The kitchen is no longer just a small room set aside for cooking. Today’s kitchens are the heart of the home, the gathering spot that everyone gravitates to. Modern floor plans dedicate more space to the kitchen than ever, often with an open concept floor plan that makes it easy to see this favored room from the rest of the living space.
Because the average kitchen remodel costs around $20,000 and can take months to complete, most renovations use classic materials that won’t be out of style by this time next year. Check out our best kitchen ideas in 2020 and find out which materials are perennially fantastic and which trends promise strong staying power.
1. Kitchen Backsplash Ideas
Kitchen backsplash ideas used to be an afterthought, but they are an important focus in kitchen design today. A great backsplash protects the walls from rogue mixers and bubbling sauces while adding a touch of your personal style.
Most backsplashes consist of some type of tile, but the size, colors, and textures available today are practically limitless. Slab backsplashes are currently popular. These dramatic touches consist of one big slab of marble or composite material that creates a seamless effect.
Backsplashes used to fill the gap between the countertop and upper cabinets. Now, it’s popular to extend them from the countertop to the ceiling, creating an impressive focal point. In addition to painted, patterned, or colorful tile designs, you can create a unique backsplash from glass, metal, brick, stone, or even wood.
2. Kitchen Island Ideas
A kitchen island is a sought-after feature for good reason. It is a multi-purpose central point to gather and cook with your friends and family. Some kitchen island ideas include a cooktop or a sink, while others are mostly a work surface with storage beneath. Bigger kitchens may even have two islands, with one designated for prep work and the other edged with barstools. Even the smallest kitchen can benefit from a little island—if you can make room for one.
A formal kitchen design will usually use a matching color on the cabinetry and the island. For added interest, paint or stain your island a completely different color than your cabinets. If you have white cabinets, a black island will stand out. In a modern kitchen, painting the island a bright primary color makes a fun impact.
3. Small Kitchen Ideas
It doesn’t matter how tiny your kitchen’s footprint: It can still leave a big impression on your guests. Certain design elements help visually expand your kitchen’s presence. Effective small kitchen ideas utilize light paint colors and reflective surfaces to make the space feel roomier. A glossy white granite countertop is perfect in a little kitchen and has timeless appeal.
Choose shiny penny tiles or petite, reflective metallic tiles to create your small scale backsplash. As in any small room, think vertically when it comes to storage. Hang a pot rack from the ceiling and build narrow shelves that extend to the ceiling for storing glassware, mugs, and other small belongings. Add recessed lights and under-cabinet task lighting to keep pendants or other light fixtures from visually filling your limited space.
4. Outdoor Kitchen Ideas
What used to be a standard in hot climates is now one of the ultimate symbols of luxury. An outdoor kitchen allows you to cook in the open air, being present with your guests instead of tucked away inside. Once comprised of just a grill, today’s outdoor kitchen ideas can include pizza ovens, cooktops, mini-refrigerators, ice makers, wine coolers, full-size sinks, and more.
Though outdoor kitchens are usually covered with an open shelter, cooking in the great outdoors is an entirely different experience. Because you don’t have to worry about creating smoke, you’re free to experiment with higher temperatures than you might use in your interior kitchen. Adding an outdoor kitchen turns your basic patio or lounging deck into an entertaining paradise. Be sure to select weather-resistant cabinetry that merges well with your home’s overall design.
5. Kitchen Decor Ideas
Kitchen decor ideas for 2020 incorporate the best of traditional design and newer concepts. From creative backsplash ideas to innovative light fixtures, you can feel free to put together your favorite elements to create a kitchen that’s all your own. For instance, it’s now acceptable to mix and match cabinet and countertop finishes all in one room. People are also taking bigger risks with their creative use of color.
Steel stove hoods are another hot trend for 2020. While stove ventilation used to hide behind cabinet doors, now it’s a focal point. These metal hoods can be simple or embossed, copper or stainless steel, black or painted with glossy enamel. Open shelving, glass cabinet doors, dark countertops, and warmer shades of wood are also surging in popularity.
