5 Kitchen Trends We Love

As we mentioned in the last post, the Barton kitchen is on the large side—at least for this style/age of house and neighborhood—and we’re super excited to create this hub of the home. We’ve been playing with different layouts using Ikea’s home planner (addictive), and thinking about how to give the room some style and personality without going overboard—we want potential buyers to easily envision putting their own stamp on the space.

We went fairly basic with our first renovation, with white cabinets, butcher block counters, subway tile, and stainless appliances. We loved the clean look, but we don’t want to do exactly the same thing. Here are a few things we’re considering this time around.

  1. Grey Cabinets

grey cab

White kitchens will probably never go out of style, but the all-white look can feel a bit one-dimensional. That’s why we’re leaning toward a pale gray cabinet instead. In the right shade, it warms up the room and adds an unexpected element, and it pairs beautifully with white subway tile (which we’ll probably use again, just maybe a slightly larger size).

2. Cement Tiles

cement tile

Cement tiles (or cement-look) are definitely very trendy right now, and they may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but we love the look of a few placed over a range. It’s a simple, low-cost detail that can have a huge impact. And as trendy as these patterned tiles are, they’ve been decorating buildings in Spain, Portugal, and Morocco for centuries and no one’s complaining.

3. Open Shelving

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Yes, open shelving means you have to make a bit more of an effort when it comes to keeping your dishes organized, but it also means they’re within easy reach. And if you have cute dishes, why not show them off? The look is open and airy, and best of all, installing shelves is a heckuva lot cheaper than a bunch of wall cabinets. We think we can get away with it here because the kitchen will have a big pantry, too.

4. Subway Tile to the Ceiling

subway tile

Because we’re just going with shelves up top, we’re thinking tiling all the way to the ceiling will help create a more finished look. Subway tiles come in a range of sizes, but they always look clean and crisp—and they’re always affordable.

5. Herringbone Floor

herringbone floor

We haven’t decided for sure what to do with the floor—one of us is leaning toward wood to keep a nice flow with the rest of the house. But we also really like the look of a slate-like tile installed in a herringbone pattern.

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Griffin Before & After: The Kitchen

Kitchen

Ah, the kitchen. One of the most cringe-worthy parts of this house, originally. There were the super-shallow, avocado green wood cabinets. The beautiful but hard-to-access corner sink. The weird layout. The almost-nonexistent counter space. This is the room that took the largest part of our budget and time.

We completely rewired and replumbed the space. Ripped up the green tiles and refinished the hardwoods underneath. Installed new drywall. And then we installed the cabinets, counters, backsplash, and fixtures ourselves. Would we do that again? Maybe, maybe not. But we are very proud of the transformation and grateful to the family members who helped us make it happen.

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Fifty Shades of Gray (Grout)

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When we started the mini renovation of our kitchen at home (which will henceforth be known as The Gray House), I knew that I wanted white stone countertops and classic white 3×6 subway tile on the walls. The question was, what color grout?

If you’ve never gone grout-shopping before, you may not realize that there are a ridiculous amount of options available. We went to the store expecting to make a quick decision, and instead we found ourselves weighing the merits of Charcoal versus Warm Gray versus Delorean Gray.

Here’s how we ultimately made our decision: Pinterest. Over the years, my “Kitchen” board has become filled with images of subway-tiled kitchens, so I did a quick assessment of the spaces I’ve been drawn to. Here’s what I decided:

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via Martha Stewart

  • White grout looks classic and clean, but tends to create a one-dimensional look with the white subway tiles. And because our cabinets are off-white, we wanted a bit more contrast. Still, it hides mistakes, which we were expecting to make a few of.

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via Lonny

  • Darker grout has a more dramatic look, but it tends to darken a space, and it’s harder to hide mess-ups. It’s also what we had in the kitchen pre-reno, and we wanted a change.

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via Our House

  • Light gray grout highlights the pattern of the tile and adds some depth to the backsplash without shining a spotlight on its flaws.

As you may have guessed based on the image at the top of this post, we chose a light gray grout (Keracolor “Silver”) for our backsplash. It went on a bit dark but dried to the perfect shade of pale gray.

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Stay tuned for a full post on our backsplash project.

Feeling bold? Check out Apartment Therapy’s roundup of colorful grout options.