Kitchen Forecast 2024: The Professional’s Guide to Today’s Culinary Spaces

Keep tech quiet

To avoid any island eye sores, designers must consider the pesky but necessary details: electrical outlets. “Nobody likes to see super bulky cover plates,” add Dvir and Rauchwerger. They recommend sourcing round Bocci outlets to minimize the appearance of plugs, particularly on the short sides of the island. For Atkinson, allocating charging drawers and hiding outlets underneath the island’s worktop also does the trick.

Studio Atkinson, who devised this personality-filled kitchen for a client, calls the kitchen island the most versatile piece of furniture in the home.

Studio Atkinson

Personalize, personalize, personalize

Concealment doesn’t always have to center a kitchen island’s design. Although she, too, is an advocate for minimalist lines, Afshar supports individualized tastes. “I love all the ways you can personalize an island, from soft gliding hinges and automated lighting to custom spice racks and utensil drawers,” she says. “We take great time and care to ensure our clients’ needs are met at every inch.” Austin-based designer and AD PRO Directory member Annie Downing likes to capitalize on an island’s interior. Liven it up with a pop of color, she recommends. “It makes for a fun surprise when you open the drawers.”

Simplify the styling

Storage is one of the kitchen island’s most important jobs, but designers recommend clearing the surface to leave some room for a bit of well-curated styling. “Less is more in my book,” says New York AD100 designer Josh Greene, when asked how to best dress up an empty expanse of counter space. He recommends “a super cool, very large fruit bowl or maybe a footed bowl to get you some height.” Downing concurs that a single large vessel for fruit or flowers “is about all you need—it is a workspace after all!”

The role of the kitchen island as both a functional centerpiece and a design statement will continue to shift as lifestyles and technology evolve. But for designers navigating the delicate balance between maximizing utility and preserving aesthetics, thoughtful integration and personalized touches are key to creating kitchen spaces poised to outlast the trends. —Sophie Aliece Hollis

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Sean Anderson’s design for this spacious kitchen in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, features slick, modern appliances against a backdrop of rustic lighting and natural textures.

Haris Kenjar

5 Design Experts Reveal Their Top Kitchen Products

Designers from the AD PRO Directory share their favorite culinary furnishings to spec for entertaining, decor, and organization

Kitchens are undeniable hotbeds for innovation—in cuisine, technology, cutting-edge design, and functional decor. To help clients keep up with culinary times, we’ve tapped five AD PRO Directory experts (Sean Anderson, Fern Santini, Hema Persad of Sagrada Studio, Tiffany Howell of Night Palm, and DuVäl Reynolds of DuVäl Design) for their picks for the hottest room in the house—including selections for keeping organized, decorating, and entertaining guests. See the full selection here.

Stylish Storage and Organization

Dapper Decor

Entertaining Essentials

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For a family pied-à-terre in London, designer Sophie Ashby of Studio Ashby chose bleached poplar burr for the kitchen cabinetry and hidden appliances. Artwork by Gabrielle Raaff.

Kensington Leverne

An Experts’ Guide to Kitchen Appliances (and How to Decorate With Them)

A high-tech kitchen often requires a dose of design reality. The pros reveal which tools last beyond the trend

There’s no shortage of tempting kitchen appliances on the market—soft serve machine, anyone? But while these culinary wonders may grab attention at KBIS or CES, which ones actually make the cut in real-life designs? AD PRO consulted experts across the country to determine the appliances and accessories homeowners truly want and how these must-have tools impact the look, feel, and layouts of today’s tech-forward kitchens.

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