written by Alyssa Longobucco
There’s a good reason why many people refer to kitchens as the heart of the home. Sure, they get a lot of foot traffic daily—from family dinners and intimate date nights to post-school study sessions—but more than that, they act as a microcosm for our daily lives, routine, and outlook. The forms our kitchens take—and the way they morph year over a year—says a lot more about us than just what color we’re loving lately. They reflect back on our priorities, our struggles, and our goals, both for our homes and our lives.
For that reason, the expert-driven trends below for 2022 are really more than just trends. Granted, there are a few mixed in just for the pretty factor they provide but the majority of these new kitchen upgrades are a prime example of our collective shifting priorities amid life in a pandemic. From the return of color—and a reinvigoration of a positive perspective—to the prioritizing of natural materials and do-it-all finishes, they encapsulate a time and a place that we all hope is filled with more love, laughter, and yes, good food—just like a kitchen (and life) should be.
1. Custom Organization
Gone are the days where homeowners had to choose to forgo cabinets and display their wares on beautiful (but slightly impractical) open shelving or cave to a kitchen designed for storage but not style. These days, designers are focusing on crafting spaces that are both creative and utilitarian, giving home chefs the best of both worlds—a space that functions and looks good while doing it. In fact, Houzz’s 2022 U.S Kitchen Trends Study showed that the popularity of built-in specialty organizers is only increasing, with more than half of homeowners upgrading their space with storage solutions.
“Having a decluttered and organized kitchen not only helps with function but also brings a sense of calm and order to a home,” says Carrie Delaney of Carrie Delaney Interiors. “People spend so much time in their kitchen, so thoughtful storage and organizational solutions are key. From spices and bakeware to simple things like the paper towel roll, getting creative with storage helps a kitchen both look and function better.”
“Kitchens are evolving as our needs are,” adds Chad Dorsey of Chad Dorsey Design. “More than ever, clients are asking for hardworking kitchens that are high-performance without sacrificing on design. They want their kitchens to feel comfortable, with ample space to take them through the needs of their day. From having an intimate nook to work or sip a morning espresso to spacious, custom-made ranges and other appliances that gather families and friends to cook together.”
2. Statement-Making Slabs
Into 2022, designers and homeowners are taking every opportunity to imbue a space with personality, a perspective that will extend beyond cabinet colors and hardware finishes into bold, attention-grabbing countertop materials. Houzz’s study recently reported that over one-third of homeowners completing a home kitchen renovation or design chose to splurge on their countertops, with quartz and granite among the most popular materials.
“We’ll be seeing more bold stone selections in the year to come,” says designer Killy Scheer of Scheer & Co. “Think less plain white stone composite products and more splashy veined marbles and quartzites. To get the full effect (and value) out of these selections, we’ll be seeing them applied to backsplashes, too, so they can be seen vertically, not just horizontally.”
Instead of chasing the high-gloss look of a brand-spankin’ new kitchen, more homeowners and designers are reaching for fixtures and finishes that bring with them a well-worn lived-in appeal. From muddy paint hues and unlacquered brass finished with a natural patina to handmade tiles that boast elegant movement, the goal is the same: a kitchen that could have been there 100 years ago—even if it was just built last month.
“We see kitchens trending towards an understated naturalism in 2022,” says Phoebe Schuh, founder and creative director at PS & Daughters. “We anticipate a move away from lustrous looks like polished stone towards things like ash green, soapstone, and patinated metals.”
“Subway style tile is still here to stay, but we’ll see a change-up in texture throughout 2022,” says designer Andi Morse of Morse Design. “White brick, stone, and ceramic tiles all have a natural look and feel to them that adds another layer to the kitchen.”
“Everyone is looking for organic warmth and we love bringing it in with the metals used in hardware and plumbing fixtures,” adds designer Jessica Nicastro. “We love the look of a matte bronze in the kitchen that gives patina and depth but also warmth.