Home Decor

The Kitchen Cabinet Trends of 2020, According to Our Favorite Designers

This year is all about personal expression—and you (yes, you) get to pick.

January 13, 2020
Photo by Justin DiPiero

On its best day, social media is a great tool for homeowners like me. It helps me gather inspiration, hone in on what styles I’m drawn to and introduces me to new products. On its worst day, however, its influence creates a sea of sameness. These last couple of years, for example, everyone’s Pinterest and Instagram feeds were full of farmhouse style, vintage vibes and mixed metals, and pretty soon so were our homes.

In 2020, it seems this “follow the leader” style of design is headed out the door. We asked some of our favorite designers and decorators to weigh in on what they think is going to be this year’s biggest kitchen cabinetry trend, and interestingly enough, not a single one had the same prediction. From rich and moody to DIY-happy, it seems we are heading into a year that’s all about expressing yourself. Here is what they think:

More color, please

“In reaction to all the dark grey kitchens we have been seeing so much of in the last few years I think we will start to see more colorful cabinets in kitchens...subtle pastel hues paired with white and brass would make for a very modern and glamorous kitchen!” —Benjamin Brougham, Director of Interiors for Jonathan Adler

Black Accents

“For 2020, I am all about black cabinets. I love the drama they add to kitchen spaces. Paired with brass accents and natural materials like marbles, they really do make such a gorgeous statement.” – Alykhan Velji, Designer

Ken Fulks’ NYC apartment as seen in Architectural Digest Photo by Architectural Digest

Experiment a little

“I think that plaster is having a real moment! I predict that this year we will be seeing it more and more in kitchen design as I think it has appeal in many different styles (from modern to minimal and rustic). As for colors, I expect to see a lot of earth tones (think taupe, terracotta, deep browns and ochre yellows), but ultimately, I think we are entering a moment where custom is the new luxury, so anything goes!” —Justina Blakeney, Designer and Artist

“In the kitchen area in our [guest house] (image above) we constructed cabinets from cement to get the plaster look and then used reclaimed wood for the cabinet doors.” Photo by Jungalow

go for neutral tones

“My favorite cabinet color trends are all of the gorgeous beige and taupe colors that are popping up in kitchens.” —Maegan Blau, Interior Designer

“I see the future of cabinetry going more individualistic as far as color schemes and design plans.” Photo by Blue Copper Design

Mushroom is White's Cousin

“We're seeing many people opting for [mushroom] over white cabinetry, and we don't blame them. It's a warm neutral that still feels light and airy but adds some contrast to popular finishes like marble and subway tile.” —Catherine and Bryan Williamson, Interior Designers

A kitchen designed by husband and wife design team Catherine and Bryan Williamson. Photo by The Wonder Jam

Embrace Wood's texture

“We are seeing a change in trend from all-white kitchens to much more natural wood tones. Taking advantage of knots and texture gives a modern look to more cabin-like materials." —Austin Carrier and Alex Mutter-Rottmayer, Interior Designers

The duo designed the kitchen above. “We really think that textured and knotty woods will be ruling kitchens come the new year.” Photo by Hommeboys

Add brass accents (black, too)

“Neutral colors like whites and ivories, oysters, and creams are going to continue to be big kitchen trends in 2020. My personal favorite cabinet look is a simple white oak front paired with white tiles and natural marbles. Finish off the look with brass or black metallic accents. It's an elegant look that you won't get tired of.” —Justin DiPiero, Interior Designer

The founder of Sweetgreen’s home, designed by Justin DiPiero. Photo by Justin DiPiero

Modern Cabinet Design

"I think we'll keep seeing more saturated cabinet colors (like deep terracotta & cerulean blue) paired with more modern cabinet designs, less decorative molding and [simpler], flat-front shapes with all-over textural accents like slats & ribs." —Susie Brown, Decorator

Which of these would you try out? Tell us in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • myfavoritepainters
  • Debbie
  • Laura De
    Laura De
  • Kit Boden
    Kit Boden
  • jfoodie
Garrett Fleming

Written by: Garrett Fleming

Interiors Editor & Art Director


myfavoritepainters September 16, 2020
Thanks for sharing this amazing post. This are the very trending kitchen cabinet ideas in 2020. For more information, visit: https://myfavoritepainters.com/
Debbie February 3, 2020
We are redoing our kitchen, living and dining room to make it all one. Our colour theme is going to run through the whole house including bedrooms and bathrooms. We are using a painting that we have has our inspiration. I is a seascape. When you look at it you feel a sense of calm, peacefullnes and like you have arrived. We plan to use pops of colour through out while each room with one wall a statement wall with one of the more moody colours of the sea. We are also planning on using brass and wood. My fear that is it may be to much taking it all through the house. Doing a centre island that will have an oak live edge top to it. Would like to do shiplap around the island painted in a blue of the sea. Current kitchen is fire engine red, black and white floor with staineless appliances and chrome and black hanging fan and or lights. Need a break from the vibrancy. Also want one open space instead of a small kitchen.
Garrett F. February 3, 2020
Hi Debbie,

