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Best New Kitchen Trends from KBIS 2020

The kitchen trends of the 2020s will be colorful, smart, eco-friendly, and customized to your tastes and needs. Those were the biggest themes from KBIS 2020, the annual Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. We scoped out the latest in kitchen appliances and faucets to flooring and countertops over the three-day show in Las Vegas. Here are the biggest themes in kitchen trends.

Color Is Back in the Kitchen

White kitchens are so 2010. Every major appliance maker, from Dacor to True Residential to Jenn-Air, showed off their rainbow of hues for refrigerators, microwaves, and ranges. The new hue at True Residential was Saffron, while Dacor showed ranges in Blush and Denim blue to tout their technology that can match any color you can dream up. The customization extends to the knobs, which come in standard silver, and can be changed out with copper, brushed brass, and matte black. 

Cool Kitchen Gadgets

Smart home technology is all over the kitchen, and it’s gotten more complex than just turning on the oven or alerting you when the fridge is open. The best of show product was Plum Wine, a two-bottle wine server that pours tastes, keeping them fresh for up to a month. And no matter if that bottle is a Cabernet or Ribolla Gialla, Plum tells you about where it’s grown and describes the flavor. Bosch’s connected coffee maker is like having a built-in barista who makes 20 different international coffee drinks and always remembers your order. Enjoy fresh mint, basil, and arugula year-round with the Natufia column system for growing herbs hydroponically. Turns out mauve is the ideal light color for growing healthy plants and flowers. The company name is inspired by the Natufians, an ancient culture who pioneered grain cultivation. 

Studio Dearborn KBIS Best Kitchen of 2020
Photo credit: Adam Kane Macchia

Kitchen as a Living Space

Kitchens are a whole lot more stylish and considered these days and they’re going to stay that way for the foreseeable future. The kitchen is the center of the home; the place where we cook, eat, entertain, do homework, and play. So why shouldn’t it feel personal and elevate our spirits, just like the living room or bedroom? This Larchmont kitchen by our very own Sarah Robertson, which won KBIS 2020 Kitchen of Year, feels like a mashup between a chic tea room, a yoga studio, and a kitchen.

Unexpected Finishes

As a part of elevating the kitchen into a living space, we saw all sorts of unusual and unexpected textures in the kitchen. Designer Richard Anuskiewicz featured cabinetry clad in brass-studded leather and a stone herringbone surround for the main Monogram demonstration kitchen. It made a chic-yet-masculine backdrop as celebrity Chef Brian Malarkey and Chef Carlos Anthony showed all the things the Smart Hearth Oven can do. At Jenn-Air’s Experience, chic refrigerator choices from the Rise and Noir lines included faux shagreen with anodized brass handles. And Liebherr debuted a life-changing BlackSteel matte surface that won’t show fingerprints.      

Black (+Gold) Trends in the Kitchen

Matte black starred in nearly every product line, from cabinetry and appliances to faucets and kitchen hardware. It’s a modern look that also works in traditional farmhouse and industrial spaces too. Matte faucets by Brizo and Kohler (loved the touchless operation) caught our eye; so did Delta’s glossy black stainless finish. While we love basic black, it takes on more drama warmed with antique brass or Champagne brass, as in the hardware by Belwith-Keeler. The contrast makes both finishes more stunning, don’t you think?

Induction Range Redux

Get ready for induction cooktops 2.0. Nearly every appliance brand booth showcased an electric induction cooktop. Since natural gas usage produces 33% of greenhouse emissions, a slew of forward-thinking cities in California have banned or severely limited installation of gas lines in new construction as of 2019. And as California goes, so goes the nation. Staying cool to touch has been induction’s main selling point since Frigidaire debuted the technology in 1933–and there have been many upgrades since then. Some ranges pair induction with an air fryer. Aussie celebrity Chef Curtis Stone showed how easy it is to program the Bosch induction cooktop for simmering or a turbo blast, and easily clean up with nothing more than a wet sponge.

Novel Flooring + Counters

Engineers are using new technology to recycle glass and sand to create durable surfaces for counters or flooring. We loved terrazzo in both neutral tones and vivid color. Compac’s Petra range looks like concrete studded with glass pebbles and rocks. Florim based in Modena, Italy has perfected the art of recreating the colors and movement of marble in large format ceramic tile. 

Modern Farmhouse Sinks

Farmhouse has been one of the the most popular kitchen styles for the past few years and the wide sink with the apron is one of its signature details. We noticed brands riffing on the traditional sink. Both Elkay and Kohler showed sinks with interchangeable front panels that can display colors, tile or any material you like. It’s an easy way to refresh the look of the kitchen with a small change. 

Rich Kitchen Details

Even when the appliances looked traditional, closer inspection revealed luxe details. Jenn-Air’s ranges featured a sculpted handle to make grip more secure. GE’s Monogram showed coppery touches on their Cafe range and hand stitched leather on another refrigerator handle. The showstopper though was Jenn-Air’s refrigerator with a burgundy lizard print inside and out. Putting the milk away will never be the same.