Home renovators, take notes. 

By Katie Holdefehr
February 13, 2020
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White cabinets are out, colorful kitchens are in, quartz is the new granite, waterfall countertops are trending, open shelving is officially over—kitchen design trends change more quickly than even the most devoted home renovator can keep up with. So to create a kitchen style that's worth the investment (and won't look dated in a few years), our best bet is to blend modern taste with timeless kitchen trends that will never go out of style. To keep designers and home renovators up to date on what's in and what's out in kitchen design, Houzz releases an annual kitchen trends report. The 2020 Houzz Kitchen Trends Report pulls data from a survey of nearly 2,600 Houzz users who have completed a kitchen reno in the past 12 months or plan to start one in the next three months. The results reveal the paint colors, the kitchen cabinet styles, and the countertop materials that are trending. Among the results in the 2020 report, one standout style caught our eye: contrasting kitchen islands are on the rise.

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The Popularity of Kitchen Islands

According to the study, a whopping 61 percent of kitchen renovators plan to include an island in their finished kitchen, with 22 percent upgrading an existing island and 33 percent adding a brand new island to the space. Used for more than just meal prep, the kitchen island serves as a gathering spot in the home, used for dining, entertaining, and socializing. If the kitchen is the heart of the home, the kitchen island is the central meeting spot where everyone comes together.

Contrasting Kitchen Islands Are Trending

In terms of style, kitchen islands that contrast with the cabinets are all the rage right now. That doesn't necessarily mean two high-contrast colors, but even pairing a wood island with white cabinets adds some visual interest to the room, while keeping the color palette neutral. According to the study, 39 percent of remodeling homeowners are opting for contrasting islands, with gray being the most popular color (26 percent), followed by blue (19 percent) and black (11 percent).

Taking it one step further, homeowners are choosing not only contrasting bases, but also countertops, for their kitchen islands. The number one choice? Butcher block (41 percent). By outfitting their islands with functional butcher block, homeowners gain an enormous new workspace for chopping vegetables or preparing meals.

As a practical space for meal prep, a gathering spot for family, and an eye-catching design feature, the contrasting island is a triple-threat kitchen design choice. No wonder it's making a serious comeback.

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