I am all for a calming and moody look! This sounds great. In my opinion, I would skip the shiplap. Nearly every article I’ve read about trends that are headed out has shiplap at the top. Would you consider beadboard instead? It’s way more timeless and will give you a similar look.

If you need any good gray or black paint recommendations, let me know! We just painted our doors and trim black and a bedroom gray.

Laura D. February 2, 2020
I'm 78 years old and lived with a lot of kitchens from custom made to modular from the box stores. If I had to face that black kitchen twice a day, every day, I'd soon be eating out at every meal. Nothing is more depressing that a black kitchen in the morning - looks good at first, but not functional in the long run.

That is what is wrong with so many "designer" projects - they go for looks and not day-to-day practicality. Open shelves - good look but a whole lifetime of cleaning; why were doors made?

Any kind of stone on a breakfast bar means your food is cold moments after you set a plate on it. Stone is cold and it doesn't get warm. Stone also stains and needs monthly waxing and polishing - a a good choice where food is likely to be spilled. Designers have inundated us on using stone counter tops; anything else is outdated. But, they never tell you how much trouble it is to keep and never talk about everything breaking if it hits with any force at all. Another pretty, but not really functional look fostered by designers.

The most satisfying kitchens I've lived with had neutral colors that allowed me to add splashes of color with accessories which I could change by season if I wanted. I wasn't locked into blue, red, or black; and, the color splashes were lively and eye-pleasing. So much easier to change accessories than repaint or reappliance a kitchen.
Laura D. February 2, 2020
finger error - stone is NOT a good choice where food is served.
Garrett F. February 2, 2020
Hi Laura,

Which countertop materials do you suggest besides stone?
Laura D. February 2, 2020
The kitchen I currently happily live with has a Formica top in a mottled light gray color, very neutral. I know Formica has been given a bad rep maybe because they wanted to sell us much more expensive stone products; but it is a functional and practical product with lots of choices of colors.

I also like butcher block tops. They are soft on dishes and glassware breakage, and require only a coating of mineral oil once a month or so to keep them looking and functioning well. They are not cold so food stays warm and they have a nice look. I read once that a woman created her own wood tops by buying 1 X 12" lumber and having it grooved on the sides to fit together. She cut it to correct lengths and glued it together - the picture that accompanied the article showed it very attractive.
Garrett F. February 3, 2020
Hi Laura,

Yeah, formica is a really hard sell.

I loveeee the look of butcher block, but I’m surprised you are able to maintain it easily. It’s notoriously difficult. Glad it’s working out for ya though! That’s great!

janet V. February 4, 2020
I agree with so much of what you expressed. I can appreciate the beauty of design, but my number one choice is functionality. I look at those staged pictures and think to myself, "Where is their coffee pot? Where are their knives? Where are their dishes?!" And the thought of cleaning those open shelves, yikes! You and I are just two old fashioned girls, and that's ok. Who doesn't like to come into grandma's kitchen, even if it still has Formica counter tops?
Trends come and go and designers lead the way. These days, any one purchasing a home or renovating a kitchen, must have stainless steel appliances and quartz, granite or natural stone counters. Then, they soon hire a housekeeper (btw, that's what I do for a living) because they can't keep up the perfect appearance. You and I were raised in kitchens with turquoise stovetops, Formica counters and ruffled curtains, and the designers of our day influenced our decisions to have those things. Most kitchens are a combination of what styles are popular and what items are easily obtainable along with each person's own flair, their personal style. Us seniors may have antiquated styles and practical ideas of what a kitchen should be, but we still share the same love of food that every generation after us does. That's what brings us all together on Food52.
Also, as a housekeeper, I can tell you that the easiest counter surface to keep clean and is also very durable is Corian.

