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Unique, personalized and interesting

In 2017, traditional rules will still reign, but neutral design will become a lot more complex, design experts say. Customization is the new name of the game.

While homeowners want a thoughtfully designed kitchen that blends seamlessly with the rest of the home’s design aesthetic, it also has to be unique. From hidden appliances to beautifully painted cabinets in complementing colors, homeowners want their kitchen to be stylish enough for entertaining, yet welcoming and functional for everyday use.

That means moderate shifts in design that offer more personalized options:

  • Designer hardware. Forget the standard nickel knobs or brass bar pulls. When it comes to hardware for your cabinets, there are more options than ever before. Think of hardware as jewelry for your kitchen design. Among the trends for hardware are hammered finishes, leather trim and even pulls made from slices of agate.

When it comes to color, consumers want something new yet comfortable, says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. The use of unexpected color combinations that seem to be discordant yet still work together will rise, she says.

Colors represent a way of helping consumers “escape the stress of their modern lives, offering reassurance and security in difficult times,” Eiseman says. It’s about emotion and feeling. Colors will help convey a sense of nostalgia and stability and offer an unexpected pop against more neutral tones.

According to Eiseman, metallics remain popular, with “all kinds of household objects being transformed into objects d’art.” Iridescent flatware is not new, but technology is making it more vibrant. Colored glassware is also popular though, as is clear glassware that is more about form and function.

And while sleek, contemporary looks are frequently seen today, the vintage or retro look is not going away either. “Rescue is the new buzzword that is replacing recycling,” says Eiseman, and handcrafted and raw materials are seeing a resurgence.