2016 Kitchen Trends – It’s Getting Personal

Wondering about 2016 kitchen trends? Last week, I attended the International Builders Show (IBS) in Las Vegas, which included the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS).  Let me tell you: I LOVED so many of the new looks and products that were introduced at the show.



I noticed four dominant 2016 kitchen trends. It’s all good news, as far as I’m concerned!

1) More Color

White kitchens are still going to be the standard, but color is the choice for those comfortable pushing the envelope. The most popular and most on-trend color for cabinetry at KBIS? Dark, moody blue. It’s the new black!

dark blue kitchen cabinets


Beyond the blues, greens were big: gray-greens, mint green, and teal.

teal kitchen design


Where there were wood cabinets, they were paired with colorful islands or backsplash tile.

teal island


Laundry rooms were colorful and all about personality. You might as well enjoy the time you spend in there, right? Notice there is wallpaper in the backs of these cabinets.

mint green laundry room kbis

 wood plank laundry walls


2) Mixing Colors on Cabinetry

mint green navy kitchen kbis


Sure, we’ve seen a mix of neutrals on upper and lower kitchen cabinetry. And an accent color on islands, but THIS is new:  the 2016 kitchen trends include actually mixing cabinetry colors like this beautiful navy and mint green kitchen design demonstrates.

blue green kitchen kbis


This was my FAVORITE kitchen at KBIS, and I was salivating over the wallpaper, too! There was actually quite a bit of wallpaper featured in kitchens there.

kitchen wallpaper kbis

Check this kitchen design out. Dark and light cabinetry mixed side-by-side, and ORANGE in the backs of the glass front cabinetry! Now, that’s a bold statement.

mixing colors in kitchen cabinets


And some of the glass front cabinetry in the same kitchen was backed in THIS:

wallpaper open kitchen cabinets


Here’s another kitchen design that featured mixed cabinetry colors, just not as boldly as the one I just showed you:

mixed kitchen cabinets


3) Furniture Detailing

Furniture detailing is definitely in the 2016 kitchen trends. Kitchen cabinetry, shelving, and banquettes have the look of stand-alone furniture.

built in kitchen banquette

Masterbrand Cabinets 

See how the legs on this cabinetry make it look like a piece of furniture? Such a custom look:

furniture details kitchen design

Mudrooms have become a given nowadays – they are simply expected in new builds. Notice how the curved brackets make it feel like furniture?

kbis mudroom design

It’s timely that Laurel Bern recently posted about the “unkitchen” movement in design, because that’s what I saw at KBIS this year!


4) Gold and Copper

Although polished nickel was the most popular metal I saw at KBIS, gold and copper are the options for the trend-setting crowd. I love using black/white with gold to create a retro yet modern look.

black kitchen cabinet design kbis


gold brass kitchen faucets


There were many examples of copper sinks:

copper sink kbis


round copper sink


And THIS was my favorite! Wish I had a place for this piece of art from Thompson Traders:

thompson traders copper sink


What do you think of the 2016 kitchen trends? Are you excited to see the variety in color and materials, or is it all too much?

2016 kitchen trends


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25 thoughts on “2016 Kitchen Trends – It’s Getting Personal

  1. Liz says:

    Eww, eww, and eeeewwww.., This will all be out of style in a few years. I’ll stick with the super safe white. Resale, resale, resale…

  2. Phyllis E says:

    Interesting article, Kristie. I was hoping, though, to see that honey-maple kitchen cabinets were going to be back in style so I wouldn’t have to paint them in order to get top- dollar when we put our home on the market, LOL! (I’d probably have to wait 30 years for that to happen, if it ever does!)

    In your opinion as a home stager, about how long does it usually take for the latest, cutting-edge trends in kitchen design, such as these, to “trickle” down to the average, mid-price home buyers’ awareness and become something that they would even really want in their kitchens? If you are going to paint your kitchen cabinets before selling your home, for instance, would it still be “safer” to go with all white? I wonder if the average joe still thinks anything brass or gold is hopelessly “out of style”, as another example! (Just curious, as I sit here contemplating painting our brass-framed fireplace glass doors!)
    By the way–I don’t know if you realized it, but at the bottom of this post, under “related”, you have a link to your article, “Why White Kitchen Cabinets are the Right Choice” from back in 2011!! Pretty funny and ironic, don’t you think! I went back and reread the article and those white kitchens still look gorgeous to me; since I don’t have a white kitchen I’m not tired of the look yet! I can appreciate, though, how designers must get tired of the same old, same old!

