2020 was a year of transition. For many of us, the home became the main hub of our work and social lives. Eating, entertaining, and relaxing have all morphed into home-centric activities—the new normal.
Maybe your kitchen table is your workstation. Perhaps your bathroom vanity serves as your built-in spa. All these new homebound habits have been the catalyst of a noticeable shift in kitchen and bath design.
In 2021, kitchen and bath design trends have evolved to match the stay-at-home lifestyle. Homeowners are prioritizing functionality and cleanliness and picking zen, warm aesthetics to set the mood in their space.
We sat down with Deslaurier Design Consultant Victoria Preece to discuss which 10 kitchen and bathroom trends are taking the industry by storm.
Keep reading to find out which kitchen and bathroom design ideas qualify for your renovation wish list this year!
Table of Contents
2. Wood Themes
10. Brass Accents
#1. Marbled Surfaces
Marble has always been a luxury item for kitchens and bathrooms, but the year 2021 has brought with it a particularly sharp uptick in marble demand. Homeowners are revisiting the classic, high-end appeal of the all-natural stone with fresh interest.
Heavily veined marble is simultaneously classic and modern; bold and inviting. The organic, fluid, and 100% unique lines on a marble slab are timeless.
Marble surfaces offer a rich textural contrast with other polished surfaces, like metals and woods. Whether it’s used for a backsplash, countertop, or even a sink, the intrinsic, unique veining carries serious statement value.
Designer Victoria Preece's two cents:
Marble demands religious resealing and maintenance. If you want the look of marble without the perpetual upkeep, consider quartz. Engineered quartz countertops twin marble’s aesthetic appeal and provide a much more ‘laissez-faire’ surface for busy homeowners.
#2: Wood Themes in Kitchens and Bathrooms
White—pure white, off-white, and every shade of white— was a popular colour scheme in past years. Enter 2021, and warmer shades are stealing the show. Homeowners are trading neutral, blank canvases for something a little more soft and welcoming.
The trendiest designs this year will showcase mellow beiges and earthy tones that evoke comfort and create a laid-back, feel-good mood.
The inspiration? Pulled directly from nature’s bounty, no doubt. Natural wood finishes, woven textures, and golden sunset and greenery palettes offer kitchens and bathrooms an outdoorsy familiarity without leaving the house.
Natural wood cabinetry is one product that seems to be on everyone’s must-have agenda in 2021. Have you ever been in an 80s oak kitchen? If you look past the orangey hues and dated ornate door panels, you’ll realize the cabinetry is still in excellent condition. Authentic wood is a highly practical material, lasting for decades with proper care. Plus, it’s a forgiving finish that handily withstands heavy use.
Want the rich hues and rustic planked look without the cabinet overhaul? Butcher block countertops introduce a subtle wood theme to kitchens with a lot less hassle.
#3: Decorative Range Hoods
This year, it seems that artistry can come from even the most unlikely of sources—and the surge in demand for decorative range hoods is the evidence to prove it.
No longer are range hoods bulky kitchen appliances. Today, they are customized statement pieces, made of copper, trimmed with colour, and detailed with unique shapes and clean lines.
On par with the natural, wood-toned trend, more and more homeowners are drawn to cozy-looking materials that add balance and intrigue to their interiors.
Hoods that extend beyond the cabinetry profile create an eye-catching design element without being too disjointed. —Design Consultant Victoria Preece
#4: Simple Kitchen Designs
Strip away the non-essentials. Say goodbye to the excess. Leave only the bare-bone necessities! A de-cluttering mindset has taken over remodelers this year, and it shows in the clean, fresh, and unpolluted designs of late.
Take, for example, the slow progression we’ve seen from arched-top raised panel doors to faithful, understated shaker doors, and now to plain-and-simple flat doors.
Homeowners are shedding the excess details and embracing that which is simplistically elegant.
As a bonus, cabinetry with less paneling equates to less cleaning! Who wouldn’t love a minimalistic design that shortens their chore list?
#5: Full-Height Backsplashes
A full-height backsplash is simply a backsplash that spans the entire height of the wall between the countertop and the bottom of the upper cabinets.
