Interior design advice has an unfortunate habit of relying on buzzwords and nonsense. As a designer and someone who writes about design, this reality has often left me mildly confused when searching for solid design advice.

No place is this more true than articles about design trends, which mainly combine pretty pictures with confusing explanations.

As I spent yet another day trying to understand what “a new trend toward maximal Scandinavian” was supposed to mean, a thought struck me…What if I looked at all the design advice out there on a topic and then looked at what was most popular among the entire set of articles. In other words, what are the trends of the trend articles?

So here we are. I’ve looked at 28 of the most shared, linked to, and searched for articles about kitchen trends in 2019. With the help of my excellent team, we’ve deconstructed each article’s suggestions, translated those suggestions into plain English, and looked at how those recommendations matched up with actual search trends for kitchen decor topics. (You can read more about our evaluation process at the very bottom of the article.)

The result? A list of the best kitchen decor in 2019 — simple, straightforward, and insightful. If your job depends on design excellence, then read on…

The Clear Winners

Of the 28 articles we looked at, the three choices below were the most popular. This means each tip was mentioned, in total, more times than any other decor tip. If you want to keep your kitchen design on the trendy straight and narrow…look no further.

Wit & Delight design via Apartment Therapy

1. Black Accents 8 of 28 articles mentioned black accents in kitchen decor, making it the most featured suggestion of 2019. These suggestions ranged from paint accents to fixtures but the idea was clear…create contrast by using black somewhere in your kitchen.

Search Trend Searches have been consistent for the last 5 or so years, with a spike in traffic each year during November (something to do with Thanksgiving? I’m not sure).

Brass Fixtures from Naked Kitchens Naked Kitchens

2. Brass 7 of 28 articles mentioned brass while even more mentioned brass variants (like rose gold). The message is very clear on this point, brass is in!

Search Trend Searches have doubled over the past 5 years, with the largest increase of the last 12 months, so it looks like this is a verified trend!

Lesley Unruh for Elle Decor Lesley Unruh

3. The Color Blue Navy blue was the most popular shade of blue recommended (6 of 28 articles). But many other blues were also recommended, from the light blue pictured above to green/blue of sea foam and other classic colors. Looks like the devil is in the details on this one!

See the trend data Searches have increased by ~25% of the last two years, though the actual number of searches is higher as terms like “navy blue kitchen island” have increased manyfold.

3 Made The Cut

The three selections below were the next most listed items in the articles we reviewed. These suggestions were made slightly less than those mentioned above…between 10 – 15%

Open Shelf from Style by Emily Henderson Emily Henderson

Open Shelf from Style by Emily Henderson Emily Henderson

4. Open Shelving Turns out open shelving was a huge trend in 2017 and, surprise, it stuck around through 2018. 25% of articles mentioned this trend and no wonder, open shelving has been a staple of mid century modern design for many years.

Search Trend Searches have steadily increased for the last 5 or so years, with related terms (like “open shelving brackets”) increasing rapidly.

Marble Benoit Linero for Jean Charles Tomas

5. Marble Had a strong showing, making an appearance in 25% of all articles surveyed. Marble looks so cool, so that may have created some undue influence in recommendation articles. (Marbled antiqued mirror was also mentioned in 15% of all articles.)

Search Trend Searches have increased every year for the last 5 or so, especially with interest in NYC, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Two Tone Cabinetry Tom Howley UK

6. Two Tone Cabinetry Another trend that featured in 23% of articles was two-tone decor (like the blue island featured above). Contrast and maximal design were also mentioned in many articles, so two-tone paint is really a way to achieve both these looks.

Search Trend In 2018, searches has increased by roughly 30%. Interestingly, these searches primarily come from California.

Contrarian Design

These last three choices were not mentioned with enough frequency to make the top 6. Because I’m a designer at heart, I say forget the numbers and listen to my recommendations.

Terrazzo Apartment Therapy

7. Terrazzo The 1970s standard is making a comeback…or so they say. There has been a slight increase in searches through design hot spots (like New York City) over the past 2 years, so maybe this is a real trend. Truth be told, I think everyone who mentioned terrazzo just wanted to show the picture above…which is so chic.

Search Trend Searches have held steady for the last five years, with a few months where they jumped (I’m guessing this is due to a popular article that mentioned terrazzo in those months). I wonder what search trends looked like in 1970.

Banquette Seating Space Exploration

8. Banquette Seating Another cool feature — albeit one that requires some legwork — is banquette seating, which is basically having a bench for seating in your kitchen. Searches tripled in the beginning of 2018 (when many 2018 trend articles were released) and have since returned to average levels. This seating does look great but actually installing it in your home feels like a tall order.

Search Trend No change in search traffic in recent history, though related terms like “breakfast nook” have increased quite a bit. The construction to create banquette seating (not to mention the difficulty of spelling banquette) makes this a tough sell.

Smart Appliances by Darren James Darren James

9. Smart Appliances I was shocked to see that only 2 articles even mentioned smart appliances. This is something forward thinking designers definitely want to pay attention to, as queries for “smart fridge” have doubled during 2018, so there is obviously a lot of interest in the technology.

Search Trend As mentioned above, smart appliances searches have been gaining steam. One note, Minnesota has led the charge with more searches than any other state. This might have to do with unrelated news, though.

Wrapping up 2019 Kitchens in 3 Points

After reading the most shared content on kitchen trends, a few things became obvious.

First, some authors are definitely leading the charge by producing excellent insights and guides. I was impressed with the depth and research of Emily Henderson’s guide, which I consider the best of the group (by quite a distance).

Second, many suggestions simply look great visually. In other words, there is an incentive to show ideas that aren’t very practical but look great. No harm in this, but something all readers should consider before feeling bummed about not capturing the exact look or trend in their own home.

Third, searches via Google tell us a ton about what people are actually interested in. If you work in a business where better design means more sales (looking at you home stagers), then understanding real trends about interest is a smart way to stay on top of what’s actually interesting to those looking to redecorate or purchase a home.

A Better Approach to Understanding Design Trends

As I mentioned above, I’ve worked in the design community online for a quite a few years. During this time, I’ve often been surprised at how contradictory and unclear design advice is.

If you are a homeowner looking to stay on point or trying to increase the value of your house before selling, knowing what the hot looks are can mean more fulfillment and more money.

TheMostChic talks about all things design, but we are currently looking into writing more about the “data” behind design and furniture trends.

If you interested in learning more or have suggestions for relevant topics email me at john@themostchic.com


Data used in this article was collected via 28 articles that had the highest combined social shares and links online. Some articles that met the criteria were omitted due to plagiarism.

For each article, we compared recommendations to an umbrella topic that would encapsulate both specific and broad suggestions. For example, matte finish drawer pulls and matte finish faucets would both fall under the umbrella term “matte finish fixtures”.

Some suggestions were too general or unclear to be used. For example, many articles suggested using white as a color in the kitchen. We’ve used our editorial discretion and generally reasoned that such suggestions were mainly used to introduce photos or products the editor wanted to include.

If you are interested in more information about our methodology, email me john@themostchic.com and I’d be happy to send you our list of referenced articles or answer any questions you may have.

Exclusively for Builders. By Builders.  ©2019 Barbosa Cabinets, Inc.  |  All Rights Reserved

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