6. Kitchen Lighting Ideas
Making everything match is definitely a trend no longer in style. Design choices with a stylish mix-and-match of favorite materials and finishes reflect today’s more casual lifestyles. No longer do you have to choose between the simple light pendants and the elegant chandelier—now you can have both.
Well-designed kitchen lighting ideas will include illumination from a variety of sources. An overhead light fixture brightens the entire room, while under-cabinet task lighting helps you see what you’re doing. Light sconces illuminate dark corners or provide ambient lighting near the table. For extra warmth, strategically place a lamp or two on your island or countertop.
7. Modern Kitchen Ideas
A modern or contemporary kitchen design should be sleekly minimalist, uncluttered, and clean, but that doesn’t mean it has to feel sterile. Flat-panel cabinets, waterfall countertops, gallery-style flooring, and bright pops of color are wonderful modern kitchen ideas. You can add industrial touches, such as exposed ceiling beams or a brick wall, and still not sacrifice your modern vibe.
Seamless countertops and an under-mounted sink help create the simple lines that define modern architecture. Consider painted concrete flooring or concrete countertops for another merge between modern and industrial decor. Geometric metal light fixtures and metal barstools add a shiny metallic element—vital in many modern spaces.
8. Kitchen Cabinet Ideas
Kitchen cabinet ideas are one of the first things a homeowner considers when building or remodeling a kitchen. Because cabinets make up so much of the kitchen, it’s vital that you love the color and style you choose. After all, you’ll be seeing a wide expanse of it for years to come.
Shaker-style cabinets are a classic design that remains relevant in 2020. Their simply framed fronts can carry virtually any color of paint or wood finish. They also merge well with a wide range of home decor styles, including traditional, casual contemporary, and modern farmhouse.
For hardware, brass is currently a popular choice. Its rustic, almost greenish hue stands out against basic black or white and melds nicely against finished wood or earthy colors. Satin or antique finished brass hardware works well in a traditional kitchen, while polished brass creates a shiny focal point in a contemporary kitchen design.
9. Modern Farmhouse Kitchen
Farmhouse kitchen design doesn’t have to bring to mind the French countryside or a sprawling American farm. Modern farmhouse kitchen design combines the welcoming elements of farmhouse style with the elegance and simplicity of modern decor. A black and white theme is one of the hallmarks of modern farmhouse style.
Large white tile or dark slate farmhouse sinks stand out from white or dark-stained cabinetry. A popular technique is to paint upper cabinets white and lower cabinets black, or vice-versa. Simple, Shaker-style cabinets work well in a modern farmhouse kitchen, while open shelves are an equally welcome storage solution. If you prefer some color over plain white, choose paint in a muted earthy shade of sage green or robin’s egg blue.
10. French Country Kitchen
French country kitchen design is one of those classic decorating options that never goes out of style. This type of look combines the best of vintage, rustic, and glamorous elements. It speaks the same warmth of farmhouse design, but in a more polished language.
The kitchen hood has always been a focal point in French country kitchens. Whether made of wood or metal, they often include decorative moldings, archways, and trim. Cabinets reflect the same design elements, often emphasized with distressed paint finishes. Hang an elegant chandelier over the kitchen island, and set a vase full of lavender beneath it for a welcoming French country feel.
11. Kitchen Storage Ideas
Smart kitchen storage is essential for keeping the heart of your home uncluttered and welcoming. If your kitchen is small, it’s essential to make the most out of all available storage space. Specialty storage solutions abound today, and new cabinetry designs include features such as narrow spice drawers and tall niches for storing trays.
Use storage racks to keep pots and pans neatly stacked, and place organizing trays in most of your kitchen drawers. If counter space is limited, hang storage hooks or jars from the underside of your cabinets. Purchase stacking trays so that you can store multiple layers of fruit, utensils, or spices upward from one small footprint. Hang narrow wire baskets on the inside of your cabinet doors to make use of often-wasted space.
12. White Kitchen Ideas
Cool, crisp white is ideal for kitchens and bathrooms. Nothing more adequately conveys the cleanliness of a space than a broad expanse of white. The all-white kitchen has never stopped being a popular design option, and its clean color palette marries well with virtually any decor style.
