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RHD-Approved Luxury Kitchen Design Trends From KBIS 2024

In case you’re not familiar with it, KBIS is an annual trade event for the kitchen and bath industry. It’s the largest such event in North America, and it brings together interior designers, brands, and other exhibitors, as well as educators to network, share knowledge, and unveil new products.


A luxury kitchen design with a large eat-in island and a tall pantry cabinet that closes up clutter.
Image via @mccroskeyinteriors

While current kitchen and bath design trends are a major focus of the show, my clients and I tend to be most intrigued by design elements that have staying power, so I approach events like this with a bit of a different lens.


That said, I went to KBIS with the attitude that–whether something has been around for a while or not–if I love it and I’m excited about it, it’s going on my list of what’s ‘trending’ with me and RHD.


Without further delay, here’s what’s on that list for kitchens (I’ll tackle baths in part 2 next month).


Sinks

I’m all about the workstation sinks. They’re not exactly new–they’ve been around for a good 10-15 years, but they’re incredibly popular right now. I love that they’re now being offered in more sizes than ever.


A newer trend is a two-faucet workstation sink that allows households to have two cooks in the kitchen simultaneously, working side-by-side without getting in each other's way (or at least a non-cook can wash their hands or rinse an apple without irritating the cook!).


Modern luxury workstation sink with two faucets.
Image via @baileyaustindesign

These sinks have a lip or two routed out inside the sink to hold accessories made for the sink, so you can have a layer or two of drain boards, cutting boards, trays, colanders, and more for whatever chore you’re needing to accomplish. Not only do these versatile, hardworking sinks offer a lot of prep and clean-up functionality, but they also essentially allow you to extend your counter space. It’s like having an entire worktop instead of just a sink!


Finishes

I saw just as many darker finishes paired with brass as we’ve been seeing in recent years so clearly these are still going strong. Emtek had this to say about brass, which is often a controversial metal, “Whether it is unlacquered, polished, satin, or French antique, brass is on the rise and is here to stay.” I couldn’t agree more! There’s no reason to hesitate when it comes to using this timeless finish in your home.

 

Whatever the finish, tactile textures were HUGE in cabinet and door hardware. In particular, knurled textures paired with smooth pieces were everywhere, as were custom handles and pulls incorporating natural stone, terrazzo, glass, wood, and leather.



Range Hoods

OK, this one might surprise you: Flush ceiling mount range hoods that disappear into the ceiling are MAJOR! We just implemented this in two projects and I’m hooked!


Luxury kitchen design with blonde wood pantry cabinets, flooring, and wood-beamed ceilings set off by a white stone waterfall island.
Image via lindyegalloway.com

Countertop Materials

Quartz and natural stone are still the leaders for countertops by a mile. We saw some GORGEOUS quartz options as exclusive previews that we’ll be sharing with you as soon as they’re released.


Suffice it to say that the companies we know and love, such as Cambria and Compac, have the most amazing options coming out!


Appliances

Every year, designers can’t wait to see what new appliances are being introduced (or at least what new bells and whistles are being added to existing appliances) at KBIS.


Just to be clear, I am not an expert on appliances. I work together with amazing experts at appliance showrooms to help my clients outfit their homes with the best choices for their needs. But I do it often enough to have a good working knowledge of what’s good and what isn’t; what’s worth investing more in and what’s pretty much the same quality across the board.


This year, what stood out to me most was the trend towards induction. This is the future for appliances–period. We are moving away from gas and into induction and there is no looking back. Europe has already made this shift and although it may take us longer in America to get there, I fully expect to be specifying this more and more for our clients.


If there was any room for doubt about that, just look to AGA. The brand that has long been the Cadillac of luxury stoves and a mainstay in the UK (it’s what the Queen of England always used, after all!) now offers multiple induction options. The quality and the beauty are beyond compare. Just look at their offerings:

As far as small appliances are concerned, I fell head over heels in love with the Brava countertop oven. You can cook an entire meal at the same time!


Modern luxury small appliance programmable countertop oven
Image via Brava

The app is a gamechanger. You can actually upgrade your unit via the app. They have the most delicious recipes in the app, as well, and you can plug in what you’re cooking (whether it’s from scratch or, say, a convenience item from Trader Joe’s) and the oven will automatically set itself for the correct cooking time and temperature. Brilliant!


Cabinets & Storage

I’m always looking to maximize every inch of a kitchen and make it more efficient and help support the space’s functionality. We’re all looking to get the clutter off the counter–but in a way that's functional and easy to access when it’s needed. This is fundamental in our kitchen design process at RHD, so I had my eyes peeled for solutions.


Although it’s been on my radar for a while, KBIS reconfirmed that a huge trend right now is ditching the upper cabinets and instead embracing floating shelves or nothing at all on the wall. It’s such a popular option that at RHD, when possible, we wipe away the upper cabinets on at least one elevation for our clients so they can envision the option.


This is super popular in Italy, though it’s probably heavily influenced by Scandinavian design. Unlike an earlier iteration of this trend, however, the real functionality and storage needs of homeowners are accounted for this time by consolidating the bulk of the kitchen behind floor-to-ceiling pantry doors. That way, the doors open and recede so you can have the working portion of your kitchen and pantry open while using it, and then you can close the doors and your kitchen essentially goes away.



This leaves the rest of the kitchen with a span of open wall above, which completely opens up the space visually (ironically, you can open things up by closing things up!). Adding a simple shelf instead of upper cabinets provides a unique opportunity to experiment with what you display there. I love the possibilities of experimenting with objets d’art vs. daily utilitarian dishes or a combination of both, not to mention the ability to change this up as often as you like!


Luxury kitchen design with warm, medium-toned wood cabinets and flooring, a range hood that matches the wall color and floor-to-ceiling corner cabinets.
Image via @segale_bros_since_1976

In terms of the actual cabinet styles, the overall look here is super clean and not at all opulent. Instead, the focus is on beautiful wood finishes and interesting wood grains, with an emphasis on dark walnut and blonde finishes. When upper cabinets are used, there’s a move toward metal-clad cabinets where we can do cool finishes that feel like custom furniture (although again, sleek and simple rather than ornate).


Overall, the effect here that’s trending is quiet and clean. It’s safe to say that in terms of kitchen design, we’ve officially moved further away from the more ornamental details than we've been in a while.


All told, the kitchen trends that caught my eye are all about making the hard-working aspects of this space less prominent yet more convenient. Aesthetically, the look is clean and simple, featuring high-quality materials with an emphasis on organic textures.


Stay tuned for my take on the bath trends I found at KBIS in next month’s blog post!


In the meantime, if you have a kitchen design project coming up and want to bring some of these RHD-approved ‘trends’ into the space, reach out and let’s talk about your project.





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