In a newly remodeled kitchen, it’s not just the stove that’s hot. Some local experts tell us about the kitchen design trends that are making temperatures rise this summer.


  • Glass tile and natural stone. Although ceramic is still preferred the majority of the time, natural stone is gaining in popularity for use as backsplashes. Glass tile is being more widely used as an accent, but also can be used as the sole backsplash material in non-traditional sizes and shapes.
  • Smaller is better. Smaller appliances such as dishwasher drawers and warming drawers continue to be requested as a way to increase capacity during large entertaining events. They’re also being used more frequently for small loads of dishes and for warming up food in lieu of a full-size oven.
  • Whence the Euro? European style incorporating sleeker, simpler lines is making inroads into more traditional designs on a national scale. However, St. Louis still seems to prefer a traditional style of kitchen cabinetry.


  • Function is tops. People are maximizing their options with ‘gadgets’ like cutlery trees or mixer pop-ups. Rarely do I do a cabinet that doesn’t have some added function.
  • It’s my kitchen. I’m seeing more people who want their personality to be portrayed, so they’re doing their kitchens for themselves again, and worrying less about the next buyer.
  • Dark tones, two-toned. Darker wood stains are popular. Also, many times, people will choose one stain for their cabinetry, and a different stain or even paint for the island.


  • Walk the line. We’re seeing people use grain patterns that run horizontally instead of vertically. As far as materials, people like the odd grain pattern of walnut, and exotic-looking, sustainable woods like bamboo.
  • Mix-and-match workspace. For countertops and cabinetry, mix up your finishes: mix wood with aluminum and stainless, add a butcher block portion next to the cooktop, or use a marble top to create a baking center.
  • Techno-kitchen.We’re seeing the integration of technology in creative ways. People used to have a message center with paper and pen; now it’s a docking station for the iPad or other electronics integrated into cabinetry.