By Eileen Alexander

Home design trends indicate what is popular at a certain period of time. Trends evolve according to changing tastes. Suddenly, a new year arrives, and a new style is in vogue.

It’s fun to see what the design experts predict will be popular each year as it prompts us to imagine what kinds of things could upgrade or transform our own homes.

I look forward, for instance, to what the major paint companies introduce as their colors of the year. Sometimes, the colors are appealing, and I know I could easily use that color in my own home. In other years, the chosen colors seem downright ugly, and I can’t imagine anyone painting their rooms or decorating with them. And even though I might like a color, I’ve never rushed to the store to buy the latest trendy shade. I’d rather rely on my sense of what works best in my space, according to my own tastes.

The same with kitchen trends. A Google search of kitchen trends for 2022 yields a wide range of choices depending on who is making the recommendations, from popular style magazines to kitchen designers.

Some of the kitchen ideas currently in vogue for 2022 include:

• Cabinet colors: The trend seems to be away from all white kitchens to more earthy and cozy colors like warm taupe, forest green and mid-range to dark blues. Natural wood cabinets are making a return as well.

• Backsplashes: Out with muted tiles and in with glazed ceramic tiles that reflect the light. Slab backsplashes are trending and thinner grout lines also seem to be fashion forward.

• Countertops: Quartz countertops, especially those that mimic marble, remain popular, as quartz is durable and family friendly.

• Curves: Curves in the kitchen are in. Rounded corners on countertops, islands and open shelving convey warmth and comfort. Arched doorways add an element of surprise and interest.

• Metals: Stainless finishes, polished nickel, copper and black can be mixed and matched for cabinet hardware, faucets and lighting fixtures. Brass remains very popular.

• Increased storage: Everyone wants more storage and pantries are on trend in new construction and complete kitchen renovations.

• Layered lighting: Multiple kinds of lighting give you options. Ceiling spot lights illuminate large spaces, under counter lighting is ideal for kitchen prep work and softer lighting over the kitchen table and nooks fitted with easy chairs make meals and conversation more intimate and enjoyable.

“Your kitchen should be a reflection of you,” Badger Peabody & Smith Realty agent Rachael Brown said. “Trends are a good starting point when you are thinking of upgrading your kitchen, but don’t renovate or update based on someone else’s idea of what your kitchen should look like or because you think marble countertops or a slate sink will attract more buyers or a higher price if you decide to sell your home. As with most things, you’ll be happiest and most comfortable if any upgrades reflect your tastes and lifestyle.”

I think wallpaper adds a nice touch to a kitchen, and I especially like floral wallpaper with an overall pattern of blossoms, berries and vines. In three of the last four homes I’ve lived in, I’ve papered at least one kitchen wall in a floral design.

The color red also makes me happy, and I enjoyed cooking and having friends over in a kitchen I had remodeled with pine cabinets and red formica countertops. For that kitchen, I chose a lovely floral wallpaper in soft greens and reds to decorate one section of wall.

It’s fun to read up on the trends, but in the end follow your intuition. Base your choices on what makes you happy and you won’t go wrong.

Eileen Alexander is a New Hampshire native, who made a short detour through North Carolina before returning to the Granite State. She has a yen for old homes with character, colorful flower gardens and expansive mountain views.

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