Kitchen Update 2020

Kira Koldeway, General Manager of Design for HighCraft Builders, shares with us the latest trends for your kitchen.

Q: How long have you been in the business and what sort of services do you offer?

HighCraft Builders has been locally owned and operated since 1998, and our company provides quality remodeling and custom home building across Northern Colorado. Based in Fort Collins, our design-build team includes licensed architects, interior designers, experienced project planners and seasoned craftsmen who can take any residential construction project, large or small, from concept to completion. More information at

Q: What are your favorite kitchen trends for 2020?

Big Islands

When it comes to kitchen islands, the bigger the better this year. The island is where kids do their homework and where you roll out a pie crust. It’s where friends gather during parties and where many families eat their meals together. Kitchen islands are command central, so they command more square footage these days. I love a huge island, but within reason. The island should never crowd a kitchen, cause a bottleneck or look out of proportion for the space.

Brushed Gold

A new twist on metal plumbing fixtures for 2020 is an updated and understated gold. I love Brizo’s Luxe Gold finish, which has a deeper, richer gold color compared to the rose gold or champagne finishes of recent years. The luxe gold finish is a less-brassy option that works really well in the kitchen. Mixed finishes, especially in combinations of gold and black, or gold and navy blue, continue to be popular this year, especially when it comes to lighting, faucets and cabinet hardware.

Pattern Tile

We’re using a lot of bold and beautiful ceramic tile for kitchen floors and as accent walls behind the range hood. Hand-painted floral motifs and geometric designs with a concrete look are by far the most popular right now.

Q: What are some of the style trends you are seeing and what is still current? What are your favorites?

Farmhouse continues to be the go-to kitchen design style this year, but interpretations of the style vary greatly, from French farmhouse to industrial farmhouse and everything in between. Traditional farmhouse design elements include barn lights or schoolhouse-inspired lighting, apron sinks, barn doors, bin pulls, shaker cabinets, open shelving, repurposed or natural wood elements, and wide plank flooring.

In Northern Colorado, we’re designing many “modern farmhouse” or “mountain modern” kitchens, a blend of industrial, rustic, contemporary, timber-frame and farmhouse elements. Get ready to see more mixed materials, textures, colors and styles for an eclectic look this year. Stone, brick, natural wood, concrete and reclaimed materials are showing up in the same kitchen. Lighting fixtures are mixing rustic materials with modern lines and bulb styles, too.

Q: Specifically, what is new with: cabinet trends (colors/types), flooring options, backsplashes, hardware. Also, new technology and trends in appliances worth mentioning.


Expect more blending of different styles and less open shelving in kitchen designs this year. Shaker cabinets continue to dominate because of their universal appeal and versatility across styles. But we’re seeing more traditional cabinetry finished in nontraditional paint and stain colors, like deeper charcoal grays, navy blues and neutral greens. We’re also applying light sanding and glazing techniques to create a weathered look or to add depth of color.

This year’s kitchen designs often mix wood varieties, such as cabinets in both clear alder and knotty hickory in the same kitchen. The two-tone trend of painting upper and lower cabinets in different colors, or staining perimeter cabinets in one color and the island in another, will continue through the year.


We’re installing a lot of variable-width wood flooring in kitchens, like the engineered hardwood in the photos above. In a custom home west of Loveland, we used sawmarked French oak installed in a random pattern of four-inch, five-inch and six-inch widths.


We continue to replace dated four-inch backsplashes with full-tile walls. You can install colorful or pattern tile to create an accent wall behind the range hood or extend the slab countertop material up the entire wall for a clean, contemporary look.


Multiple manufacturers are incorporating several different metal finishes into single drawer handles, lighting fixtures and faucets. Selecting one finish for your plumbing fixtures, and another contrasting finish for your cabinet hardware, is happening in a lot of kitchen designs this year.


Blues continue to be popular in 2020, especially in deeper hues edging toward navy. We’re seeing a lot of blues in cabinetry finishes, backsplash tiles, lighting fixtures, exterior and interior paint colors, furniture and décor.

Pantone Color Institute, the international authority on color trends, announced Classic Blue as their top pick for 2020. According to the Pantone website, the color instills calm, confidence and connection, and reflects “our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.”

The Sherwin Williams 2020 Color of the Year, Naval, is “a rich navy that creates a calm and grounding environment infused with quiet confidence.”

PPG paint brand announced Chinese Porcelain, “a blend of cobalt and moody, ink blue” as their favorite color this year. “As we look to 2020, we know that color is the trend,” says PPG senior color manager Dee Schlotter. “Consumers are tiring of stark grays and are looking to infuse colors that delight the senses. Blue is the easiest possible entry point from the world of neutrals to the world of color,” she says.


Quartz continues to be the top countertop choice for kitchen and bathroom designs in Northern Colorado and across the country. Engineered quartz countertops are extremely durable, maintenance-free and they can be fabricated into virtually any shape. They also come in a variety of colors. This year, the most popular quartz countertop patterns are the ones that mimic the natural veining of marble, soapstone or granite.

Cambria released several new products this year with navy blue veining and gold accents. According to their website, “With a neutral background, bold navy veins and gold flakes, Portrush is right at home in kitchens with blue accents and warm metallic hardware.”

Quartz countertops can be fabricated with rustic, chiseled edges that look just like granite. Or you can install marble-looking quartz countertops with square and waterfall edges for a more modern feel.


Touchless Features

Nobody wants to touch anything after handling sticky dough or raw chicken, so it’s no wonder that touchless faucets and trash cans are trending this year. The motion-sensing activation allows you to safely clean up with the wave of a messy hand.

Smart-Home Appliances

Automated home technology was once a luxury product only, but today’s smart home solutions are scalable for all homes and budgets and can be used as a single device or integrated into whole-house automation systems. We expect to see more and more smart kitchen appliances this year and beyond, from coffee makers that grind beans when you wake up, to touch-screen refrigerators that tell you when food is about to expire.

Two Refrigerators

The party always seems to end up in the kitchen, so more and more homeowners are opting for two refrigerators in their designs, one full-size appliance that serves as the practical work horse, and one smaller beverage refrigerator that fits under the counter. The separate beverage fridge encourages kids and guests to help themselves to a drink without getting underfoot when the cook is trying to prepare a meal.

Q: How do you approach kitchen design and how do you incorporate the latest trends into a design but still keep a timeless appeal?

Every kitchen design starts with a conversation to better understand our client’s needs and vision. Then we maximize the available space, for both function and beauty, so it satisfies or further enhances that vision.

HighCraft has an on-site Design Studio where our interior designers meet with clients to explore the latest sample boards and finish trends. It’s like having multiple showrooms in one convenient location, making the selection process easier and more relaxed for our clients.

To incorporate the latest design trends while keeping timeless appeal, we recommend using bold finishes in areas where it’s easier to switch them out once the trends change. If you’re not sure about taking the plunge with a bold cabinet color choice, install classic white cabinets on the perimeter of the kitchen as your blank canvas and let a colorful island take center stage. Add a trending faucet or light fixture, install pattern tile to an accent wall behind the range hood, or use bold accent knobs and pulls on your cabinetry. It’s easier, and less expensive, to replace a faucet or drawer pulls than to replace three walls of perimeter cabinets or an expensive slab countertop that is no longer your cup of tea.