The Decorologist Reports 2017 Kitchen Trends

Last week I was invited to the NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association) meeting about 2017 Kitchen Trends, sponsored by Procraft Cabinetry, Caesarstone, and Richelieu. I took notes like crazy so that I could share some of what I’ve learned with you – now you can make the best choices in your kitchen renovations!

2017 kitchen trends


2017 Kitchen Trends: Cabinetry

Some of the top trends include painted cabinet in colors such as white, off-white, and gray, as well as light and dark greens and blues. Black cabinets are back in vogue, as well. Crown molding is actually on the decline in kitchens (this must be in contemporary kitchens??), but cabinets to the ceiling are a must – no more tchotchkes and trailing ivy above the cabinets! I always advise crown molding in the kitchen if the cabinets go to the top,  but just be sure to make it the same color as your cabinetry. If you have colored cabinets and white trim in the kitchen, the crown molding attached to your cabinets should be the same color as your cabinets. Then, you can transition to the room’s trim color at the corners where the cabinets stop. Like this:

crown molding like THIS

Painters will paint all the crown molding the same as the rest of the room if you don’t specify, like they did before I corrected them here:


While transitional is the most popular style of kitchens, contemporary currently comes in second place. Mid-century modern looks, as well as aluminum doors with glass inserts are trending. Metal cabinets are showing up, particularly with the younger demographic and for males. Tambour doors and aluminum frame doors are becoming more popular.  High gloss cabinets and black cabinets are emerging within this style, as well as smoked glass doors.

Procraft Cabinetry

Open shelving and floating shelves are seen in both farmhouse and industrial style kitchens, as well as European streamlined kitchens. There are also a lot of barn wood products being featured in kitchens, especially for that farmhouse feel. Pocket doors are trending, like this one in reclaimed barn wood from the House for Hope Designer Showhouse:


Other kitchen trends include inlaid butcher blocks in countertops and furniture detailing such as footed cabinets and furniture-like islands.

island design by The Decorologist


2017 Kitchen Trends: Islands

And speaking of islands, the kitchen island just keeps getting bigger! Double and triple islands, sometimes even in different colors, are gaining popularity. To avoid seams in jumbo-sized island countertops, you’ll have to get larger slabs than what we’re used to seeing. We spoke to a rep from Smokey Mountain Tops, and she told us that they can get jumbo quartz slabs that are 132 inches by 65 inches to avoid seams! Of course, it’s going to cost you a bit more, but the result will be much more sophisticated. Islands that are a different color and/or finish than the cabinets are still mainstream.

Kitchen by Carbine & Associates, design by Lucy Farmer, paint colors by The Decorologist


2017 Kitchen Trends: Appliances

While stainless steel appliances are still the most popular, black stainless is trending upwards. It’s a matte finish, so you’ll have much less trouble with fingerprints that you do with typical stainless steel. Appliances hidden behind cabinetry panels help keep kitchens from looking too choppy and are the choice for many high-end kitchen designs.

design by The Decorologist


2017 Kitchen Trends: Backsplash

Subway tiles are still going strong. However, 2017 kitchen trends will feature more textured, handmade versions, as well as different colors and sizes of tiles.

Kole Custom Home Builders


Geometric tiles are also trending, like honeycomb and penny tiles for backsplashes.

honeycomb tile, dark hardware pulls, and appliances behind panels – design by The Decorologist


Encaustic tiles (or less expensive ceramic versions) are gonna be BIG, y’all. Here’s a in-process photo of a long distance design client I’ve been working with for a while on her home’s paint colors and kitchen design.

encaustic tile trends in kitchens


2017 Kitchen Trends: Hardware/Metals

The rep from Richelieu reported hardware trending towards champagne bronze (which leans toward gold), copper, matte black, and polished chrome. We are also going to see some beefier pulls.


Mixing metals is encouraged! In fact, using a single metal in a kitchen looks pretty un-designed at this point. You’ll also be seeing iron strapping like a trunk on cabinets and stove range hoods.


2017 Kitchen Trends: Countertops

Bye-bye, granite. Quartz and quartzite countertops have FINALLY surpassed granite in popularity. With most of these products, no sealing, treatment or maintenance is required. They are scratch-, heat- and stain-resistant. And hygienic! You’ll see the growing popularity of quartz countertops that mimic marble, concrete, and soapstone.


