Today’s kitchen cabinets are so much more than just storage space. 

Kitchen cabinets are stylistic, atmospheric and functionalistic statements of the heart of your home. Saying cabinets are just storage places is like saying a car is just a means of transportation and a song is just some non-descript melody you listen to.

In 2021, kitchen cabinets are multi-purpose, artistic and super-functional definitions of a lively, vibrant healthy kitchen. 

“Nothing defines the look and feel of your cooking space quite like your cabinets, which is why many of the newest kitchen trends for 2021 are firmly focused on what goes into your kitchen cabinets (and drawers and shelves),”’s Sharon Miki Chan writes. 

National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) Chief Executive Officer Bill Darcy notes the NKBA’s 2021 Design Trends Report predicts “increased functionality of storage to allow homeowners to cook, eat, work, home-school and play, all in the same vicinity.”

Boasting style, multi-functionality and innovation to spare, here are the New Year’s Hottest American Kitchen Design Trends:

Stacking Up

If the coronavirus pandemic has produced anything positive, it has allowed millions of Americans to discover their inner home chef. This means countless more hours spent in the kitchen and, after numerous trips to Target, the Home Depot and Lowe’s, more gadgets and tools to store. To store all those essential cooking utensils, the floor-to-ceiling cabinet plan with an extra row of uppers has become a trendy, essential piece of many American kitchens.

A Bright Today & Tomorrow

It’s definitely dawn for the most popular cabinet colorscape as bright-colored cabinets like sun yellow are in bright demand.

“Because we all need a little more sunshine in our lives after 2020, am I right,” Country Living’s Cate Geiger Kalus jokes. “Pair (cabinets) with a fun backsplash, and you will smile every time you walk into your happy kitchen!”

Open Shelving

Take the doors off the cabinets with open shelving that allows you to both showcase and store beautiful kitchen wares and refresh your kitchen with a less “built-in” cabinetry look. 

“Trust us. Open shelving is about to change your life,” Geiger Kalus boldly predicts.

Going All Green

After years of navy blue being the cabinet hue of choice, American kitchen cabinets are going green. This dramatic and luxurious color is bringing sun into a traditional dark design scheme.

“In recent years, (cabinet colors have) been all about navy, but expect to see more greens in kitchens going forward … in tones of emerald and forest green,” Ideal Home’s Tamara Kelly writes. 

The blue-green sky cabinet, Porch Daydreamer predicts, will become one of America’s most-desired cabinet colors.   

“The cabinet color that is really new for 2021 are shades of blue green with a hint of gray,” the website writes.

Sky-High Cabinets

For many, the best storage space is out-of-the-way storage space. Snaking cupboards around the kitchen, like over the fridge offers extra storage with no space compromises. 

Rise of the Kitchen Larder

The standard American pantry reinvented, a kitchen larder transforms the traditional food storage and preservation room into a stand-alone cupboard or pantry. 

“They can be large enough to house the majority of your dry goods but small enough to keep things organized while taking up a minimal amount of valuable space,”  Geiger Kalus notes. 

Wood Revival

Long thought a style dinosaur, many American kitchens are refreshing their look with a true American classic. Rough-hewn, reclaimed wood cabinets are bringing an environmentally-friendly and ultra-functional simple look to kitchens coast to coast this year. 

A Grating Statement

Display cabinets with metal grate fronts are proving both a happy medium between closed and open storage and a rustic style statement. 

The Island Cabinets

Clearing both walls and elongating high ceilings, island cabinets are also making the heart of every modern kitchen even more versatile. 

The Cabinet Corner

More kitchen designers are deciding the best, most practical means of storage is one dedicated cabinet corner. This frees up vertical space and makes it much easier for clueless husbands to answer the question, “Honey, where does this go?” themselves. 

Today’s kitchen cabinet looks, House Beautiful’s Hadley Mendelsohn notes, “go far beyond plain-old cupboards.” The new year is bringing countless stylish storage solutions for America’s kitchens. 

If anything’s for sure in 2021, kitchen cabinets aren’t just for storage anymore. 

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