Top Trends for Kitchen Surfaces in 2022 and Beyond

Spending more time at home during the pandemic has inspired more families to upgrade their living space, especially their kitchens. Wilsonart, a world-leading engineered surfaces company, has conducted research with both design and industry experts as well as homeowners to compile its forecast for five design elements expected to dominate kitchen surface trends in 2022 and that we agree with:

1. Nature-Inspired Designs

One of the top design trends of this year is the ability to bring the outdoors in through nature-inspired design elements. We’ve never needed the healing powers of nature more than we do now, so it’s no surprise that biophilic design – the practice of creating a closer connection to nature through building, design and landscaping considerations – is a popular trend in the market.  

Homeowners are choosing nature-inspired materials for all kitchen surfaces – from countertops to cabinets and islands. Products that deliver the appearance of natural elements are in significant demand. Stone-inspired looks, like marbles and granites, are highly sought after for countertops, backsplashes and islands, and can be found in new colors and patterns in Thinscapes®, Solid Surface and even Laminate for the more budget-conscious consumers

Texture is everywhere, too. From the continued love of natural stones to the growing popularity of natural woven material and exotic woodgrain looks, an aesthetics finish can provide a whole new look and feel to a space. Wilsonart HPL Stone Collection’s new Fieldstone finish provides a tactile but soft-to-the-touch surface for an aspirational stone look. If it’s a natural woodgrain look you’re after (seen below), homeowners are enveloping kitchens with a rich, authentic woodgrain texture on a surface engineered to stand up to daily use. Homeowners are even returning to the matching of refrigerator doors to cabinet facings. 

2. Resi-mercial

Since we weren’t able to travel much during the pandemic, homeowners are looking to replicate the sophisticated style and comforts of an upscale hotel or luxury resort in their homes from the kitchen to bathrooms and beyond – further blurring the lines between residential and commercial design.

White marbles, especially Carrara marble, continue to be one of the most sought-after looks to achieve this clean, sophisticated, resi-mercial style and looks beautiful when incorporating the waterfall edge craze on both countertops and islands. Thanks to engineered materials like ultra-durable acrylic Solid Surface, homeowners can achieve the luxurious look of marble without the price tag and maintenance of natural stone (seen below).

Industrial design is another staple in the resi-mercial trend that continues to evolve as a modern standard. Evoking a minimalist style, this look is softer, lighter and more delicate in direction and illustrated through sleek and sometimes darker surface selections for countertops and backsplashes, which provide a strong and sophisticated look perfect for modern spaces.

3. Multi-Functional Formats

With kids’ school and activities, and our new hybrid schedules, the kitchen space has become more versatile than ever as we blur the lines between work and home. Homeowners now see the necessity for creating the need for “zoning” and spaces within our homes for each activity. More than any other space, the kitchen has taken on a multi-purpose role and the need for flexible design has become essential for today’s homeowners.  

But multi-functionality isn’t the only element in high demand. Homeowners are also seeking more elbow room, requesting larger islands and even double islands for added space to accommodate the range of activities.

4. Sustainable and Sanitary

Eco-conscious material options for kitchens are rising, with 97{5d48e55705a6dc1a60893e372db6872fa8ae9d73e73c767fb18d2b27d2ee9817} of interior designers agreeing that sustainable materials will remain a popular trend in the coming year. More and more homeowners are showing interest in sustainable alternatives to natural products; alternative materials like Laminate, Solid Surface, and Thinscapes® with movement mimic the best of Mother Nature.

The pandemic has also led to a focus on cleanliness and regular sanitation of high-touch surfaces like drawers and cabinets, yet not all surfaces are built to handle this challenge. Homeowners prioritizing this are seeking specific features like non-porous, high-performance materials. Laminate (seen below) is a great option for homeowners looking for a sustainable and sanitary surface option – not only is it made with two times more post-consumer recycled content than any other leading laminate brand – it’s also available with antimicrobial protection that inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew to keep the surface looking and smelling better, longer. 

5. High-Style, Low Maintenance

Our new home-centric lifestyles mean our homes need to perform as never before. Homeowners are increasingly seeking high-style surfaces that will live up to the rigors of everyday life but which don’t require a lot of work to maintain. While granite, marble and other natural stones typically top homeowners’ wish lists for their aesthetics, not everyone desires the cost and ongoing maintenance that comes with such materials.

High-style, high-performance Solid Surface (seen below) mimic the sought-after appearance of natural stone in options that are non-porous, easy to clean and don’t require sealing or regular maintenance like their natural stone counterparts.

Also emerging from this low maintenance trend, traditional tile is out, and large-format slab backsplashes are in, made from countertop slabs that wrap around the back wall for a bold, grout-free statement.

At The L.E. Smith Company, we custom fabricate all brands of Solid Surface and Laminate. Whether you need Solid Surface tops for a kitchen for a residential customer or 100 vanities for a commercial project, we can help. Our professional fabricators are equipped with the latest manufacturing technology. From dedicated CNCs, to our automated V-Groover, we’ve invested in the equipment necessary to increase efficiency and shorten lead-times. 

If you are interested in learning more about how The L.E. Smith Company can help you increase your profit margin and reduce labor pains, contact us at insidesales@lesmith.com or call 419-636-4555.