Trends come and go and then often turn up again. But unlike fashion trends, which change at lightning speed, popular home décor trends tend to stick around a little longer. That's not surprising when you consider most homeowners can't rip out flooring as fast as fashionistas can change what's in their closets.
Because trends carry over from year to year, the kitchens of 2013 are an exciting mix of classic and contemporary. And, like always, functionality is of the utmost importance. Whether your style is simple French country or sassy Steampunk, there's a little something for everyone on the horizon.
Bring in some color. The prevailing trend for all home décor in 2013 is bright, bold color -- and the kitchen is no exception. Designer Grace Beckett, home design expert with Kingston Cabinets in the U.K., tells the ComFree blog that bright colors like orange, green and yellow are the perfect way to make your kitchen warm and inviting.
Splurge on cabinetry in your favorite shade or grab a can of paint and update your existing cabinets. But here's a thought: consider doing just a few cabinets, like those under an island or sink, before adding color to every cabinet in the kitchen. Sometimes a burst of color is all you need.
Go "au naturale." If you're not into bright colors or think they'll overwhelm your kitchen space, head to the opposite end of the spectrum. Natural, light wood is surprisingly bright but neutral enough to pair with nearly all counter tops and appliances. Pair neutral upper cabinets with dark bottom cabinets to create a stunning juxtaposition, or carry the neutral trend throughout the kitchen. The type of finish is up to you -- glossy cabinets look a little more modern than those with a flat finish.
Get funky with patterns. You can work patterns into your cabinetry in a variety of ways. Incorporate exotic woods like zebra wood, leopard wood or coconut palm. These have fun, bold grains that add visual interest to any kitchen. If you're looking for an option that's a little more budget-friendly, look into woods that are more common but are cut with horizontal grains.
New old-school. Be prepared to hear this term a lot this coming year, in fashion, home design and pretty much everywhere else. Simply put, it's old patterns, textures and materials reimagined into something new -- an art-deco aesthetic with modern wood, lighting and appliances, for example.
To work this look into your kitchen, create a round, minimalist island in the center of your kitchen using a horizontally-grained wood with a shiny finish. Pair with a stainless steel counter top for a modern art-deco look. Not into the minimalist look? Repurpose an antique stove into an island by simply adding a counter top of your choice. For a subtle look, paint the stove to match the rest of your cabinets, or pick a bold hue and make it pop.
You'll be looking at your kitchen for years to come, so no matter what look you choose, remember to pick something that speaks to your personality. I found myself looking around my kitchen the other day, which we put in some 13 years ago, thinking it looks quite modern, but has enough personal elements to reflect the life and lifestyle of our household. Setting your own style trends will extend the shelf life of your kitchen decor.