| Surplus Warehouse
Expert Contributor

The New Year is almost here and now is a great time to draw inspiration for your kitchen overhaul from the hottest trends of 2016. Overall, this has been a daring year. Designers and homeowners pushed the envelope with oversized tiles, non-traditional hardwoods, and a balance of clean minimalism and pops of visual interest. Some very old-school kitchen elements were re-imagined into a contemporary kitchen design.

Neutral Shades and Light Tones Create the Perfect Base Palette

Despite their neutral name, shades like off-white, light grey, and brown hues were one of the hottest home improvement trends of 2016. These are sophisticated and timeless shades that you can have in your kitchen for years. The room will never look dated.

Neutral shades also give you a clean canvas that you can easily personalize to your tastes. For instance, you can add visual interest with bright pops of color to your countertops, chairs, or other decorating features. This is a great way to stay on trend with whatever is the “in color” of the moment without having to redesign your whole kitchen.


Old-School Chic Makes a Big Comeback for Flooring

Will hardwood floors ever go out of style? Probably not, with all signs pointing to this being one of the major flooring trends for the next year and beyond. What is changing about them is the color. Rich, dark tones are becoming increasingly popular, as are “naked” floors that show off the natural grain and pattern of the wood.

Dark hardwood floors are especially chic when combined with neutral walls. This visually “opens up” the kitchen and creates an illusion of space. Glass and metal furnishings add sparks of visual interest to an austere space and create a modern vibe.


Small Details and Big Impact

Many decorators opted for a streamlined look with a clean, minimalist aesthetic. For kitchen tiles, this meant shades of grey with matching, narrow grout lines that created an almost seamless look. This worked effortlessly with the other two main trends: dark floors and neutral walls.

Vinyl flooring also got a sophisticated upgrade with new shapes and patterns. Parquet and wide planks were very popular choices. There was also a big trend toward oversized tiles (both in vinyl and ceramic) for their modern look and ease of installation and maintenance.


Quirky, Creative, and Cutting Edge Kitchen

With all the classic design elements that have been making a resurgence, kitchen cabinets are one place where you'll find a contemporary twist. Slim-design countertops are popular because of their practicality and sleek appearance. They are also a great way to update older furnishings and give them a lighter and less bulky look. Another way to add fresh life to older counters is by changing or completely removing the handles. These sleek lines have been extremely popular in 2016.

Stainless steel kitchen cabinets are also an ultra-modern option. Not only are they extremely durable and easy to clean, but they also reflect light and make the kitchen look brighter and more spacious. However, they can be tricky to implement. The wrong proportions can give the room a harsh and clinical look. If this trend appeals to you, consider hiring a professional decorator or using warmer wood tones throughout the rest of the kitchen to balance the style.

Shakti S. has been a freelance writer since 2012 and has a strong background in English with experience in copywriting, editing, and translations. She has taken on DIY projects and worked with professional designers and home repair agencies, and continues to learn more about home and yard decoration, maintenance, and repair.