The 3 Big Kitchen Trends for 2016: Simplicity, Convenience and Color

By: Alexandra Panzer
Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and breathe out 2015. Once you’ve slowed your heart rate, open your eyes to the simple, elegant kitchen trends of 2016.

Benjamin Moore and Pantone both announced super soothing picks for their colors of 2016, and it’s no surprise that these trending hues are being met with pared-down kitchen designs that emphasize simplicity, craftsmanship, and convenience.

But don’t think that means 2016 is going to be boring. There’ll be plenty of pizzazz and interesting touches — just in a more mellow way. (And speaking trends that have run their course, stainless steel is finally taking a break.)

As perfect accents to 2016’s pared-down vibe, many companies have come out with colorful editions of your favorite kitchen appliances and accessories.

So chill out and get excited, 2016 is all about the drama … without the drama.

Other Great Trends for 2016!

Shaker-style cabinetry and hardware
Shaker design is all about beauty, simplicity, and functionality, and it’s going to see a major surge in 2016. Devout Shakers viewed simplicity and thorough work as a form of prayer, and their attention to craftsmanship and self-sufficiency is a perfect match for the current cultural obsession with all things “maker.”
Pink and blue
Pantone recently announced that 2016’s colors of the year are Rose Quartz and Serenity. (That’s pale pink and pale blue to you and me.) This color combination is all about balance and — well — serenity, and it’s perfect for accenting the ever-popular white kitchen. In fact, KitchenAid already released matching standing mixers in honor of the announcement.
Black and black
Black and white kitchens are never going out of style, but kitchens in 2016 are going heavy on the black and light on the white. These dramatic kitchens are perfect for creating a high impact in a small space, or grounding a larger space. Avoid the traditional, sterile look of a white kitchen, and get in on the “kitchen noir” trend.
Off white
Despite the rise of the all-black kitchen, Benjamin More’s Color of the Year is … not a color. According to the color giant, white and off white are more popular than ever. Responding to the announcement, Maxwell Ryan of Apartment Therapy agreed, saying, “When you have a really good white on the wall, it brings out the colors of the most important things in the room” — enter food, cookbooks, appliances, and all of your other colorful kitchen accents.
Contrasting cabinets
Who says you need to having matching cabinets? It’s 2016 — do what feels right! And apparently when it comes to cabinetry, what feels right in 2016 is combing different colors, textures, and materials.
Open shelving
Why hide your beautiful dishes if you’ve spent time building up a collection? In 2016, many brave souls are continuing to embrace open shelving in their kitchens. Forgoing expensive cabinets can help you increase your storage options, increase a sense of space and light, and even help make your kitchen a little easier to organize.
Pendant lighting
According to interior designers, Kitchens need three types of light: general, task and accent lighting. General lighting illuminates the overall kitchen, task lighting is low and close to help you see what you’re doing, and accent lighting sets the mood. Because people are choosing to get rid of their bulky upper cabinets, space is being created for dramatic counter task lighting in the form of pendant lights. 2016 will see the pendant light, often seen hanging above kitchen islands, migrating to the rest of the counters as well.
Quartz counters
Granite and marble countertops aren’t going anywhere, but according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, manufactured quartz is now the leading countertop material. Unlike its high-maintenance counterparts, Quartz doesn’t require sealing, naturally repels stains, and resists scratches. In terms of affordability, manufactured quartz sells for about $80 per square foot, compared to granite’s approximately $75 per square foot and marble’s $85.
Architectural lines
In tandem with 2016’s Shaker-leaning design, bent, simple, architectural lines in kitchen hardware are having a moment. The “Purist” faucet line from Kohler, for example, features a high-clearance spout and “no-frills” base and handles, and is seen paired with traditional farmhouse sinks all over the Internet.
Colorful ovens and appliances
People are ready to move beyond stainless steel. During the ’90s, stainless steel became the only acceptable option for kitchen appliances, and then in the aughts, people started trying to hide their appliances. But now people are finally ready to let their appliances stand out. With the rising popularity of professional-grade kitchen equipment, who wouldn’t want their Viking range take center stage? Additionally, people are looking for a little comfort. “Colors tend to soften the impact of the machine world we live in,” says Lou Lenzi, director of industrial design at GE Appliances.
Farmhouse sinks — this time in color
It’s no surprise that farmhouse sinks are still on this list … but 2016 is bringing a new take on this kitchen classic. No more ubiquitous white enamel here! Bring on the color!
Rose gold appliances
This warm and festive hue has been having a real moment in the jewelry world. Now, slowly but surely, it’s finding its way into our kitchens. This elegant, rosy hue is the perfect way to add a touch of warmth to the heart of your home.
Rose gold accessories
If you’re not ready to invest in a rose gold range, incorporate this trend into your kitchen through your accessories. From rose gold flatware to standing mixers, there are lots of ways this color can add a touch of bling to your home.
Clever storage hacks
The way we use our kitchens is evolving, so our kitchens need to evolve as well. Thanks to Pinterest and “hack mania,” people are finding great ways to customize their storage so that it makes modern life just a little bit easier … and tidier.
Thoughtfully designed cabinets
People have been trying to say goodbye to messy kitchen cabinets since kitchen cabinets were invented. In 2016, that might actually be possible! Cleverly-designed cabinets that help you avoid mess and discomfort are already popular, but with the ever-growing popularity of the DIY lifestyle, hacks like this will be taking centerstage in 2016.

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