Home design is like any other type of design. It follows shifts in ideas, preferences, and innovation. The kitchen is perhaps the most important room in the home—certainly the one with the most traffic—so this space has seen many changes over the decades. Of course, it will continue to evolve with new technology, but here are some kitchen design trends that are here to stay (or seem to be!). Bring down the walls… Decades ago, the kitchen was purely functional. Food was stored and prepared here. Today’s homeowners see the kitchen as the hub of the home, the gathering place. The appeal of open floor plans includes the kitchen. The walls are coming down. No more isolating that room in the back of the house. The kitchen flows seamlessly in the family living areas, so that there is no division between the task of food prep and the activity beyond the kitchen’s borders. …And put up an island There’s nothing more exciting to a cook than more prep space. The kitchen island adds extra space for food prep, cooking, storage, and even serving. The island concept also enhances the traffic flow in the kitchen by creating a workspace in the center. No matter what style you prefer—country, contemporary, traditional, rustic—an island fits nicely into the kitchen design More drawers than doors The lower kitchen cabinets are giving up space to drawers. It’s much easier to pull open a drawer than to bend down and reach into a cabinet. Kitchen drawers can be designed in sizes to fit specific functions—deeper to store pots and pans, a narrow vertical pull-out for spices. Some drawers are hiding behind cabinet doors, still utilizing the ease of pulling out instead of reaching in to find what you need. Shades of green Today’s homeowners want their homes to be kind to the environment. From reclaimed wood and sustainable materials (e.g., cork, bamboo) to energy-efficient appliances, plumbing, and lighting, the eco-friendly kitchen is a definite “must have”. Preferences in countertops, flooring, and wall coverings may change. Lighting styles will continue to evolve. Appliances will get more and more technical. But you can count on these kitchen trends to stay.