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What's Current in Kitchens, According to the Pros

Say hello to smart layouts, lively color combinations and connected appliances.

Written by Suzanna Logan

Looking for a kitchen that embraces the future rather than lives in the past? We’ve consulted with two home-design pros who share all the ways log and timber home kitchens have been on the forefront of charming-yet-functional design. 


Our Pros

Architect Steven Marchetti, principal of Manhattan-based Studio Marchetti

Designer Erika Jennings of Erika & Company in Big Sky, Montana


What’s New in Layout

Far from a trend, open-concept kitchens have been a log and timber home mainstay for the better part of two decades. But there is a definite move toward separating prep and entertaining areas with butler’s pantries off the main kitchen. Once reserved for luxury homes, these small (usually hall-like) spaces, are coming in hot in everyday home design. Finally, you can have the wide-open look you’ve come to love while also keeping kitchen essentials hidden but close at hand. “My clients are loving it because you can have a place to hide some of those functional things and tuck all the mess away,” shares Erika. 


What’s New in Cabinetry

“There was a day when everything matched,” says Erika. “The paint, furnishings, floors and cabinets were all the same color, but contrast is something that I am playing with a lot now.” One common trend she is seeing: Painting the upper cabinetry in a lighter shade but leaving the base cabinets in their natural tones. “It makes the natural wood pop and takes things to a different level,” she shares.


What’s New in Countertops

It’s official: Granite has been dethroned. “Quartz is definitely hot, and waterfall-edge countertops, where the material continues down to the floor are really huge,” says Erika. Same team, different position: Steven is all in for porcelain, another kitchen countertop go-to. “Porcelain is even more indestructible than quartz, as well as scratch and heat resistant.” And, if a little porcelain is good, more is better: “Countertops are continuing up the walls as backsplashes, replacing tile,” he shares. “That’s becoming the norm rather than the outlier.” 


What’s New in Finishes

A layered look is in when it comes to choosing your metallic finishes. “For years, we would fight mixing,” says Steven. “The push was to do the whole house the same, but now, it’s like, ‘Let’s mix brass, satin nickel or black.’” Throwing in his vote for the change, he notes that changing up the color of hardware, lighting fixtures, faucets and even appliances is one of the best ways to bring a 2023 kitchen up to date. “Not everything can be gray,” he says, “Let’s throw in some color, please.”  


What’s New in Appliances

It’s no secret that cooking is work, even for those who love it. But working smarter, not harder, is the motto in today’s kitchens. Voice-activated faucets, ranges, microwaves and dishwashers make quick(er) work of prep and cleanup. Pressure cookers and slow cookers can be controlled through an app, and there are even high-tech range hoods with built-in dual cameras that will allow you to host your own cooking show to family and friends. (One camera faces the cook; another, the cooktop.) Two advanced favorites: the bev by BLACK+DECKER, a cordless cocktail maker can make 250 drinks on a single charge at the push of a button —no mixing required! — and the De’Longhi Dinamica Plus espresso machine remembers how you take your coffee. 


Bring These Ideas Home

*All products featured are selected by our editors. When you make a purchase through a qualifying link, we may earn a commission via affiliate programs with Amazon.com and other retailers.*


See Also: Check Out Houzz's Kitchen Trends for the Year

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