White kitchen ideas visually broaden a small or dark kitchen, creating a clear canvas for the materials you want to highlight. Particularly gorgeous floor tile or exposed ceiling beams catch the eye when they are the only dark elements in the room. Use distressed white painting techniques, white marble with a colored vein, or a mixed-texture white backsplash to add interest to multiple white surfaces.
13. Kitchen Color Ideas
A splash of color is almost always a good idea in a kitchen. What color works best depends on which colors make you happy. You may prefer light and bright hues or deep, bold tones. How much color you use—or the combination of colors—depends on how busy or peaceful you want the kitchen to feel.
Kitchen color ideas can be applied anywhere in the room—on the cabinets, walls, countertops, furniture, or even the ceiling. Due to the influence of European design trends rising in the United States, you can even find brightly-colored appliances to replace your dull black, white, or stainless steel finishes. Remember to choose rugs, curtains, towels, and other textiles that include your chosen color palette.
14. Kitchen Flooring Ideas
Kitchen flooring ideas must embrace functionality as well as style. Each type of kitchen flooring material has its pros and cons. For example, sheet vinyl flooring is an inexpensive way to replicate the look of stone or wood. However, heavy appliances and furniture can leave permanent dents. High heels can also leave pockmarks on heavily-tread vinyl floors.
Porcelain tile manufacturers bake the tile at high temperatures for extra durability. It is heavy, though, making it a less-than-ideal choice for a second-floor kitchen. Anything you drop on it is also likely to shatter. Wood is beautiful in a farmhouse or rustic kitchen but isn’t the most water-resistant choice for these semi-wet zones. Luckily, you can achieve a similar appearance with engineered vinyl plank or laminate flooring.
Natural stone, such as slate or travertine, makes for a beautiful kitchen floor filled with natural color variations. However, it is also heavy, expensive, and quite slippery when wet.
15. Farmhouse Kitchen Ideas
Natural elements rule when it comes to farmhouse kitchen ideas. Galvanized tin, real wood, woven baskets, slate, burlap, and cotton textiles—all of these elements come together to make a farmhouse kitchen. Welcoming and rustic, traditional yet chic, farmhouse kitchens draw your loved ones in to sit down and stay awhile.
A metal or ceramic farmhouse sink is usually the focal point of the room, set beneath a window flanked by glass-front cabinets or open wood-and-metal-bracket shelving. White is a common color on cabinets and walls, although muted, earthy pastels are also popular. Dark wood floors and black metal accents are other elements that help create farmhouse kitchen design.
16. Rustic Kitchen Ideas
For many, hearing the word “rustic” brings to mind a lakeside log cabin or other basic, unrefined space. While many rustic kitchen ideas do center around elements of nature, the term also applies to any space that’s simple and nostalgic. Rustic kitchens often feature lots of wood surfaces, from paneling to ceiling beams to cabinetry. Stone, brick, and metal are other materials that show up often in a rustic room.
Rustic kitchen ideas can cross over to include many industrial elements, such as exposed brick, exposed ductwork, and heavy galvanized light fixtures. The rustic style also meshes well with farmhouse design elements. Examples include pairing white with stained woods and covering open cabinet doors with chicken wire instead of glass.
17. Kitchen Paint Ideas
A quick glance at a gallery of kitchen paint ideas for 2020 looks like a soothing sea of muted blues, soft greens, and tons of white and grey. While bright colors work well in many kitchen designs, the current trend is toward softer, more calming hues. When painting the kitchen, you must consider your wall color as well as your cabinet colors. They can all be the same or many shades different.
Painting an accent wall is an excellent way to incorporate color into the kitchen without going overboard. If you have a black and white kitchen, consider painting one wall in black chalkboard paint—especially if you have kids who like to draw. Paint is the cheapest and easiest way to bring life back to old cabinets. You can even paint the ceiling, if you want to draw attention upward.
18. Country Kitchen Ideas
A country kitchen is like your favorite pair of jeans: a bit worn, shaped to fit you, and 100 percent comfortable. Country kitchen ideas should include the elements that cause nostalgic feelings to rise inside of you. Vintage, rustic, or shabby chic, a country kitchen always makes its visitors feel right at home.
