Feb 3, 2024 - Real Estate

All-white kitchens are out. D.C. design pros say do this instead

Data: National Kitchen & Bath Association 2024 survey; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: National Kitchen & Bath Association 2024 survey; Chart: Axios Visuals

After years of muted farmhouse-style kitchens, 2024 ushers in an earthier era, with greens, blues, natural wood tones and warm metals.

Why it matters: The kitchen sells the house! And even if you're not selling, you might be up for a refresh.

Driving the news: The National Kitchen and Bath Association's annual report, which surveyed around 600 design professionals across the U.S., reveals sleeker, warmer, more contemporary designs will dominate in the years to come.

State of play: You don't need to tear out your kitchen to experiment with fresh design elements.

Green cabinets, a creamy white island, contrasting counters and a built-in prep station keep Tanya Smith-Shiflett's personal kitchen fresh and modern. Photo: Stacy Zarin Goldberg
Green cabinets, a creamy white island, contrasting counters and a built-in prep station keep Tanya Smith-Shiflett's personal kitchen fresh and modern. Photo: Courtesy of Stacy Zarin Goldberg

DMV's Tanya Smith-Shiflett, founder of Unique Kitchens and Baths, has a few tips to combat an all-white kitchen.

  • If you're unsure about committing to a bold new color, try it on your backsplash first. It's affordable and low-lift.
  • For an earthy makeover, opt for natural countertops like granite or soapstone. Cabinets can be natural wood or painted dark green.
  • Try for three kinds of metals in the kitchen. An example: Stainless steel appliances, aged brass knobs and an oil-rubbed bronze faucet.

The big picture: Color, especially green and blue, is making its way back into home design, a rebellious reaction to years of bright white and muted grays.

  • The goal of warmer, earthier tones is to create a sense of "nature, calm and harmony," per the report.
The main island is a creamy white with black counters, and the attached work station has white counters, a wood base and has a slightly lower profile. Photo: Stacy Zarin Goldberg
The main island is a creamy white with black counters, and the attached workstation has white counters, a wood base and a slightly lower profile. Photo: Courtesy of Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Zoom in: Experts surveyed sense casual dining areas, sneaky appliance storage (hello, appliance garage), expanded islands and dedicated beverage stations will be big, too.

  • Of note: Pinterest searches for "coffee bar styling" were up 1,125% from September 2021 to August 2023, per data the platform shared with Axios.

Bottom line: More playful, nature-inspired design is in.

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