It’s no secret that renovating a kitchen is one of the most expensive home improvement projects you can take on. The average homeowner spends about $26,000 on a kitchen remodel. So it only makes sense that folks investing that much cash are reluctant to go against a list of unspoken design rules for fear of messing with their home’s resale value and turning off future potential buyers.
But as we jump into the new year, we’re finding that neutral kitchens are no longer the norm and homeowners are focusing more on renovating to better fit their own lifestyle needs and personal preferences.
“This is a major change compared to previous years and alludes to the shift we’re seeing in design and renovation trends,” says Mallory Micetich, home expert at Angi.
Some 17% of homeowners plan to remodel their kitchens this year, and even more are planning for a less extensive revamp. If your kitchen is due for an overhaul, we encourage you to step outside the box and dare to break the following conventional wisdom design rules.
1. Neutral tones, white kitchens
Thank goodness we’re moving past the era of all-white kitchens. It just seems wrong to make the heart of the home look so sterile.
While the use of lighter woods, fresh white countertops, and neutral paint colors will never completely fall out of fashion, 2023 is all about pushing the boundaries of kitchen design—and trusting your instincts.
“We’ll see more accent walls, pops of color, and newfound bravery to invest in custom materials throughout the kitchen,” says Micetich.
Tamarra Younis, interior designer at Union of Art Interiors, says she’s seeing a big shift from light and airy neutral kitchens toward warm and moody design features.
“The classic white and neutral kitchen is being replaced by more colorful alternatives. Kitchens with unique textures and unexpected colors are on-trend for 2023,” says Younis.
Break out of your neutral kitchen rut by trying out a sophisticated (and trending) shade of warm green or navy blue paint on an accent wall or the kitchen cabinets.
2. Inefficient amenities
With the cost of just about everything going up, incorporating more energy-efficient appliances into your kitchen makes sense—and will save cents. Lots of them.
“With the Inflation Reduction Act being passed in 2022, there are more financial incentives for homeowners to opt for energy-efficient appliances,” says Micetich.
This includes induction cooktops, which are the most efficient to cook with and run at about 85% efficiency, according to Energy Star. Radiant electric cooktops are 75% to 80% efficient, and gas ranges are only about 32% efficient.
“Gas stoves have always been a popular choice among home chefs, but with more of a focus on sustainability, we’ll see more homeowners choose energy-efficient appliances,” says Micetich.
3. Microwave over the range
Installing your microwave over the range is a common space-saving solution, but in 2023, more homeowners are shelving this design trend.
Instead, many are reserving that space above the range for a show-stopping design feature, such as a stylish range hood.
“We often find that it’s a lost opportunity to place a microwave over your range rather than creating an impressive focal point that highlights the design of the kitchen,” says Younis.
But where do you house the microwave? These days, there are many creative storage solutions for small appliances that would normally sit on the counter. For example, microwave drawers can be installed among your lower cabinets.
4. Open shelving as a storage solution
Open shelving had its day and was a popular trend to showcase all of your kitchenwares. But that trend will be dying down in 2023. A minimal, uncluttered look is the way to go.
When choosing new cabinetry, go for something that will keep your dishes, cookbooks, small appliances, and other kitchen knickknacks out of sight.
If open shelves already exist in your kitchen, fill them with meaningful art, beautiful pottery, or a small stack of your favorite cookbooks.
Personal expression through design is big in kitchens for 2023, and our experts encourage homeowners to incorporate everything from cherished family heirlooms to one-of-a-kind vintage items.
5. Pinching pennies on floors and countertops
The average kitchen renovation costs about $26,000, and homeowners try to find savings wherever they can. But don’t try to trim your budget by sourcing cheap materials for your countertops or floors. High-traffic spaces like the kitchen deserve quality materials that last.
“We saw homeowners try to stretch their money as far as possible in 2022, and for some, that meant opting for cheap materials throughout their kitchens in backsplashes, countertops, and flooring,” says Micetich. “We won’t see this continuing in 2023.”
Investing in these nicer materials—like quartz, hardwood, or even natural stone—means that your kitchen will have a longer life span and, in turn, be more sustainable.