Whereas a standard backsplash runs approximately 4 inches in height, a full-height backsplash offers more drama with more coverage.
Not to mention, full-height, single-slab stone backsplashes make for easy cleaning. Without grout to scrub, wiping away splashes and splotches becomes a hassle-free affair.
Full-height backsplashes don’t just suit kitchens, either. Try adding them to wet bars and entertainment areas for big-time character.
#6: High-Contrast Kitchens
In 2021, contrast is king. Not only with colour, but with textures and materials, too. New kitchen builds are blurring the lines between typical design categories, like traditional, transitional, and modern.
After all, who’s to say you can’t mix old and new, blend modern and vintage, or pair warm with cool?
Today, remodelers and renovators are breaking the mould by redefining generic rules about “what goes with what.”
Two-toned kitchens are also making their way into the spotlight. These mix-and-match designs are doubly effective. They provide an exciting juxtaposition that breathes energy into the space.
#7: Multi-Level Islands
The kitchen is a gathering place for couples, families, and friends. It’s the heart of the home, and as such, it needs to be a place that can accommodate a little bit of everything: cooking, working, eating, and playing.
Enter 2021’s multi-level island approach to kitchen design.
Just as open-plan layouts shattered the room-to-room separation between kitchen, dining, and living areas, so too dropping islands to table height is changing the design game.
With multi-level countertops, your kitchen space is a little more workable, and your daily hustle and bustle a little more doable.
#8: Bold Kitchen and Bath Colour Schemes
Throw your colour rulebook out the window! Lively pops of colour are making appearances in all sorts of kitchens, even the most minimalistic, simplistic ones.
Although, a single accent wall is a good place to start if you’re worried about committing to a bold look. Painting a wall is easy and inexpensive to update should you change your mind down the road.
So far in 2021, the Deslaurier design team is dabbling a lot in dark jewel tones: brilliant navy, emerald green, and full-bodied plum are a few of the clients’ favourites.
For the latest in kitchen cabinet colours, check out our article on Kitchen Cabinet Colour Trends for 2022.
#9: Handless Cabinetry Design
Kitchen designers in 2021 are opting for handless features. They're choosing to forego hardware for cabinetry with built-in push-open and auto-lift mechanisms. The result is a completely flush cabinetry system with a smooth, clean look from every angle.
If push-open cabinets aren’t for you, you might like recessed handles as an alternative. Recessed handles are a hardware type that becomes nearly invisible when installed in a cabinetry system. They all but disappear to provide a similar streamlined effect as handless systems. Plus, recessed handles can be lined with contrasting colours and materials to add interest.
The most innovative designs so far in 2021 are all about multi-tasking, functionality, and free-flowing concepts. Push-open cupboards let the cabinetry do the talking. Removing even the smallest bit of distraction, like hardware, can help you feel (and be) more organized and efficient in your space.
#10: Brass Design Accents
Silver has always been a staple accent colour in kitchen and bath designs, but 2021 is proving to be all about the brass. Brass is becoming more popular than even the go-to stainless and brushed nickel finishes.
The gravitation towards brass makes sense when viewed in context with the industry-wide bend toward darker hues.
Brass is an all-around ideal shade: it offsets cooler tones and compliments warmer tones. The contrast is particularly sophisticated and striking with deep blues and forest greens.
You’ll be amazed at the transformative power of a brass finishing touch. Adding brass faucets, pendant lights, or handles can be the much-needed definition your space needs.
Design with Deslaurier
No matter what design fads catch on in 2021 and beyond, Deslaurier Custom Cabinets is always a step ahead of the curve. We’ve got our finger on the pulse of homeowners’ needs. Plus, our minds are always chock-full of new kitchen and bathroom design ideas!
Cutting-edge and vogue or traditional and timeless, a Deslaurier design is built to last for the long haul.
Our award-winning design team has helped countless homeowners reimagine their space—and you could be next. Check out our showcase to see our most recent work or book a consultation to visit us in person in Ottawa or Renfrew. Live outside of the Ottawa area? Find a dealer at a location near you.
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