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10 Kitchen Cabinetry Trends to Embrace (or Avoid)

Is a kitchen renovation in your future? We talked with interior designer Kelly McDermott about the latest kitchen trends that are coming and going to learn what you should avoid when updating a kitchen this year.

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Embrace: White, gray, and blue kitchen cabinet color trends

If you’re choosing colors for your cabinets and you want to be right on trend, consider whites, light and dark grays, and blues, as they are in line with the latest kitchen trends. “My go-to white is Simply White by Benjamin Moore,” said interior designer Kelly McDermott with Highmark Companies. “[White] is such a versatile color and gives you a blank palette to work with.” She also points out that soft blues, especially in a coastal style home, are an absolute must. Dark blues will probably give your kitchen a formal feel and would look better in a serious setting such as a kitchen in an open floor plan visible from a living room, but are right in line with kitchen cabinet color trends. Light and dark grays have been popular for years now and of the three will be the first to fade out McDermott feels. Next, check out the kitchen trends that are so out.

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Avoid: Distressed wood

The distressed look has been a popular finish, but it’s on its way out as a trend. Unless you truly require a rustic feel to your kitchen, McDermott suggests avoiding the look for now.

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Embrace: Rift cut oak and walnut wood

If you love the look of wood, but are unsure what kind to choose for your cabinets, McDermott recommends using a rift cut oak or walnut. Both are emerging as prominent choices among homeowners who are renovating at the moment, making the style one of the latest kitchen trends and a great choice when it comes to popular kitchen cabinets. Also check out the 15 kitchen cabinet organizers that will change your life.

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Avoid: Raised panel doors and partial-overlay

Raised panel doors have been a classic look in cabinetry, but they certainly aren’t trendy at the moment. In fact, they are the style most homeowners who are upgrading are replacing right now. Partial overlay, which do not completely cover the frame visible in a cabinetry run, is also on its way out.

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Embrace: Inset and frameless

Homeowners who are replacing partial overlays are choosing inset or frameless doors. Inset doors are set inside the frames. Frameless doors completely cover the boxes. Both styles have a sleeker, two dimensional, uncluttered look compared to raised panel doors and therefore make a kitchen feel tranquil, less busy. Inset cabinetry and frames require custom work and are often the choice of homeowners who want a unique kitchen.

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Embrace: Shaker style

Shaker doors are a simple, classic design which, like their namesake early-American religious furniture makers, forego ornamentation. It’s a timeless style that can be a great choice for anyone renovating an older home, from Craftsman bungalows to mid-century tract houses, but can also work well in transitional style kitchens. Smooth slab fronts are another on-trend option, especially when it comes to kitchen trends that will last. Plus: See our favorite countertop materials that aren’t granite.

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Embrace: Glass cabinets

If your pin boards are filled with photos of inspiration kitchens featuring large glass-front cabinets, now’s the time to go for it; the style is one of the latest kitchen trends and looks great. Style yours with your favorite glassware or dishes to give your kitchen that personalized look that suits your style.

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Embrace: Wine racks

Don’t bother buying a wine rack that takes up counter space. Instead, have one built right into a cabinet run. “Wine racks always present a fun design opportunity,” said McDermott. “Whether it’s incorporated in the cabinetry or as an accent wall, wine storage can always act as artwork in the room.” You can build your own under cabinet wine rack with these project plans.

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Avoid: Refrigerators that dominate the room

If your household requires a lot of cold storage, plan carefully when designing around your refrigerator. Avoid having one that sticks out almost a foot beyond the cabinets, impeding workflow and traffic flow. If you can’t get by with the storage capacity of a true counter-depth model, then take advantage of between-rafter space during your renovation and recess it into the wall. Avoid having a fridge door open up next to a wall or any situation where there are not enough fillers in place to allow both doors to open up all the way. McDermott points out that a fridge should be able to open past 90 degrees in order for those drawers and fridge shelves to be easily pulled out.

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Embrace: Brushed gold or brass, matte black, or glass hardware

Not only is it okay to mix metals in your kitchen, it’s one of the latest kitchen trends, especially when it comes to kitchen cabinet hardware trends. McDermott suggests sourcing hardware that has matte, black, brushed gold or acrylic/glass to give your kitchen design a touch of modern flair. These finishes compliment today’s popular blues, grays, and whites in the cabinetry—plus they’re an inexpensive change to make when the trend eventually dies, as all trends inevitably do. Next, check out 41 kitchen storage ideas that will save your sanity.

Next, learn how to create your own antique painted cabinets.