Trend forecasters have been hard at work trying to foresee what we have to look forward to in the design world for 2018. Unlike the extremely predictable forecast of another frigid end of our Chicago winter, these design forecasts are looking bright, fun, and surprising.

White kitchens are still as popular as they’ve ever been. A crisp white cabinet in a sunny kitchen has a classic & calming look to it. I don’t see white cabinetry ever going out of style. But other hues are starting to make an appearance in kitchens. Homeowners are starting to become drawn to tones of grey & blue for their kitchens. Grey cabinets in a kitchen can give it a modern feel and the room a sophisticated look. If you’re not ready to take the plunge into a kitchen with a non-traditional color for your cabinets, try having the bottom cabinets in a color while the top cabinets are white. The tuxedo style gives your kitchen an updated look. And you must not reject the idea of bringing classic wood cabinets into your kitchen. Warm wood tones are starting to replace the look of painted cabinets. A beautifully stained wood cabinet can give the room character and can be a great alternative to the look of painted doors.

Photo: Dustin Forest Designer:Centered by Design Cabinets:Studio 912

Open floor concepts are still as popular as ever in homes these days. But some owners are tired of having one open space instead of defined rooms. On the other hand though, having closed off rooms instead of an open plan can make a home feel small and can add a difficulty to entertaining when rooms are completely closed off. This is where having a half wall to semi close off a room, especially a kitchen, can be helpful. The half wall can perform double duty as not only creating a defined space for your kitchen, but you can extend your countertop over the wall to create space for your guests to pull up a stool and enjoy conversing with you while you’re in the kitchen. A half wall to divide the kitchen and another room can keep you in the mix of what’s going on in both rooms but also helps to give the room a finished and defined look.

Cabinets by Studio 912

A really great trend that’s appearing in kitchens is detailing in countertops. Now this is where Studio 912’s wood crafting expertise can come into play. Notches near the kitchen sink can create a place for runoff for wet dishes. Or instead of a functional detail in your countertop, consider a design created with the material for the countertop. A herringbone design or a rough edged countertop can create a beautiful feature for your room and it can be so unique that few other kitchens might have the same detail. Studio 912 can easily create a unique and beautiful countertop from reclaimed wood if granite just isn’t doing it for you anymore.

Countertop Created by Randy Franz from reclaimed Douglas Fir

Prepare to see less of white apron sinks and more unique fixtures in copper or concrete. While the white sinks gave a farmhouse style kitchen a cohesive look, placing a copper sink can give the same kitchen a beautiful detail. If you’re still in love with the apron sink style, you’re in luck. The same style can be ordered in the trendy copper or concrete material.

Photo by Tieghan Gerard

As the trend of a modern farmhouse continues to be found throughout homes (mine included) a new trend in sinks are starting to make an appearance. If you want to have a farmhouse style room but aren’t feeling the apron sink look, you’re in luck. Bucket and trough sinks are starting to emerge. Now these are two styles that I would not expect to be popular in homes in modern times. A bucket or trough sink are styles that could be found in original farmhouses from the days of churning your own butter and walking to school uphill in snow both ways. These classic but unique fixtures can give the room a historical touch while keeping the room updated and on trend.

Bathroom by Jeff Sheats Designs

Gone are the days where you were limited to the countertop space that the kitchen gods gave you. Dedicated and separate (or attached) extra space for extra preparation can diffuse frustration in limited counter space. I know there is nothing more frustrating than completing a lengthy recipe and quickly running out of space barely into the preparation! Simply adding onto an existing island or creating an extra space in the kitchen can give you more space to prepare a birthday cake or another location for you to chop some veggies for your party’s crudités tray.

Island extension created by Randy Franz of Studio 912 from Ash wood. A dining room table was created from the same material to give the kitchen more eating space.