When you consider all the potential kitchen design elements and features, the combinations are endless.
While we comprehensively cover 10 popular kitchen features in this post, there are other aspects we don’t include for lack of data such as lighting, ceilings, hardware fixtures, dimensions, cost, etc.
The point is the number of decisions you must make when designing a kitchen are seemingly endless.
What we strive to offer in this article is data to illustrate how popular 10 main kitchen features are relative to one another. Some of the data isn’t surprising.
For example, it’s not surprising a traditional kitchen style is the most popular style. However, I must admit that I found it surprising that undermount sinks are more popular than farmhouse sinks given the perceived popularity of farmhouse sinks these days.
1. Most Popular Kitchen Styles
Our kitchen styles analysis is based off analyzing the assigned styles of 1,675,494 kitchens.
Kitchen style is often partly dictated by house style, but not always, especially when one is doing a major reno and multiple styles are available.
These days, styles are fluid and a big reason “traditional” is the most popular is a lot of kitchens are classified as traditional if they incorporate more than one style. Same thing with contemporary… the two are broad kitchen style categories.
I think overall, the percentage of kitchens that are each style isn’t surprising. At least I wasn’t surprised. The “niche” kitchen styles are expected to be a small percentage because only a small percentage of people want that style.
Example of Most Popular Kitchen Style: Traditional
2. Kitchen Color (Overall)
Our overall kitchen color analysis is based on 866,147 kitchens.
I expected white to be the dominant color, but I can see how brown would be the reported “kitchen color” since many kitchens include wood.
The overall kitchen color category is the overall color impression of the kitchen, in particular wall color. There may still be other colors such as white, but it’s the overall look.
I also agree this is a difficult category because many kitchens don’t have a specific overall color scheme. Walls aren’t as prominent in kitchens because they’re often covered with tile, cabinets and appliances… wall color in kitchens isn’t nearly as prominent as wall color in living rooms.
Example of Most Popular Kitchen Color: Brown
3. Layouts and Islands
The overall kitchen layouts is taken from 508,378 kitchens.
We did multiple analyses in this topic and lumped in kitchen island/no island as part of layout.
Overall, L-shape with one island is the most popular. L-shape and U-shape are close, which makes sense. They aren’t that much different. Clearly, one island is the overwhelming popular island set up. I’m definitely not surprised there. Islands are insanely popular. Most kitchen renos incorporate an island as do new kitchens.
- See kitchens with two island here.
- See kitchens with peninsulas here.
- See examples of kitchens with islands here.
Example of the popular layout: L-shape with one island
4. Cabinet Finishes/Colors
This analysis involved 597,108 kitchens.
Which makes this statistic interesting because white is dominant cabinet color by far, yet for overall kitchen colors, brown was dominant.
Example of kitchen with white cabinet finish
5. Cabinet Styles
Our cabinet styles data is from 563,016 kitchens.
Here’s a brief set of images illustrating the main types of cabinets:
You might also want to visit this article which showcases some amazing bespoke kitchen cabinets.
Does cabinet style make much of a difference?
Yes, they do. The flat-panel and shaker styles are minimalist, while raised-panel and recessed are more decorative. This results in a significant texture difference throughout the kitchen and impacts overall aesthetic quite a bit. And then there’s the open shelves, which is becoming more popular recently. This is very minimalist and is a style people like for its simplicity and of course easy access to contents.
Example of kitchen with shaker cabinets
Designed by Stonehouse Handmade Bespoke Kitchens
6. Counter Material
Our counter materials data is based on analysis of 541,465 kitchens.
I’m sure you’re not surprised to see that granite is the most popular countertop. Granite has been the favored counter stone for several years now. It’s often the big splurge most people make for their kitchen.
There’s much to say about granite, which we did in our ultimate guide to granite countertops here.
That said, engineered quartz is growing in popularity because of the more subtle designs you get. Granite is a flamboyant stone with plenty of contrasting colors while engineered quartz, which provides many of the benefits of granite, can be had in much more subtle patterns and colors. I actually prefer engineered quartz for this reason (we currently have granite in our kitchen).
Example of granite countertop
Our backsplash color analysis is based on 494,221 kitchen designs.
Some kitchens have subtle backsplashes while others make it a focal point. Both approaches work. There are 4 colors that stand out popularity-wise; they are beige, gray, multi-colored and white.
a. Backsplash Color Chart
Example kitchen with white backsplash
b. Backsplash Material Chart
Our backsplash material analysis is based on 430,598 kitchens. While ceramic is the most popular subway tile, there are several other materials that are also very popular including subway tile (a current darling), stone tile, glass tile, stone slab, mosaic tile, porcelain tile and glass sheet. All work very well as backsplash material and look fabulous.
Example of subway tile backsplash
Source: Wayfair “Get the Look”
8. Appliance Finish
Our “appliance finish” popularity chart is based on 569,776 kitchens.
There’s no surprise here. Most people want stainless steel appliances. I think it’s standard issue now and if you’re renovating your kitchen, it’s a smart choice, especially for resale.
Example Kitchen with Stainless Steel Appliances
The undermount sink style is by far the most popular choice. Here’s are the different sink styles in case you’re not familiar with them:
Sources: Homedepot.com / Wayfair.com
Example of Undermount Kitchen Sink
Our kitchen floor analysis is based on 500,448 kitchens.
When you combine all hardwood floors (light, medium and dark) together, it’s the overwhelmingly most popular floor material. Tile is a distant second. When it comes to kitchen flooring, hardwood is my preferred floor despite currently having a vinyl floor in our kitchen.
That said, there are some pretty cool vinyl tiles you can buy these days and the nice thing about vinyl is you don’t have to worry about damaging it unless you take an axe to it.
Example of kitchen with medium hardwood floor
What’s the most popular kitchen design? Putting it all together
If we take the most popular from each kitchen element/feature above, the most popular kitchen design is as follows:
- Style: Traditional
- Overall Color Theme: Brown
- Layout: L-shape with 1 island
- Cabinet color: White
- Cabinet style: Flat-panel
- Counter material: Granite
- Backsplash color: White
- Backsplash material: Ceramic tile
- Appliance finish: Stainless steel
- Sink: Undermount
- Floor: Medium hardwood
Example of popular kitchen
=> Visit our entire kitchen photo gallery to check out 1,000’s of kitchen designs (photos).