Laura D. February 4, 2020
If you oil the wood monthly, stains will not soak in. You use a cutting board for stone, formica, and other tops, so use one on the butcher block instead of cutting directly on it - just a little preventative. You would not think of putting a hot pot on stone, or any other type of top, so don't put one on the wood top; use a rack or hot pad. If you do get a spot on the butcher block, you can sand it out yourself; with stone, you have to have this done professionally at a great cost. So with a little forethought, the butcher block is not so hard to keep.
Laura D. February 4, 2020
Hi Janet, so glad to have your thoughts. My first appliance were coppertone, not turquoise, same difference lol. My only experience with Corian has been in shopping for a home. The tops had a nice look and color, but usually had some noticeable damage. Of course, I didn't know the families involved or their level of activity, but my observations tended to steer me away from the product. And, I'm sure the latest product is much improved over the earlier ones.

My current kitchen (though smallish) has a food pantry and a dish pantry. My every day dishes are in the cupboards but the dish pantry holds the several sets of good china plus all the serving platters and bowls. These two pantries are floor to ceiling without a break for a counter top and so they hold a lot of goods. If I have another opportunity to plan a kitchen, I will add an appliance pantry, since we seem to have so many more of these now and they are bulky, so it would be good to get them out of sight and with easy access.

You're right about the love a good food and I have surely enjoyed Food 52 as a resource to get the best recipes and the exchange of good ideas.
Eric B. March 22, 2020
A great solution for "butcher block" counters is available at IKEA - I have used them in two kitchens, and after finishing the first set with oil I decided to give them several coats of matte finish polyurethane (which I lightly sand and give a new coat every other year to keep it crisp). I selected beech but there are several options.

Kit B. February 2, 2020
I really like the look of open shelving. If you go there, think of that look if you actually need storage space. Not so great if you actually cook in that kitchen with typical cooking byproducts in the air and then on the shelves and dishes. I would think glasses displayed would have a film in no time. Looks great, but not practical
Garrett F. February 3, 2020
Hi Kit,

I totally agree. I’d absolutely say open shelving should be far from the stove. It looks nice though!

jfoodie February 2, 2020
in 2019 we 'refreshed' our kitchen cabinets - painting the darker wood over with a light celadon green. really made a huge difference!
This year, we are remodeling a vacation home with smaller kitchen in dove (blue-gray) and brushed steel with copper accents and a fun wallpaper backsplash with greys, coral and lime. Wood flooring throughout. LOVE the NYC black and the Blakeney guest house - awesome colored egret tiles! A little too dramatic for our small vacation kitchen though.
cosmiccook February 2, 2020
I do like the first one--I'm looking into a similar color for 2 tall bathroom cabinets to pair them w James Martin Portland vanities I'm pining for. There is STILL so much white. I would LOVE to know how often these kitchens are actually used AND if they have cleaning services to routinely maintain these kitchens.
Sea January 14, 2020
The color is so sweet. I love them. Thank so much
Peggasus January 13, 2020
I just purchased a new home (major downsizing!), so I currently am looking at kitchen stuff for my remodel. I am planning on painting the oak cabinets (they are nice and solid) an ivory sort of color, but am currently undecided on my countertops. I know I want quartz, but other than that...

I'm only going to do this once, so I want to get it right. I guess I just don't think of such expensive items as cabinets and countertops as being so influenced by the whims of the colors of the year; at least not for most of us of average means. But I do enjoy looking at photos, whether to influence me, or to NOT influence me for what my choices might be.

Garrett F. January 14, 2020
Hi Pegassus,

I 100% agree. Kitchen renovations are expensive, so maybe adding in some of the elements of these kitchens through accessories could make for a nice update?
Peggasus January 14, 2020
Oh, absolutely, Garrett! I do mosaics, so I will definitely will be doing my own backspalsh, that's where the color will happen!
Lisa E. January 13, 2020
Great Article. Is it possible to reveal the manufacturer of the counter stool in the hommeboys photo?
Arati M. January 14, 2020
Hi Lisa. A great-looking (+ comfy) bar stool has been on my list as well. Let's see if we can get you the brand, but I encourage you to look online for a 'low-back leather woven bar stool (in oak)'—I've seen a few that I loved. Good luck!
Garrett F. January 14, 2020
Hi Lisa!

Target has a nice, affordable option. It's called the "Ceylon Woven and Wood Barstool."
Lisa E. January 14, 2020
Thank you. Great idea for the search
Lisa E. January 14, 2020
Garrett. Thank you. I saw that though they are not as beautiful as the set in the hommeboys pic. :)
Garrett F. January 14, 2020
I agree. I have a note into the Hommeboys and will let you know what source they shoot my way.
Garrett F. January 23, 2020
Hi Lisa,

The Hommeboys sent me the source for the chairs!


Lisa E. January 24, 2020
Garrett - you are absolutely amazing! I can't thank you enough!