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Emerging Trends in Kitchen Design for 2021

NBC Universal, Inc.

They say kitchens and bathrooms are what sell a house, so you'll want to know where to spend your money if you’re planning any upgrades.

And if you're always having family gather in the kitchen, why not give it an upgrade?

The pandemic has already had a surprising impact on the way people renovate.

From bold colors to smart technology, the latest kitchen trends are all about investing in things you love.

Trend 1: Bold Colors

"People are embracing color and really starting to appreciate what makes them feel good versus worrying about resale," said designer Nadia Subaran, co-founder of Aidan Design.

She says shades of blue and green will be big this year.

"People are feeling a little more bold," she said. "I think there’s a big move away from the safe, all-white kitchens. Now we’re seeing people mix navy with some bright spring greens."

Trend 2: Wallpaper Is Back

Subaran says the key to any kitchen renovation is creating a space with layered looks. Think open shelving and wallpaper to infuse pops of personality, whether it’s on the ceiling or in a butler’s pantry.

Trend 3: Mixing Metals

Mixed metals help achieve that look, too.

"Now we're starting to see more in aged brasses and seeing a lot in black," Subaran said. "Seeing a lot of faucets in black and a lot of light fixtures in black."

Black is back in a big way – from fixtures to flooring and even cabinets.

And when it comes to lighting, think outside the box.

Trend 4: Smart Technology

With so many of us spending so much time at home, form and function inspire trends such as hands-free and voice-activated faucets and appliances that turn on remotely.

But be sure to invest wisely: "A new kitchen should last anywhere from 15 to 20 years so you should really do your research on the newest technologies," Subaran said.

Final Tips

Subaran says your kitchen cabinets and countertops should be classic because they're a big investment. But you can have fun with the backsplash, and in your light fixtures and fabrics on stools and banquettes. That way you can play with the trends and easily switch things out over time.

"Using library lights is a wonderful way to make the kitchen feel much more like a living space," she said.

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