Although I haven’t seen this used YET, I am intrigued by this new Caesarstone offering. Reminds me of my childhood neighbor’s groovy bathroom counter! In a very specific application, this could be very interesting . . .


2017 Kitchen Trends: Lighting

Kitchen ceilings are going taller, so we’re seeing lots of lighting trends, including recessed, hanging lights, and flush mounts in the kitchen. Hanging lights over islands continue to be oversized. You’re going to see lighting in cabinets, under cabinets, over cabinets, in the toe kick, in the drawers, and in corner cabinets. The great thing about this trend is that it is fairly cheap! A lot of the lighting can now be voice- or motion-activated, making it easier to keep messy hands off of the light switch. Even faucet lighting is a thing!

Kole Custom Home Builders – color design by The Decorologist

Here’s a tip:  if you have a gray backsplash (especially if it’s shiny or glass tile), be sure to use cool lighting underneath your cabinets.  A gray backsplash with warm lighting on it can turn it PINK, which is probably not what you’re going for!


2017 Kitchen Trends: Organization and Technology

The Huffington Post reports that cabinet organization is a major source of stress for homeowners. I concur! We’re going to be seeing a lot more lower cabinets with drawers. It’s just a lot more efficient to store items in drawers, since it is easier to get to the back of them. You’re going to see longer, wider, linear drawers to hold your items.

lighted pull-outs in base cabinets by Themsfly

Transforming furniture is an exciting trend in kitchens. How about an island that transforms into a kitchen table? Or step stools integrated into lower drawer panels that camouflage larger appliances? Mixer lifts will be more common behind closed doors, but don’t think that those lifts are only for mixers – they can hold your Keurig or heavy appliances, as well. Unfortunately, your darling colorful KitchenAid mixer would be hidden from sight.

Hardwood Creations

Technological advances are happening in the kitchen as well. Docking stations and internet-ready appliances are becoming part of the landscape of new kitchens.


Now tell me, what are your favorite 2017 kitchen trends? And did I miss anything?

My next Expert Psychological Staging™ course is this coming week, and I’m so excited! The June course is already beginning to fill up, so sign up soon if you are interested:



  1. JL

    You saved the best for last. Hidden technology chargers! My parents are remodeling their kitchen. I’m sending my mom a screen shot right now!

  2. Phyllis E

    The only problem with hidden phone and ipad charging stations is that we usually want to easily have access to those devices while they are charging- -to answer texts, calls, see notifications, etc!! (Except at night, of course, and then who wants to go down to the kitchen to plug them in, LOL!) Of course– wait—maybe it WOULD be a good thing NOT to be able to see them while they are charging, LOL! It would definitely be nice to find a way to keep all those cords off the counter tops somehow!
    As a home stager, Kristi, do you think that the encaustic tile is NOT a good choice for future resale value?They look like loud wallpaper when they are on a wall–and you know how much buyers love to buy homes with loud wallpaper, LOL! (When they are on the floor, they remind me of the gaudy vinyl flooring from the 1970’s that was trying to imitate Mediterranean tile (that was during the original Tuscan Trend–only it was called “Mediterranean Style” back then! My mom decorated our home in that style and that is probably why I never liked the Tuscan look, ha, ha! )
    Thanks for keeping us updated!

    • Kristie Barnett

      Phyllis – well, we make our daughters plug in their phones in the kitchen at night so they don’t take them to bed. Mr. Man does the same, although I do keep mine on the bedside table. I think it’s good to have a forced rest from the technology! Encaustic tile actually has history, much like subway tile does. It goes back, and was popular during Victorian times (mainly on the floor, though). So in a way, it’s a timeless trend that is back in favor. I love it, but no, I probably wouldn’t encourage someone to replace their backsplash with it with selling in mind. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and opinions, Phyllis!!! Have a great Sunday!

      • Susan Davis

        Hi Kristie, Phyllis kinda voiced my feelings re: encaustic tile. When it’s done well, I love it! Especially love old tiles in historic spaces. However, now that it’s trendy, I too am reminded of the vinyl flooring of the 70s and have a Just Say No moment 🙂

        • Kristie Barnett

          The difference is that the 70s stuff was a cheap imitation of encaustic tile. Did you know that “substitute” subway tile used to be faked with a stencil-type press into wet plaster in kitchens? That was actually done in my own kitchen in the 1940s! If you haven’t seen encaustic tile in person, it is simply beautiful.

