A design pro shares the materials, paint colors, finishes, and more that are going to be popping up in kitchens everywhere next year.  

By Lauren Phillips
Updated November 08, 2018
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Kitchen trends are constantly shifting and evolving—remember when all-white kitchens were a thing?—and predictions for 2019 kitchen trends (and all kinds of big design trends of 2019) are already rolling in.

Real Simple spoke with Minnesota-based design expert Kate Arends, the founder of design site Wit & Delight and a member of the Delta Design Trust, about what finishes, paint colors, and styles will be taking over kitchens around the country in 2019. Arends predicts overall looks will start to move toward the classic and traditional, but with a modern twist—and with elevated details that keep cookspaces feeling fresh.

2019 Kitchen Trends wood cabinets in a modern kitchen
Credit: Martine Hamilton Knight/Getty Images

Exposed Wood

Arends expects to see lots of rich wood cabinetry and countertops with natural finishes, which means navy cabinets and laminate surfaces may start to fade out of style. The return of wood cabinets also means people are looking for more longevity in their design choices.

“People are looking to make sure that they’re not just putting things in their house that are going to be torn out in a couple years,” she says. “That’s what’s great about wood, that you can repaint. They just tend to stand up to wear and tear a lot longer when they’re built well.”

RELATED: Should You Refinish Your Kitchen Cabinets, or Replace Them All Together?

Earthy Tones

Arends predicts a return to earthy tones—rather than bright whites, blues, and blacks—which pairs well with more raw, natural wood surfaces. People will be embracing off-white, taupe, and gray paint colors (think Benjamin Moore’s 2019 Color of the Year) which both bring warmth into spaces and help wood cabinetry or countertops feel modern.

The Latest Technology

“People are looking to bring the latest technology into kitchen and bath,” Arends says. This includes items with easy-touch capabilities and voice control integration, such as the Delta Trinsic Single Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet with Voice and Touch­2O Technology (To buy: $500; amazon.com).

Arends also predicts that smart home products that conserve water and energy and that seamlessly integrate into everyday kitchen tools will grow in popularity.

Black Stainless Steel

Black metal appliances and finishes (in handles, drawer pulls, and faucet finishes, among others) will continue to replace silver and white finishes, Arends says.

“What I love about black is that it can look super modern and sleek and be a focal point if you are going to go with something like a monochromatic kitchen,” she says.

Black stainless steel appliances have been gaining traction all year, and matte black appliances and details are also having a moment—and Arends thinks the hue will spread to fixtures, which she calls “the jewelry of the space.”

“I think that in traditional styles, black stainless has a new, fresh way of making older or more classic shapes look modern and fresh again,” she says.