Besides the bedroom, the kitchen is probably the most-used room in the house. It’s the heart of the home where family and friends gather for conversation and victuals, kids can do homework, and mail gets opened and sorted.

When it comes to making your kitchen beautiful and functional, let’s take a look at the current trends that have staying power with homeowners in 2021 and beyond.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the Remodeling Division at Brubaker Inc., which just won Best in Kitchens for the sixth consecutive year.

Open Concept

Open Concept - Top Kitchen Remodeling Trends and Options for 2020

The “open concept” trend has been dominating the kitchen design world since the 1990s, and for good reason. It makes it easier to supervise, entertain, and converse from the kitchen while creating the illusion of a larger space.

Knock out a wall or open up a doorway to create a more open concept floor plan. Many homeowners are also opening up the kitchen to outdoor spaces with single or double doors.

Another idea you may want to consider is the broken floor plan, which uses the same open-space concept, but creates layers and nest-like nooks using steps, screens, furniture, cabinetry, and houseplants.

Keep in mind that the open-concept kitchen isn’t for everyone. There’s less privacy, less wall space, more noise and smells from the kitchen, and it can get expensive.

Learn more tips for creating a more efficient and productive kitchen.

A 3D render of a kitchen with an island. Islands

Counter-height islands continue to be popular, but they may not be a smart choice if the room is too small or the configuration just doesn’t work. Depending on your kitchen, a breakfast nook or breakfast bar may be better.

If you have the room, there appears to be a new trend in the industry — larger islands that double as a dinner table. You can also put an oven and range in the island itself, especially if you want to face the living or dining room as you cook. Dining islands are a great option if you don’t have a separate dining room or frequently use your kitchen for entertaining.


When most people are considering a kitchen remodel, they want to change the countertops. And if you’ve ever watched a home design show, you’ve probably seen a lot of granite and quartz countertops. These are the most popular countertop materials since they are difficult to damage and easy to clean.

Granite tops the list of homeowner preferences, but quartz comes in as a close second. Marble and tile are other options, but aren’t as popular.


Tile may not be a popular choice for countertops, but people love them for backsplashes. Ceramic tile continues to be the most popular material for backsplashes, with marble, stone slab, glass, and other materials trailing far behind.

Many homeowners get creative with the backsplash to define the style of the kitchen. It’s a great way to add a splash of color in an otherwise neutral kitchen. There are many materials to choose from, including traditional tile and trendy glass.

Another trend to consider is bringing the backsplash all the way up to the ceiling. Ceiling-height backsplash is getting more popular as homeowners are opting for less upper cabinetry in favor of open shelves and more windows. The extra backsplash adds brightness, continuity, and the illusion of more space. White subway tiles, still a hot trend, can help make a small, dark kitchen seem larger and brighter. If your kitchen is already neutral (white, gray, or beige), consider adding color to your backsplash.

An open concept kitchen with an island and bar height stools.

Break Up the All-White

All-white kitchens have been a staple of kitchen design, but the trend may be on its way out. Instead of an all-white kitchen, which can be difficult to keep clean and seem a bit too sterile, try adding some colors and dark tones.

You can break up a white or neutral kitchen with bold pops of color in the backsplash, bar, appliances, or cabinets. If you have white cabinets, mix it up with a darker backsplash and consider bringing it up to the ceiling. Consider black cabinets with white countertops. Think about wallpaper and dark jewel tones.

Another option for breaking up the all-white and adding some warmth is with wood, stone, plants, and other natural elements. Consider adding a wood or stone veneer to your breakfast bar, cabinets, island, and appliances. Natural materials and earth tones are coming out as the big trend for kitchens and interior design for 2020 and beyond.


Nobody really likes linoleum anymore. Most homeowners prefer hardwood floors, with tile coming in as the second choice. Engineered wood, which uses a plywood base with a hardwood veneer, is a more water-resistant option. You also may want to consider faux hardwood made out of porcelain planks or engineered vinyl planks.

Smart Storage

Integrated storage options, such as pull-out garbage and recycling centers, make keeping the kitchen clean and organized a lot easier. Built-in wine racks, walk-in pantries, larders, pantry pull-outs, built-in organizers, lazy Susans, floating shelves, and other smart storage options are a growing trend in kitchen design.

A clean, modern kitchen. Farmhouse Sinks

Large, farmhouse sinks, also known as apron sinks, continue to be a favorite choice, especially among millennials. Most farmhouse sinks are created in the under-mount style where they are installed underneath the counter and without the traditional divide. Whether you choose to have a divider or not, farmhouse sinks are deeper and wider, allowing you to wash large pots and reduce the amount of splashing. Keep in mind that you will probably have to redo the surrounding countertops to accommodate the larger sink.


Smart appliances and other kitchen gadgets can be added for convenience. For instance, there are coffee makers that can wake you up when your morning cup of Joe is ready, refrigerators that can tell you if you’re out of milk, and ovens that respond to your voice command.

And don’t forget about smart lighting systems, which can adjust the lighting automatically based on atmospheric conditions and provide preset lighting levels for different activities, such as cleaning, cooking, and romancing.


When it comes to lighting, it’s best to try to hide the light source as much as possible. Consider recessed lighting, which is installed into the ceiling or cabinetry where you cannot see the bulb. This popular lighting option can be easily paired with a dimmer switch, illuminating your kitchen at the level you want while keeping the light source hidden.

Don’t forget to use LED bulbs to save money, energy, and bulb replacements. The new LED lights look great and are more efficient and long-lasting than ever.

If you can, add some natural light to improve the overall look and function of your kitchen. You can do this with windows, skylights, and doors. A good lighting design will make your kitchen safer, more energy-efficient, and more welcoming.


Eco-friendly, Energy-Star approved appliances are important for saving money and reducing greenhouse emissions. Some easy ways to increase the environmental friendliness of your kitchen include using cloth rather than paper towels, replacing plastic containers with glass, and only buying non-toxic cleaners. You may also want to consider composting items, such as coffee grounds, eggshells, and other organic waste.

Most homeowners favor stainless steel appliances, however, some prefer white or colored appliances. If you don’t like to look at your appliances, you can add fronts that mimic the cabinetry to have them disappear into the background.

A Kitchen Remodel, Before and After

A side by side comparison of a kitchen before and after being remodeled.

View more kitchen remodeling projects by Brubaker Inc.

Browse the Brubaker Inc. Showroom and Design Center

Visit the beautiful Brubaker Inc. showroom at 1284 Rohrerstown Road, Lancaster to see the latest in appliances and materials for your next kitchen, bathroom, or laundry remodeling project.

The Remodeling Division at Brubaker Inc. can handle your kitchen, bath, or laundry room project from start to finish.

And for the sixth time in a row, we are honored to receive Susquehanna Style Magazine’s Who’s Who in Business Award. In the category of Kitchens we were once again confirmed as the leader in Lancaster County for our outstanding kitchen remodeling services!

Bring your remodeling dreams to reality by scheduling an appointment with a Brubaker Inc. Designer/Project Manager: 717.299.5641.