These Will Be the Top Kitchen Trends of 2021

After months spent in varying levels of quarantine, it’s no surprise many of us are giving our kitchen cabinets side-eye and throwing shade at our outdated countertops. According to Houzz’s 2021 Kitchen Trends Study, the past year saw many changes to kitchen remodeling trends. The survey asked more than 2,000 homeowners on Houzz about their recent or planned home projects, and found that many are reconsidering the entire layout of their space. Predictably, kitchen storage has also become a top concern. From bigger pantries to vinyl flooring, here are the top kitchen trends of 2021 you can expect to see in the months ahead.



a kitchen filled with lots of furniture: Margaret Wright Photography / Houzz


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Margaret Wright Photography / Houzz

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Less Open Layouts

When we were spending more time entertaining indoors, an open concept kitchen sounded dreamy. But after months of working from home—potentially with kids, partner, and pets sharing the same space—many are opting for more walls. 

The number of renovating homeowners deciding to open up their kitchen has dropped from 53 percent in 2019 to 43 percent in 2021. However, as outdoor space has become a premium, one in five homeowners is opening up their kitchen to a patio, deck, or backyard. 

More Cabinet Storage

In 2020, almost all kitchen renovators (94 percent) made at least some changes to their cabinets. Of the nearly one-third who made partial changes, 28 percent added cabinets. This may not sound like much, but it’s more than four times the amount who added cabinets in 2019. As we stocked up on extra groceries and household supplies during the pandemic, who wasn’t wishing they had just one more cabinet?

The Bigger the Pantry the Better

As everyone was trying to figure out where to stash a surplus of canned goods and toilet paper, the demand for pantries also rose in 2020. According to kitchen renovators, 13 percent are adding a new walk-in pantry (a 3-point jump from last year). 

Others just want an Instagram-ready pantry, with 46 percent upgrading their pantry cabinets. 

Vinyl Flooring Makes a Comeback

In 2020, vinyl flooring rose 6 points (to 19 percent) while hardwood flooring dipped 6 points (to 23 percent). Hardwood, which was the number one choice in 2019, has been dethroned by ceramic or porcelain tile (24 percent). It makes sense that homeowners are opting for surface that are easier to clean and disinfect. 

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Contrasting Kitchen Islands

Wanting their kitchen islands to stand out, 41 percent of renovators selected a contrasting color that didn’t match their cabinets. But they didn’t get too wild with their color choices—blue and gray were the top hues for contrasting kitchen islands.

In 2021, expect more standout islands, both in color and texture (fluted islands are officially a thing). 

Extended Backsplashes

Why limit yourself to a standard 4-inch backsplash if it can extend all the way up to the lower cabinets or range hood? Sixty-eight percent of kitchen remodelers agree. White is still the top choice for backsplashes, showing that homeowners are aiming for a sleek, seamless design rather than a bold statement. 

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