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Expert Contributor

If you’re about to upgrade your kitchen with a makeover, you may still be casting about for ideas that will help you make this project something you and your family can get excited about.

One of the best ways to figure out how your kitchen can be improved in terms of appearance as well as function is to take a look at the home improvement trends of 2016. This review of trends in kitchen design for the year is meant to shed some light on big changes that you can make to give your kitchen a great new look.

Natural and Neutral Materials

This year, we see natural materials growing popular along with the use of neutral colors in kitchens. It’s no wonder, since these are timeless ways to class up your kitchen. Consider that starting out with a neutral foundation gives you and your family extra options for how you will decorate the room.

Hardwood Floors

Homeowners have shown their affection for hardwood flooring in a trend that continues to grow in 2016 and we expect it will be this way for the foreseeable future. In particular, people are looking for rich tones in their floors and are showing a preference for dark wood finish. The experts at the World Flooring Covering Association have called attention to the design principle that floors with a natural look are appealing because they show off interesting looking grains and texture in the wood.

Vinyl Floors with a Cleaner Aesthetic, Emphasizing Luxury

Another emerging trend has people using less grout in favor of a sleeker, cleaner look. Despite all the wear and tear that occurs with family members trouping in and out of the kitchen each day, a trend has emerged to put in luxurious vinyl floors. Popular kitchen floor tiles have increase in size, with cooks preferring 36-by-36 inch tiles over traditional 1-foot square tiles.

Cabinets with a Modern Approach

Changing your cabinets is an easy way to quickly upgrade the look of your kitchen. Cabinet doors that close softly grew popular in 2016 and if you have rambunctious children who are always making noise when they get items from the kitchen, you’ll appreciate this option. Homeowners are also putting in cabinets with a more contemporary feel to make the kitchen more appealing, with frosted cabinets being a prime example of classy look that sets your kitchen apart from drab designs.

Hiding Appliances

Not everything needs to be out on the counters in your kitchen. A big trend is to install appliances that are concealed until you need to use them. This includes putting a microwave oven inside a drawer, hiding the refrigerator behind what looks like a cabinet and storing coffee making equipment in a compartment so it’s not always out on display.

Stovetop Controlled by Touching and Swiping

Smartphone and computer tablet owners have become accustomed to tapping and swiping the screens of their devices to control and interact with them. A new trend in 2016 has homeowners installing touch-swipe controls for the stove. All you do is drag your finger across the control surface to adjust the temperature in each zone, which is much easier and more intuitive than grasping and turning a less precise physical knob.

As we approach the New Year, it’s useful to reflect on kitchen design trends that emerged during 2016. From putting in new flooring to upgrading kitchen cabinets or hiding your appliances when not in use, there are a number of design ideas that appealed to homeowners this year that you will want to consider implementing when you give your own kitchen a makeover.


Dave C. has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism degree from San Francisco State University. He has been freelancing for more than 15 years, and was on staff as an editor at two magazines. He was also a founding editor for Harpoon, a local humor magazine based in San Francisco. Dave has written thousands of articles on a variety of topics for websites and numerous print publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Popular Science, Wired, OMNI, The Net, Diabetes Interview, Mobile Home Monthly, Video Guide, Food and Beverage Journal, S.F. Weekly, Aquarium Fish Magazine, Carnegie Mellon Magazine and The Optimist.