Kitchen Design: Forbes’ Top Trends in 2020

As the heart of the home and one of the most popular rooms to remodel, kitchens are always a main focus in residential construction. 

At the start of the new decade, Forbes gathered predictions from seven industry professionals to share the top kitchen trends for 2020. Here’s what they had to say:

Floor Plan and Layout

An open floor plan has been a desired layout for many years, and this is one trend that isn’t going away. However, experts are noticing a trend toward semi-open spaces. Jean Brownhill, founder and CEO at Sweeten, said semi-open spaces use “decorative architectural elements like archways to define ‘zones’ without closing off the room entirely.”

Kitchen Storage

With the number of cooking appliances, tools, and utensils, storage is essential in the kitchen. Here are a few trends in kitchen storage this year:

  • Drawers with customized storage options. 
  • Hidden storage is a key trend. Michele Alfano, principal at Michele Alfano Design, said, “Kitchen cabinetry is acting more like furniture with flat panels and integrated hardware. Our appliances are starting to be hidden and not visible in our kitchens.”
  • Floating shelves and glass-front cabinets open up the kitchen.
  • Soft close drawers and cabinets. 

Appliances

Convection and induction cooking are becoming more popular options with homeowners. In addition, most appliances are becoming “smart.” With advances in technology, appliances can do more than ever before. For those more interested in the finish of appliances, the experts agree that stainless steel will remain popular. 

Countertops

Quartz and porcelain are moving in, and granite is moving out.

“Porcelain slabs are proving to be more durable than granite and maintenance-free,” said Alfano.

In addition to countertops, these materials are being used for bar tops, island overhangs, and backsplashes. 

Flooring

Porcelain is also making its way to the floor in kitchens, in the form of large, sleek tiles. People are becoming more playful with the design and texture of the flooring. Alfano said,

“We will see more surprising textures, unique shapes, and richer veining.”

Sinks and Faucets

Smart faucet sensors will continue to appear in kitchens, allowing people to turn the water on and off with the wave of a hand. Black and brushed brass fixtures are trending with pro-style chef sinks in the kitchen. 

 

Kitchens are not only a place to prepare meals, but a room filled with social interaction, memories, and of course, good food. To make the most of a kitchen remodel, make sure the design reflects your style and way of life.

Countertops: Granite vs. Quartz

In addition to appearance, there are several factors to consider when choosing a material for your countertop. A handful of materials can be used for countertops, which offer various aesthetic qualities and functions. Two of the most popular materials used for countertops are granite and quartz.

Having a general understanding of granite and quartz is important. Granite is a 100% natural material. It is mined from quarries, cut and then polished. Quartz countertops are a 95% natural material; the other five percent is binder and color. With this basic makeup in mind, we can compare qualities of both.

Look of Countertops

Granite is slightly more natural looking due to its 100% natural composition. It can be found in a variety of unique colors and patterns. Though not quite as organic in nature, quartz still provides a stone aesthetic. Since it is engineered, quartz may be more easily found to fit a particular color.

Maintenance

Granite is more porous than quartz. For this reason, it requires more maintenance. It is suggested that granite countertops be resealed annually to ensure longevity, while quartz does not need the same care.

Durability

Both granite and quartz are incredibly durable. Because of granite’s porous nature, spilled liquids can cause staining. While quartz will not stain, it can be damaged by excessive heat.

Price

While the cost of granite and quartz are similar, quartz can run slightly more expensive. Based on estimates from HomeAdvisor, the national average cost to buy quartz without installation fees is $75 per square foot, while slab granite can typically be purchased between $40 and $60 per square foot without installation. We suggest getting quotes from two to three professionals, with installation fees factored in, so that you are able to get what you want for the best price.

In deciding between granite and quartz, there is no right or wrong decision. In the end, it comes down to personal preference, and you cannot go wrong with either.

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