What to Look for in 2016 Kitchen Design

By Rachel Lyons, Contributing Writer for The House Designers

As we enjoy new streamlined gadgets and fashions, so do we move toward the same modern ideals in other parts of our lives. In a similar way, we are seeing a shift toward merging sleek design with enhanced functionality as the kitchen has become a more integral part of our homes. Bring your kitchen up to date in 2016 with these fresh ideas from The House Designers that are sure to instill a chic feel in your home and make the kitchen the place to be!


House Plan 5893 features a beautiful functional kitchen layout with plenty of storage, workspace, lighting and commercial grade appliances. There are over 45 photographs of this popular 2-story traditional home.

Bold Solids

If your home is contemporary in design, this will be easiest for you to execute. A growing trend for solid cabinetry, most often in white but also in black and gray, is making a new, decisive statement for kitchens. This style automatically establishes very clean lines that are impossible to miss, and it will keep your design looking neat and crisp.

For those who don’t want to take such a stark direction, the basics of these same elements can be achieved with a more transitional look. See if there’s a smooth, straight-grained wood that you like, and imagine it in a flat panel cabinet. This simpler design is modern, but it appeals to more home styles and lets you keep the natural element that so many people love to preserve, especially in this part of the house.

2259 Living Room

Our best-selling small craftsman house plan 2259 features a well-appointed kitchen for its small footprint.

Intelligent Storage

Making a kitchen work for you is what it’s all about, and many people are putting a strong focus on ways to save space and maximize usability. Everything from pull-out cabinets to multi-tiered drawers and built-in chopping blocks are getting incorporated into kitchens now, creating as functional a space as possible, often hidden upon first glance.

Matching Countertops

Making sure the cabinets and countertops are complementary is definitely becoming serious business. So, what does this mean? We’re noticing that pairing like colors is particularly popular. For instance, a kitchen sporting solid black cabinets looks fantastic with a black quartz countertop that has white veining, while one with white cabinets can be matched with white with gray veining. With this arrangement, you maintain the main color scheme while also introducing some contrast to prevent the space from looking too one-dimensional. In a kitchen with wood cabinets, a neutral color, or even a totally solid black stone, looks great.

Countertops themselves are undergoing a bit of a transformation, too. Although traditionally thick, counters are now taking on a thinner profile. This follows with changing design concepts across the board, and it allows a small kitchen to appear larger by opening up the space. Even if space isn’t a concern, thin countertops allow you to consider both floating and integrated counter designs to make your kitchen a little more special.

Prairieville House Plan

House Plan 3346 is a prairie-style inspired house plan featuring sleek cabinetry, stone surrounds and an open floor plan.

Classic Floors

This is where modern kitchens can add some personality. Without natural wood details elsewhere, a hardwood floor really stands out. Depending on the rest of the colors being used, a neutral gray or a striking red-hued wood floor really makes a design pop. A more worn-looking, rustic texture introduces a homey vibe to the floor and allows the clean modern lines elsewhere to shine without appearing too cold.

Daring Backsplashes

The personality of a kitchen can be drastically altered with a great backsplash design, and this is where current trends are placing the brunt of the finer details. Dressing up the walls behind the stove, between overhead cabinets and countertops, and around the sink does wonders for the atmosphere of the kitchen, and it can be done in so many ways that this is the place to get truly creative and make it your own.

To stick to a strictly modern design, subway tiles are a great, sleek choice. But beyond that, people are really getting imaginative and incorporating all sorts of colors and shapes, to produce patterns ranging from simple to elaborate, or even piecing together patchwork scenery. And tiles are much easier to keep clean than a regular wall, so there’s a practical bonus as well.

Innovative Fixtures and Appliances

Keeping up-to-date with all the amazing new technologies can be daunting, but investing in a stylish and purposeful piece for your kitchen will never go out of style. Splitting up the range into a separate stove and wall oven—often double, to cook at different temperatures simultaneously—allows you to alter to flow of your kitchen, because more things can go on at once and it offers a different cabinet arrangement. But perhaps most sought after is a hands-free faucet, which will help minimize the spread of germs and help keep you and your family healthy.

Kitchens in 2016 are moving toward totally streamlined yet utterly convenient designs. Simple in appearance but fulfilling high expectations, these transitional kitchens appeal to many. If these ideas sound like something you could appreciate, this might be the perfect year to renovate your kitchen!

View The House Designers’ collection of Fabulous Kitchen Floor Plans.

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