a bit of extra movement and boldness. I do believe the classic all-white kitchen is as relevant as it ever was, but there’s a new need and demand for color that will continue its momentum well into 2022.

The Open Floor Plan Isn’t Dead

The open-plan concept is contingent on space, but generally we are still seeing a desire for open floor plans. The need to delineate the kitchens as a separate room is an old concept, and I don’t think it’s making its return quite yet.


kitchen design maydan architects

Maydan Architects; photograph by John Sutton

From Mary Maydan, Principal of Maydan Architects, Palo Alto, Cal:

Open Shelves

In many European kitchens we see fewer upper cabinets and more open shelves, which provide an opportunity to display decorative kitchen items and create the warmth of a living space without the clutter. In the new collections from Italy, we see not only floating shelves on the walls but also hanging shelves suspended from the ceiling. I believe we will see these trends come to the U.S. as well.

Appliances That Talk

A couple of years ago I was introduced to the “smart” kitchen faucet that speaks and listens. It seems that appliances and plumbing companies are working hard on these technologies, and the trend will continue to increase in 2022. You have to look at it with a little humor; you consult with the faucet about the water temperature, and you discuss the food ingredients with the fridge. People definitely have company when cooking in today’s kitchen!

Sleek Islands and the Art of Concealing

Minimalistic islands are not a new trend, but they are becoming even more sleek. New technologies and hardware enable us to design islands that look exceptionally clean. With this new hardware, we can have large doors that conceal parts of the kitchen, such as counters, appliances and even kitchen island seats. On the outside, the look is continuous and homogeneous, and only upon opening the concealing doors are these elements exposed.

LED Lighting

LED lighting has made a huge difference in the way we illuminate the kitchen. Elegant strips can be used at the toe kick, under shelves or in the ceiling. They are uniform, beautiful and functional. LED enables us to use decorative hanging fixtures for ambiance rather than the heavy lift of lighting the space.


kitchen design fresh twist studio

Fresh Twist Studio; photograph by Aimee Mazzenga

From Betty Brandolino, Founder and Creative Director of Fresh Twist Studio, Elmhurst Ill:


We are seeing more color in kitchen design these days. White isn’t out, but we are implementing painted or natural wood islands as opposed to an all-white kitchen. Some of our customers are even asking for entire kitchens with painted cabinets. Green has been the color of choice, ranging from a sage green to an olive green and even a brighter green. I would also say if a client still wants a classic white kitchen, the shade of white they tend to choose is becoming warmer and not as bright as in years past.

Hidden Pantries and Open Shelving

We are designing more hidden pantries to house appliances, such as toaster ovens, mixers, extra dishes, etc. This also allows us to incorporate more open shelving and less overhead cabinetry, which is a trend we’ll see more of in the coming year.

Specialized Appliances

Customers are also asking us to incorporate specialized appliances, such as steam ovens, wine fridges and latte machines, which speaks to the attention we’ve been giving to our life in our homes. That attention will certainly persist throughout 2022.

Kitchen Door Styles

Lastly, we are seeing a shift in the kitchen door style to include more flat paneling or a minimal profile.


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