18 Trends That Will Define Home Design in 2021

18 Trends That Will Define Home Design in 2021

We can’t believe it, but 2020 is almost over! 2020 has led to some great trends that are continuing and evolving for 2021. Common themes with these trends are clean, modern and colorful homes and features. We love the trends and can’t wait to bring these to some of our projects soon.


1. Three-tone kitchens.

Two-tone kitchen cabinets (where the upper cabinets are one color and the lower cabinets another color, or the perimeter cabinets are one color and the island is another) dominated kitchens in the last few years. So it’s only natural that designers and builders are pushing the trend further.

In a three-tone kitchen, one more color or material is introduced to create an asymmetry in the palette that helps define zones or functions and keeps the eye moving.

For example, a gorgeous kitchen with white perimeter cabinets, a light wood island base and a knockout powder-blue hutch. You’ll see how wood accents will keep coming up in these trends.

2. Wood cabinets

First up for the wood kitchen accents are of course the cabinets. Full-wood kitchen cabinets seem to be making a comeback. Maybe it’s a reaction to past years to all of the white and gray kitchens, but some credit must be given to designers and builders who have shown their clients how rich and diverse various woods and grain patterns can be.

In 2020, walnut was the big hit. Walnut is such a naturally rich, warm, elegant and inviting wood, which makes it perfect for lively kitchens. Walnut pairs beautifully with whites, grays, blues and brass tones – all popular colors in today’s kitchens, so it’s no question that homeowners like it.

Lighter woods are also gaining popularity. These are usually very sleek cabinets with very minimal hardware too.

3. Soft-colored kitchens

The soft gray and off whites cabinets will continue for 2021 and we still love them. These neutral colors paired with a beautiful backsplash and quartzite countertops for a new twist to this look. You can count on kitchens being overall soft-colored with a splash of color here and there. We think this will be the look of the 2020s in general and it may never go out of style.

4. Slab Backsplashes

This may be our favorite trend for your kitchen! Forget about going through a million different tile options for backsplash tile and get into installing a slab backsplash. This can be an eye catching statement since the tile backsplashes have dominated this area of your kitchen. 

Most try to match their backsplash slap with their countertop, but you don’t always have to match it. If you want an eye catching piece that everyone will love, and make sure they let you know that they love it, install a beautiful slab of granite. The granite is like a large piece of abstract art.


5. Quartzite

Although granite is still popular, it is continuing to decline, according to recent Houzz research, and quartzite seems to be rising. The natural stone is harder than granite and displays infinite variation, meaning no two slabs ever look the same. It’s also super heat-resistant and more scratch-resistant than engineered quartz, so it may be worth the investment.

6. Dark colors

To go against the majority of light colored kitchens, dark countertops are a unique option to consider. Take an engineered quartz in rich black with warm white and gold veining and you guests will compliment the uniqueness. Homeowners and designers looking for a contrast to white cabinetry or a complement to dark cabinetry will turn to these darker countertops, and we think this will gain popularity in 2021.

7. Butcher block or other wood countertops

If you’re choosing a countertop material for an island that’s different from your perimeter countertops, consider a butcher block or a wood slab. Recent Houzz research reveals that among renovating homeowners who want a contrasting island material, 41% choose butcher block or a wood slab. In your kitchen, a walnut butcher block island countertop add the warmth you want to a renovated kitchen.

8. Ultrathin materials

Also at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show last year, many companies introduced thinner countertops. This non-traditional look may work better for a more modern kitchen with a minimalistic feel. 

Wilsonart introduced ultrathin countertops in a range of designs: stone and quartz looks as well as wood-look and steel patterns. The European-inspired ultrathin surfaces are ½ inch thick and can be installed with an undermount sink. The material is a new composite made of resins and paper.

Wood Accents

9. Wood detailing on range hoods

As mentioned earlier, wood is showing up in full force in kitchens. One interesting way wood is being used in kitchens is as a detail on a paneled range hood, as shown here. This detail on a range brings in a bit of warmth and texture, and helps break up large expanses of white or gray cabinetry.