    I do like some of those colors from the show; though, never having a big budget myself, I would be afraid to choose anything for my own kitchen thatmight tend to go out of style quickly. I like the idea of wallpapering the inside of the cabinets–it would be an easy change-out when it did go out of style, so I really like that idea! I love the turquoise and coral color combo (didn’t you predict, not too long ago, that that would be an “on trend” color combo ?)
    By the way, I wanted to tell you that I asked for your book, “Psychological Staging” for a Christmas present, and happily received it and have enjoyed reading several times. I keep it by my computer and love flipping through it. I will be using it as a reference as we are hoping to put our home up for sale this spring! Is it possible to get the names of some of the paint colors that were used in some of the “after” photos? Thanks so much.

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      White kitchens are definitely the safe way to go – still timeless and very popular!!!! Tradeshows like these typically feature the edgiest new products – and you’re right, not every one of them will find their way into “average” homes. This mixed color look is really geared to big budget kitchens – people who have no problem dropping the big bucks to change out their kitchen every 7-10 years! Or for that forever home. I really need to repaint our white cabinets – it’s been over 18 years since they’ve been painted. I really might consider doing something really personal and interesting with the colors since I have NO PLANS ON MOVING – EVER.

      As for the brass/gold question, the “hot” gold finish is definitely different than the 80’s brass. I’d paint out that gold with black on your fireplace screen, if I were you (make sure to get paint impervious to high heat). Believe me, that new gold is coming out in every brand there is – it WILL trickle down eventually to Average Joe.

      I’m so glad to hear you are enjoying the book, Phyllis – thank you so much for telling me so!!! If you have time, I’d love it if you’d give me an Amazon review: http://www.amazon.com/Psychological-Staging-Home-Secrets-Decorologist%C2%AE/dp/1500795550/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1453836737&sr=8-1&keywords=psychological+staging

      Thank you, dear, and have a great week!

  3. Leslie Anderson says:

    Thank you for an informative article and GREAT photos! I LOVE the black cabinets with the gold hardware! I have never been one to stick to a “resale” kitchen. You spend so much time there it has to be one of your happy places and if colored cabinets make you happy then go for it! I currently have three different cabinet colors in my kitchen which was featured in a local kitchen and bath magazine a few years back. People love it so I look at it as a positive for resale! Thanks again and nice to see you at RESA!

  4. Betsy says:

    It is so nice to see the great wallpaper! Krisitie, would you please write an article on current wallpaper trends for those of us who want to replace our current (ugh) wallpaper? Thanks for all of your great design articles.

  5. Robin says:

    I love the subtle mixed cabinetry in the neutral shades. I love neutrals and generally gravitate towards them. If you’re in the mood for color you can always add it in with other items. I also love the banquett picture. So so pretty with those paneled insets. So exciting!! I’m not much for ca-razzy colors lol but I enjoy change and really appreciate your sharing your findings with us. I love new ideas!

  6. Kelly says:

    Great timing! I am forwarding this to my client who I am working with on kitchen. Nice to see new ideas BUT of course they are going dark with the cabinets because they want more people to buy into the idea. If everyone is happy with white, they will not be making any sales.

  7. Betsy OShea says:

    Sorry, just Not a fan of any of those kitchens…..especially with really dark cabinets. I do like the return to warm golds and brushed brass. No, it’s not the ultra shiny 80s brass thankfully but it’s so pretty. Who doesn’t like Gold (kitchen jewelry)? The laundry rooms were creative and I’m liking the trend towards larger scale wallpaper particularly in small rooms: powder rooms. Entry halls, laundry rooms, pantries. Perfect for often boring small spaces. Loved Laurel Berns recent post on “un- kitchens” which are also more cost efficient and attainable than the over styled, mantle over the range “perfect” kitchens of the last 2 decades. Plus they have so much more personality. Last comment: WHITE KITCHENS RULE! I hand painted my 1980s orangey oak cabinets white last year. The improvement makes me happy every day. Another benefit: easy to change out color scheme any time!

  8. Jenny B. says:

    I love the kitchen with mint and navy! And that sliding door on the pantry cupboard… Love it too! I’m not sure about the furniture feet. They’ve been around for a while, and they do look nice, but I wouldn’t want to have to clean around them. Things with feet need to be movable. 🙂

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Well, now you are just being practical, Jenny!!! I suppose you are right about the feet, except I think the built-ins I saw actually have a toe kick – they just put the feet in front of it so it looks more like furniture. So it may not be as impractical as it sounds . . .

  9. Lynn says:

    Any ideas on kitchen appliances? I recently read on another blog that white appliances are coming back and that they’re really hot in Europe right now. That would be good news because my appliances are all white. My dishwasher and range hood need to be replaced and I cant decide whether to just replace those two things in white or swap out everything for stainless.

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Yeah, white is good! Slate is trending, but I don’t necessarily love it – darker and less shiny than stainless. I just bought new appliances in white with a “statement” black gas stove.

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