The Shape of Kitchens to Come

Sub-Zero Wolf Cove kitchen

Interior design trends do not develop in a vacuum. Culture and current events play their parts. Without a doubt, seminal lifestyle changes over the last year have launched an ongoing conversation on the form and function of homes. And that dialogue extends to kitchens. Ponder these three shifts in the kitchen paradigm as you plan client spaces.


Biophilia has been a buzzword in design for years, but COVID has increased our craving for the sense of wellbeing that nature elicits. That desire to connect with nature is informing kitchen design. While opening a space directly to the outdoors through vast expanses of glass may be the ideal, an indirect connection with nature triggers beneficial responses as well.

According to the NKBA Design Trends 2021 report, natural materials are finding their way into kitchens. To achieve an organic style, bring in wood-toned cabinets, countertops, floors, or ceiling beams. Nature-inspired colors provide biophilic benefits too. Consider a soothing, on-trend shade of green for painted cabinetry.


It should come as no surprise that the surge in home-cooked meals has led to increased demand for high-functioning appliances. Home chefs are clamoring for ways to prepare their preferred foods with less effort and more joy. The exact translation will vary by client.

A work-from-home professional might want to upgrade to a WiFi-connected smart range that makes it easy to control settings for that craze-worthy baked feta pasta from a smartphone, without missing a Zoom moment. Another client might covet a steam oven to make healthier meals after a year of COVID-induced carb indulgence.


One thing the early pandemic shortages taught us: it pays to keep food and supplies at the ready. Today’s kitchen puts a premium on walk-in pantry space. Hidden pantry doors, which masquerade as tall cabinets, are hot right now. Concealing the doors within a wall of cabinetry contributes to a streamlined aesthetic, just as integrating the refrigerator does.

COVID-driven demand for fridges and freezers with enhanced capacity is rising too. Auxiliary refrigerator/freezer drawers that fit under the counter can augment a standard unit.

Thermador refrigerator drawer

Lessons learned over the last year have swayed current kitchen trends and homeowner must-haves. Stop by Friedman’s showroom for help in meeting your clients’ newly defined needs.

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