Top Kitchen Trends for 2010

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR Magazine

white kitchen modern house mansionSo what’s cooking in the kitchen this year? The National Kitchen & Bath Association surveyed designers to reveal the top design trends for 2010.

Among the trends gaining popularity this year: Hide your appliances in kitchen drawers, whether dishwashers-in-a-drawer or undercounter refrigeration (drawers being used as refrigerators). More home owners are opting to tuck their appliances away so they don’t interfere with the design.

Also part of the appeal to dishwashers-in-a-drawer is their convenience with the capability of washing small loads of dishes in each drawer, which saves water and electricity.
Here are some of the other top kitchen trends for 2010:

Color: Shades of white and off-whites are the most common kitchen colors, followed by brown, beige, and bone hues.

Cabinetry: The most popular wood for kitchen cabinetry remains cherry, followed by maple. In the decline: Painted cabinetry and light natural finishes and distressed finishes.

Design style: Traditional is the most popular kitchen design with contemporary following closely behind.

Flooring: Ceramic and porcelain tile and natural stone remain the most popular kitchen flooring. Hardwood, however, will dominate kitchens this year more than ever.

Countertops: Granite is the most popular option, but quartz is inching up to it in popularity.

Melissa Tracey

Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, writing about home & design trends, technology, and sales and marketing. She manages the magazine's award-winning Styled, Staged & Sold blog.

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  1. Jeff Stoesser

    The kitchen in the picture….. Uh NO Thank you !

    It’s great if you’re a little old lady, but….

  2. Dana Jordan

    That kitchen is awesome in the photo….looks perfect for
    a growing family OR a little ol’ lady.

  3. I love the idea of hiding all the appliances. I have plans for my own home that incorporate that very thing. 🙂

  4. Carol

    OMG!! That kitchen is to die for!!! And it even has enough room for me to get around with my walker!! I just gave my kitchen a facelift and painted the lower cabinets a warm chocolate color with a brown glaze, and my upper cabinet an off white with a brown glaze. They look amazing. I love the idea of a microwave drawer and then I can add a pot filler faucet!!

  5. Karen Ahrens

    WOW! What a kitchen and article, thanks


  7. The article speaks to items that are kind of ‘old hat’, so not sure these are really the latest and greatest trends in kitchens…but maybe they are in certain parts of the US. The kitchen shown in the article is fabulous…but I’d have to hire two cleaning people each week just to keep the place clean! Love the idea of hiding appliances with drawers, but I’m no fan of the D/W drawer system after 5 years of struggling with mine. I am waiting for extra cash to replace it with a regular SS interior ‘mulching’ D/W.

    The fridge drawers are cool, though and I think certain established brands do a good job with that. Happy selling everyone!

  8. JOAN

    This kitchen is way to white-ish.Looks like a hospital operating room.

  9. gobo spring

    I truly hate these “showplace” kitchens that are clearly designed to project wealth and have little utility as a functioning place to prepare food. All those nasty nooks and crannies and trim will do nothing in a work area except catch dust and grease. This place looks to me like a high end morgue. ICK.

  10. momto4kids

    Why would you say painted cabinets are in decline and then show an upscale “current” kitchen with ,oops, painted cabinets?!

  11. Steve Tutt

    UUUGGGHHHH! What an ostentatious POS. As for appliances in drawers, didn’t happen in this kitchen. Either the sink is in a drawer or so far away from the fridge, stove and ovens it isn’t even in the pictures. This reminds me of the liklihood of Paris runway fashions being seen at our local restaurants.

  12. DesignStar

    I’d like to see floor plans as well when a kitchen is the topic. Positon of appliances and plunbing andthe work flow are even more important than how beautiful it is.

  13. Kitchens sell houses.

    The kitchen has become more than just the room with the oven, sink and refrigerator.

    More and more the kitchen is the hub of the entire home. The kitchen is where family catches up after a long day, friends congregate when entertaining and the homework gets done in the evenings.

    Thanks for the 2010 trends article.


  14. I think the evolution of kitchen design from a room intended only for cooking into a room intended for family living is one of the most exciting concepts yet. I have written quite a bit about it and expect to write quite a bit more, as more and more these days kitchen designers are beginning to explore the many possibilities of this concept. Europe, with their minimalist kitchen designs, is especially leading the charge into the new. The other thing that is a real boon to the movement, since counter space is necessarily restricted in these kitchen designs, is the newer innovation of using the sink as a food preparation area by the addition of sliding cutting blocks that move back and forth over the sink. I have seen any number of permutations of this concept, and all of them work.



  16. “In the decline: Painted cabinetry and light natural finishes and distressed finishes.”

    Figures. Those are the looks I love best – that shabby-chic, lived-in look. I think the ultra-modern trend will look dated pretty quickly.

  17. Angel

    Love that kitchen, but my biggest gripe is non-matching islands! What genius came up with that idea because it’s so frequent in upscale kitchens! If your cabinets are white, shouldn’t your island be the same color? Ugh, that is so annoying and so often overlooked. If you’re going to match appliances, make sure the island matches the color of the cabinets!

  18. cat

    what is the trend regarding splashbacks – tiles or glass and what colours?

  19. The white color, or any light color is something that women tend to like the most. This I know from my own experience—I’m a professional kitchen and bath cabinet maker in California.

    Couple of years ago we were working on a beautiful SPA project. All cabinets—to my eye—were designed nicely. However, one minor detail was missing—that was the color selection.

    The interior designer chose dark walnut for the exposed parts of the cabinetry. This, unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your taste, was rejected after the completion of the spa; the staff and some clients, mostly women, were complaining about the place. The reason? It’s too dark! So this dark phobia kind of ruined the plans of everyone; we had to work on change orders; the delay; and opening of the spa.

    Anyway, things turned badly for these guys.

    Now, back to the kitchen. 🙂 It’s a place where women spend more time than men. That means….folks, guys, gents….let the kitchen color be on a lighter tone and with some dark accent line in it.

    There is also a financial benefit in light color cabinetry. It’s simple. Your need not use exotic, expensive wood for the kitchen doors, drawer fronts and panes, which generally are expensive parts of the kitchen cabinetry. Therefore, you can cut this cost by using less expensive wood species—poplar, pine and even mdf.

    So, as a professional I like what my clients like. I hope my comment makes sense.

    *** been writing while watching a hockey game for gold hehe ***

    Jake @ PaloArte


    I’d like some info on 1 large single bowl vs. double bowl sinks for the kitchen…Also, since a trend toward going green is growing…if we get rid of our garbage disposal, is that going to hurt for resale purposes. I heard recently that using garbage disposals to throw everything down the drain is environmentally bad…but will that turn off a buyer down the road?

    Also…even tho granite is still popular…should we spend more for the recycled glass countertops or Silestone type products??

    I personally think we need to get away from the ‘extreme home makeover’ fever and go for eco friendly / comfortable design styles. My house will never be dust free or completely clutter free, so designs need to be more flexible & forgiving for everyday living…

    I also can’t stand white…too sterile and BORING and I’m female!!!

  21. Robyn

    People should know that granite always contains radiation, and some more than others. It is a simple thing to check the amount of radiation with a meter from Lowe’s. Also, granite went out in Europe ten years ago and five years ago on the West coast; won’t be long before it is old hat on the East coast as well.

  22. Robyn

    I should add that granite from China ALWAYS contains an unhealthy amount of radiation because Chinese laws prohibit export of the granite that has safe amounts.

  23. Jim Copeland

    I’m with Joan…Looks like a hospital operating room.