          • Kathy

            That fake tile might actually be Alabastine, which is from what I’ve been able to figure out is something similar to a cross between Venetian plaster and chalk paint. It was sold in powder form to be mixed with water and sometimes linseed oil, depending upon application. If little liquid was added, it could be troweled and stamped or molded, most commonly like subway tile.. It would then be painted with Alabastine Water Enamel and white varnish in kitchens and baths. The company went out of business in 1948–too bad, there might be a modern market for it! It was used for all sorts of stenciling, marbling and other decorative long-lasting finishes. and

            Old literature says it uses calicined gypsum to take the place of calimine in wall coatings. Calimine is a type of coating that used to be used on plaster ceilings, ornamental plaster and whatnot because it could be washed off and recoated without obscuring ornamental detail. It also has to be scrubbed off before any other paint can be put over it. It appears the unlike Calimine (Kalsomine), Alabastine can be painted.

            Another early faux subway tile was magnesite which was made from magnesium oxide, sawdust, pigment and other materials. It was most popular as flooring that was troweled on and stamped. Rounded corners that didn’t catch dust could be formed and it is fireproof. It was also sometimes used as countertops. It was most popular in Spanish Revival type homes in California as a substitute for glazed ceramic tile, but was used in other regions and styles of architecture through about the 1920s or so. Today it is used mainly as a floor covering in naval vessels. The Purcell-Cutts house museum in Minneapolis is full of it in pristine condition, and has a rare circa 1911 entirely original kitchen (It was never remodeled).

          • Kristie Barnett

            Oh my goodness, Kathy, thank you so much for sharing this very interesting information!!! I am going to go dig into it now!!!!

    • Lisa W

      Oh I’m not selling anytime soon – this is a vacation home now but I will retire there someday. The backsplash is where I decided to indulge in a non-neutral item that I really love. Way easier and cheaper to change if I tire of it than other things are.

      • Kristie Barnett

        It’s going to be fabulous, Lisa! I’m not at all worried!!!

  3. Lisa W

    Hey that’s my kitchen :)! Kristie I picked the encaustic tile on the left – it’s on the way across the ocean now! I can’t wait!

    • Kristie Barnett

      Yay – I’m so glad you chose that one. It was definitely my favorite! Can’t wait to see it all come together, Lisa!

    • Paula VanHoogen

      I think you chose the more elegant of the two Lisa. You’ll not grow tired of that beautiful subtle look!

    • Susan Davis

      Lisa W–I love your tile choice 🙂 and your kitchen–so pretty!

    • Leslie Booth

      Was going to ask which tile they ended up going with! Beautiful~ hope you all share the “after” photos, if you don’t mind?! 🙂

  4. Lisa W

    Kristie, the stools in the photo about appliances – can you share where they are from or no? They look like some I saw at Arhaus and have been considering.

    • Kristie Barnett

      You mean the ones in the kitchen with blue subway tile?

      • Lisa W

        Yes :).

  5. Paula VanHoogen

    At first , in the kitchen with the blue subway tile, I thought it was too competitive with the counter top,. But when you ( or your photographer, pulled back for a vertical shot including the island, I got it! The religion of color there made perfect sense. You nailed it again, Kristie!

    • Paula VanHoogen

      Not the ” religion” — crazy auto – correct– the RELATIONSHIP!

  6. Susan Davis

    Re: Drawers and roll out shelves in base cabinets–YES! We retrofitted all of our base cabinets with Rev-A-Shelf two tier chrome ‘baskets’ and are amazed at how that simple change hugely improved the storage and functionality of our kitchen.
    Re: Cabinets to the ceiling. If I were building today, yes for style. But, at 5’1″, with 9′ ceilings, a ladder is needed, as is, just to reach our upper shelves! Anyways, I have a pretty extensive collection of vintage pottery in cream and white which I displayed across cabinet tops–it extends my creamy cabinets up–I like to think. So, my cabinet tops are “open shelving”–haha.

  7. Molly

    So glad to see lower drawers coming back.

  8. Leviticus Bennett

    I like the black stainless appliances that you mentioned are trending. I think another neat trend that has to do with appliances is the rise of smart-technology. Some newer appliances can be used with your smartphone or even be automated to work on their own.

  9. Maria

    So glad to read to have colorful cabinets back in trend. I always preferred my kitchen cabinets to have more color to just white or of-white. If you’re going for european style kitchen cabinets then I would recommend to go for Acrylic ones( I like the idea of adding subway tiles to kitchen.


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