Kitchen Design

7 Cool (& Totally Doable) Design Trends We're Bringing Into the Kitchen This Fall

August  9, 2018

The kitchen is one of the most challenging design spaces in the home. It would be great if it were both aesthetically-pleasing and functional, a room that can look good while withstanding the dangers of your favorite marinara sauce bubbling away. And with the transition from summer to fall looming, it's a great time to shake things up in the kitchen (that is, if you've secretly been looking for an excuse!).

We're leaning on the creative mind of Shea McGee, founder of Studio McGee and designer behind Food Network’s Fantasy Kitchen Giveaway for some end-of-summer tips. Shea is on the front line of design and has a good feel for what’s trending, even before it hits your Pinterest feed—like her current love for furniture-inspired islands. Don’t know what a furniture-inspired island is? You'll soon find out.

When it comes to the kitchen, she tends to advocate for subtle changes to the design trends you are accustomed to. That’s great news, as doing a complete kitchen reno isn’t always a viable option. Scroll through for seven kitchen design trends Shea predicts you'll soon be seeing more of in the coming months.

Warm Neutrals

Photo by Jessica White

By now you’ve probably grown accustomed to seeing the nearly all-white kitchens. This classic look is evolving by incorporating warm neutrals like natural wood tones and creamier paint hues. Thank goodness—all-white kitchens can be more than demanding when it comes keeping them looking spotless!

Mixed Metals

Photo by Travis J Photo

As we head towards the end of summer, we’re also starting to see more and more mixed metal kitchens pop up. Shea is feeling particularly partial to polished nickel faucets paired with with brass hardware. “I like the way the different metal colors play off each other, giving the kitchen a more organic, less manufactured feel.”

Organic Textures

Photo by Callie Hobbs

Like any good meal, kitchen design relies partly on texture. Particularly in vogue are organic textures like woven baskets, wire trays, wooden shelves, and fun textiles.

Time-Worn Materials

Photo by Monica Wang

Using materials that are actually worn by time or just look the part doesn’t mean you should be rummaging through your garage for anything that looks past its prime. But don’t be afraid to mix in a rustic, glazed terracotta backsplash or some vintage accessories to add character to your kitchen. Shea likes materials with honed, matte, and and even patina finishes. This works even (and especially) if you have a more modern setting. If you add time-worn materials to a more rustic or traditional kitchen, the juxtaposition effect can get lost. If you want to maintain somewhat of a modern looking kitchen, it’s important to find a balance.

Mixing Rustic & Modern

Photo by Travis J Photo

You’ve probably noticed that contrast and juxtaposition are big themes in kitchen design right now. Mixed metals, time-worn materials in a modern setting, and the inclusion of warm neutrals in all white kitchens to name a few. We add one more with Shea’s suggestions of combining rustic and modern design such as open-shelving or streamlined cabinets with a farmhouse sink. “Mixing rustic and modern artifacts adds a playfulness to your kitchen that’s hard to rival. It also feels timeless which is always nice!”

Furniture-Inspired Islands

Photo by Kate Osborne

Furniture-inspired islands are kitchen islands that break the mold of big box cabinetry. Not that there’s anything wrong with the traditional island, but the trend definitely seems to heading towards more open-style kitchen islands with built-in shelving. Shea’s particularly fond of islands with honed, matte, and even patina finishes.

Bringing the Outside In

Photo by Kate Osborne

Farm to table? Not exactly. Consider displaying fresh citrus or seasonal fruits in bowls. Cut branches and put them in a jar on your countertop or put a potted herb garden by your sink. Integrating nature into your kitchen setting can add a playful and seasonal touch without a big investment.

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Which kitchen trend has you feeling most inspired? Share your thoughts below!

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Austin Miller is the creator of The Daily Hash. When he's not writing, he's deciding between eating another biscuit or balancing his macros. Spoiler alert** (the biscuit usually wins.)