10. Wood cabinets amid painted cabinets

Another way designers are bringing a dose of warm wood to white cabinets is by using wood for just a few drawers or cabinet fronts. Again, it helps break up the large expanses of white or another color and introduces texture and warmth.

Walnut pullouts for pots and pans do the job of bringing a bit of cozy contrast to the frosty white cabinets and marble-look quartz countertops. Other builders have used wood to frame the glass-front cabinets. A large natural wood barn door also helps break up all the white in a kitchen contributing to warming up the kitchen.


11. Multifunctional island centers

Kitchen islands are nothing new, but they certainly are evolving. We’re seeing many homeowners take islands beyond just storage. Also, islands are getting bigger and are taking on more function. Nearly 33% of renovating homeowners who are updating their island will add a dishwasher. 25% of them will add a sink with a garbage disposal, and more than a 20% will add a cooktop.

That means islands are becoming multifunctional center points in the kitchen, allowing various zones for cooking, prepping and cleaning. And it makes sense for the person in the kitchen performing all the main tasks to be facing the island, at which guests and family might be sitting, rather than the perimeter walls.

12. Hardworking ends of islands

Similarly, the ends of islands are taking on more function. Numerous kitchens on Houzz in 2019 pack in things like a pullout chopping station, or a small space for a portable rack. Beverage fridges are popular end-of-island features because they allow guests or family members to grab a drink without disrupting the cook in the kitchen.

13. Wood islands

Again, wood is showing up everywhere in kitchens. While the latest Houzz research shows that homeowners are renovating their kitchens and upgrading their island and choosing a contrasting cabinet color will select a gray (26%), blue (19%) or black (11%) island, wood islands are becoming popular. In fact, the choice of a medium-tone wood island by homeowners matches that of black (11%).

For us in Savannah, mid-tone wood islands are becoming a staple. Like the other wood accents, this helps anchor the room and warm up the white cabinets, cool blue backsplash tile and light countertops.

14. Extra-large islands

We’ve noticed islands getting bigger and bigger every year! We also think it’s here to stay. The latest research shows that nearly ⅓ of renovating homeowners who are upgrading their kitchen island make it more than 7 ft long. In every new build the kitchens are open and the island fits a sink and dishwasher and sometimes a stove top.


15. Walk-in showers

This might seem like a no-brainer, but the desire for a walk-in shower seems like it has reached its max. Many homeowners want big showers that are easy to get into and out of, and because showers are the tallest element in a bathroom, figuring out how to make them stand out and look good is a common concern.

Going with a walk-in shower is usually the decision to open up the bathroom. A rarely used bathtub can be sacrificed to make room for a streamlined shower with a floor-to-ceiling glass partition that makes the ceiling seem higher.

Build this walk-in shower with beautiful tile or slabs of stone and your bathroom will look and feel larger and you’ll be much more use out of the space.

16. Wet rooms

Now, this may be a bit out there. We think putting a stand-alone tub in an enclosed shower area together makes sense. Why not contain all the functions that cause splashing in one space? This is why we think wet rooms will gain popularity this year. If you’ve got the space, consider this practical approach to laying out the bathroom.

17. Shower ledges

Many designers and builders feel that installing a shower ledge is more straightforward than installing a niche, because a ledge requires only building out a few inches into the shower space instead of carving out space between studs. We run the built in ledge along the length of the entire shower stall and you’ll have tons of space for shower essentials without purchasing a cheap in-shower rack.

Laundry Rooms

18. Deep utility sinks

We are giving much more attention to laundry rooms this year. Large country or farmhouse utility sinks are going to continue to be seen in homes. These deep utility sinks are made to presoak lots of clothing items, such as dirty sports gear for your kids, or even wash a small dog. This deep and wide sink with a wall-mounted faucet is perfect for getting any washing job done, and the design adds a little charm.

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