A country kitchen is usually “eat-in,” which means it has an integrated dining area. Sometimes, the table is right in the middle of the floor, making cooking a bit of a challenge. Beadboard or shiplap panels often adorn the walls, and it’s not uncommon to find repurposed exterior light fixtures inside. Bohemian or eclectic decorating styles mesh well with country kitchen design, as a loose “anything goes” vibe works well throughout the home.
19. Galley Kitchen Ideas
The galley kitchen got its name from the narrow kitchens found on ships. Their footprint consists of two parallel lines of cabinets with a walking strip between them. Although many view these kitchens in a negative light, with the right ideas, these spaces can shine. Some homeowners truly prefer a galley kitchen to a larger room with an island.
To keep a galley kitchen from feeling like a long hallway, install an interesting tile pattern on the floor. Vinyl plank flooring that looks like wood is another great choice in a galley kitchen. Break up the monotony of a boring galley kitchen by using color wherever it fits. Paint a section of cabinets blue, or create a patterned accent wall with tape and several colors of paint, as seen here:
20. Kitchen Countertop Ideas
For an upcoming remodel or build, certain kitchen countertop ideas are trending. As with other modern kitchen design elements, most countertop materials are classics that will remain relevant for years to come. It’s always best to choose a neutral color for your countertops, as well as a natural pattern that you won’t tire of too quickly.
Quartz is a high-end, nonporous alternative to granite. It’s hygienic and stain-resistant. Honed or leather countertop surfaces are growing in popularity and add an interesting texture that sets them apart from traditional smooth surfaces. Choose a neutral shade of white, grey, or beige that will go well with your chosen backsplash design.
21. Kitchenette Ideas
A kitchenette, or mini-kitchen, is a popular addition to basements, in-law suites, and offices. Kitchenette ideas work well in any area where one might want access to running water, a mini-fridge, and a microwave oven. Many studio apartments, assisted living apartments, and college housing units feature a kitchenette instead of a full-size kitchen.
A few wall cabinets are usually all you need for kitchenette storage. The kitchenette should feature small-sized tile and other design elements to scale, but you can still be creative in designing this functional zone. Use the colors and finishes that work well with the design elements you’ve used nearby.
22. Kitchen Wall Decor Ideas
Kitchen wall decor ideas for 2020 speak loudly—and quite literally, as printed signs and chalkboards continue to adorn modern kitchen walls. Whether it’s distressed metal letters nailed straight on the wall or a painted wooden plank reminding you to “Choose Joy,” these signs continue to be popular in every room of the house.
Open shelves displaying dishes or family heirlooms, framed artwork, and colorful wreaths are classic kitchen wall decor ideas that are still prevalent. Wall-mounted wire baskets can hold fresh fruit or the day’s mail. Plant a variety of herbs in metal buckets mounted on a sunny wall for your own indoor herb garden.
23. Kitchen Window Ideas
Kitchen window ideas may include curtains, shades, blinds, shutters, or absolutely nothing at all. Natural light is always welcome in the kitchen, so your window treatments should freely allow the sun inside. However, you must balance that with privacy when needed, especially if your kitchen window opens onto a busy sidewalk or street.
Café curtains and valances are traditional kitchen window treatments that have stood the test of time. They are a great place to add a dash of color, texture, or elegance to the room, depending on the type of fabric you use. Ideally, kitchen window treatments will be easy to clean. Plantation shutters add a farmhouse or coastal vibe to a casual kitchen and work well with French or English country kitchen decor.
24. Kitchen Pantry Ideas
Your kitchen pantry might be anything from a small cabinet or closet to an entire room of its own. Whatever its size, our kitchen pantry ideas will help you make the most of this valuable storage zone. You can store nearly anything in your pantry, from seasonal tableware to small appliances to your latest grocery haul.
A pantry should be well-lit, easy to clean, and organized to make things easy to find. Drawers and bins can help you organize the pantry, and they’re great for holding small items such as seasoning packets and energy bars. Labeling each jar or bin will help your family members locate items.
Make your pantry more interesting by replacing a plain pantry door with a sliding barn door or a reclaimed antique. A rolling library ladder on rails can help reach high shelves in a particularly tall or oversized kitchen pantry.