If you’re thinking of selling your house anytime soon, we’ve got some news: An outdated kitchen is the top turnoff for buyers, according to Opendoor’s 2022 Decor Report. It’s a dealbreaker for 71 percent of people, but even if you’re not thinking of moving in the near future, living with bowing cabinets or a stuck-in-the-90s-spongepainted space can make you start scrolling listings, fast. Rather than ditch your digs, maybe it’s time to consider an upgrade (or overhaul). Here are the top kitchen trends to create an au courant space in 2022.
1. Smarter Dishwashers
One of the breakout hits at the 2022 Kitchen and Bath Show was GE’s upgraded take on dishwashers. The brand recently launched the GE Profile UltraFresh System Dishwasher, which features Microban Antimicrobial Technology to kill 99.9 percent of germs. (It also has built-in Wi-Fi that lets you easily re-order detergent when you’re running low or set a wash cycle using your phone.)
Similarly, GE’s Café line will be launching Dishwasher Drawers, a two-drawer appliance that lets you run half a load at a time—or a full one with two different wash settings, if you want to clean your coupes at the same time as your ceramic plates. The machine holds just as many dishes as a traditional dishwasher, only its face is much more discreet—a continuation of 2021’s hidden appliances trend (more on that below). It’s expected to be available later this spring.
2. Pull-Out Drawers
One simple upgrade you can make, no contractor or permits needed? Install pull-out drawers (like the Wayfair design above) in your cabinets. It’ll spare you from playing Jenga with your pots and pans, making cooking that much easier. (You can even order a set through Amazon and have them delivered by the end of the week—just make sure to measure your cabinets first.)
3. Chameleon Neutrals
While the recession ushered in a season of all-white kitchens, the pendulum continues to swing in the opposite direction, with people now favoring darker, more saturated hues.
“While deep blues and greens have certainly dominated trends in kitchen and bath recently for all age generations, particularly within the Millennial age group, we are seeing a shift toward incorporating lighter, softer hues like Whimsy and Maho Bay that act as a new neutral,” says Stephanie Pierce, director of design and trends for Masterbrand Cabinets. Both colors are chameleon-like, looking more subdued—or vibrant—depending on what they’re paired with and what the lighting is like in the kitchen. (Whimsy, for example, looks icy blue in some settings and like more of a tinted white in others.)
4. Multiple Window Banks
If you’re going all out, you might as well have the light, airy kitchen of your dreams. It’s a top wishlist item for many homeowners, Houzz has found, and now that more people are incorporating storage-optimized kitchen islands and adding pantries back into their kitchens, they can skip some upper cabinets and opt for long banks of windows spanning two (and sometimes three) walls. Just be forewarned that this can be a pricey upgrade—window installation is one of the most underbudgeted renovation projects, according to a recent HomeAdvisor study.
5. Vertical Backsplash Tile
People can herald the death of subway tile all they want, but the timeless look isn’t going anywhere; they’re just getting a slight twist. Houzz is seeing increasing interest in longer, 4-inch by 12-inch tiles, as well as ones with a wavy or crackle-glaze finish. It’s also popular to mix up the way they’re arranged, laying them vertically instead of horizontally. This draws your eye up (thus making the ceilings seem higher) while giving the backsplash a more modern, fresh look.
6. Hidden Charging Stations
When Masterbrand Cabinets surveyed designers across the country in early 2020, a whopping 67 percent said they were looking for more ways to integrate charging stations into the kitchen. And the brand’s only seen demand increase since then. “People are looking up recipes, hanging out and working from their kitchen islands, so it’s more important to make sure you have enough outlets—not just for your appliances but your phones and tablets too,” Pierce says. Features like charging stations tucked into drawers or outlets that pop up from the counter keep cables from getting in the way.
7. SUSTAINABLE CLEANING SUPPLIES
Several designers have noticed that their clients are more interested in sustainability all around, from installing solar panels to repurposing old décor. And that extends to the cleaning products we use, evidenced in the rise of eco-friendly dish soaps and detergent that comes in reusable containers. (Seriously, everyone from designer Jeremiah Brent to momager extraordinaire Kris Jenner have launched collaborations and product lines in the past year.)
8. Kitchens That Extend Outdoors
Indoor-outdoor living has taken on new meaning since the pandemic started, with homeowners everywhere looking for ways to maximize every square inch of space. That, combined with the rise of friluftsliv—or open-air living—has inspired many to tear down walls. One in five renovations includes opening the kitchen to an outdoor space, Houzz reported, making it easier than ever to dine alfresco.
And One Trend We’d Like to Ditch: Hidden Everything
We get not wanting a bunch of cables and chargers cluttering your countertops and even installing refrigerator panels that match your cabinets if you’re not crazy about seeing a bunch of stainless steel. But the trend of endless appliance garages, covering up everything that makes a kitchen, well, a kitchen? They’re so ultra-modern that you start to feel like you’re living aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, and with everything so starkly uniform, you’ll spend more time hunting down where you keep your KitchenAid than actually using it.
Shop the Story:
PureWow may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from PureWow's editorial and sales departments.