Top Kitchen Design Trends for 2016

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine


Photo credit: William Lesch; designed by: Lori Carroll and Associates, Tucson, Ariz.

Transitional, traditional, and contemporary styles remain the most popular in kitchen design but two new kitchen styles are popping up: industrial and farmhouse, according to the 2016 Design Trends Survey from the National Kitchen & Bath Association.

Neutral colors continue to be the dominant color scheme, with whites/off-whites, grays and beiges/bones being the most popular by far. Sixty percent of survey respondents report utilizing two or more colors within a kitchen space, a trend that has been growing since 2015. The two-tone trend is also growing more popular within kitchen cabinetry. Forty-two percent of designers report using a mix of color cabinets in their recent remodels. Respondents also reported in mixing up the kitchen color palette by using a different countertop material for the island versus the perimeter of the counter space.

NKBA reports the following top 10 kitchen design trends for this year:

1  Transitional style, with contemporary emerging.


Photo by: Jeremy Swanson; Designed by: Anne Grice Interiors, Aspen, Colo.

2  Gray/white/off-white cabinets.


Photo credit: Greg Riegler Photography; designed by: Cheryl Kees Clendenon, In Detail Interiors, Pensacola, Fla.

3  Pull-outs, tilt-outs and tilt-ins for storage.


Photo credit: Craig Thompson; designed by: Kitchen & Bath Associates of Pittsburgh, West View, Pa.


4  Wood flooring.

5  Quartz and granite countertops.


Photo credit: Mike Kaskel; designed by: Kitchen Encounters, Annapolis, Md.

6  Outdoor kitchens (mostly in the southeastern part of the U.S.)

7  Built-in coffee stations and wet bars.

8  Pocket doors.


Photo credit: William Lesch; designed by: Lori Carroll & Associates, Tucson, Ariz.

9. Special pet spaces (e.g. designated feeding stations, under-counter crate areas and special pull-outs to store pet food and toys)


Photo credit: Craig Thompson; designed by: Kitchen & Bath Concepts of Pittsburgh, West View, Pa.

1o Docking and charging stations.


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. Rick Savino

    Many Realtors would agree that the vast majority of customers cannot afford the high end kitchens shown. I am in Grand Rapids, Michigan, not Palm Springs. There is nothing here to show my clients. Please write about something I can use.

  2. Enjoyed your article. What a great idea to use a pocket door to keep kids and critters at bay. The pictures are beautiful. Thanks for a nice short read on kitchen design trends. Gotta keep up to date!

  3. Docking and charging stations and other tech areas for kitchens are extremely popular in my area, as well as interesting techy appliances. I’d like to see an article about appliance trends; are gas ranges being used more often? I’ve seen some really interesting fridges as well, including one that had a tablet inserted in the door so people could look at recipes.

  4. I like the pocket door in the half wall. It’s great to keep out little ones and pets.

  5. Just amazing kitchen interior designs. I love the first and third design a lot. Pocket door is quite special.

  6. Seeing just mind blowing interior design and especially the pocket wall. Always love to see these design.

  7. Seeing just mind blowing interior design and especially the pocket door. Love to see these design. yeah..

  8. Amazing mind blowing kitchen interior design. Always love to see these interior design yeah.

  9. Great photos thanks for posting.

  10. The interior designs are really amazing specially the pocket doors; I really enjoyed your article. An excellent way to show how important the looks are for a kitchen.

  11. Starting to see an increase in the number of pull out spice racks beside ovens and appliance garages in the newer kitchens. Features that add functionality are the most prevalent and desirable in our area.

  12. I love all these amazing kitchen interior designs. I love most the first and third design a lot. Pocket door is also amazing. I will surely implement such ideas during my home renovation.

  13. These photos will still wow buyers at present. Great ideas for new construction homes.