So you decided to remodel your kitchen. Congratulations! Synthetic materials, smart appliances, and DIY guides are more advanced than ever. The rules of interior design are also changing. Gone are the days of a single, ubiquitous style. Today, contemporary designers create contrast by juxtaposing various colors, textures, and finishes. When planning your kitchen remodel, try to incorporate a mix of wood, metal, and natural stone. Keep reading to learn how.

1. Black is the new black

Stainless steel was everywhere during the early 2000s, but it’s 2017, and the world is changing. Today, interior designers are opting for matte black appliances. This low-sheen finish directs the eye to the object’s lines, while the lack of color evokes minimalist color palettes which are currently popular in interior design. Accent metals are also popular right now. Satin gold, bronze, or copper can add a warm touch to an otherwise stark color palette.

2. Stone countertops are in

In 2012, granite countertops were installed in approximately 75% of new homes, but that trend is starting to subside. Today, countertops are available in a huge variety of materials and colors. Instead of jumping on the granite bandwagon, consider one of these natural stone alternatives:

  • Soapstone: Soapstone is commonly used in high school laboratories because it’s nonporous and durable. For your kitchen, consider sealed soapstone. Sealing creates a darker, richer look without compromising the material. Soapstone costs around $50 per square foot.
  • Quartz: Manufactured quartz is made from crushed quartz, a pigment, and a plastic binding agent. The result is a nonporous countertop that resists stains, heat, acidity, and bacteria. Expect to pay around $70 per square foot.
  • Marble: For a truly luxurious look and feel, consider polished marble. This high-end material is durable and heat-resistant, but it does require annual sealing to prevent stains. Expect to pay upwards of $120 per square foot.

3. Natural wood is the finish of choice

Minimalism has been in vogue since the middle of the 20th century. In the kitchen, designers create a minimal look and feel by opting for simple color schemes and clean lines. To create this effect in your kitchen, consider installing raised-panel cabinets with a natural wood finish. Simple, wooden cabinets pair well with stone countertops and matte black appliances. Joanna Gaines, a popular designer on HGTV, likes to use cabinets that extend all the way up to the ceiling. Taller cabinets offer cleaner lines, provide additional storage space, and increase the value of your home.

4. Value function over form

Finish off your kitchen remodel with furniture that is both minimal and functional. Contemporary designer, Ilse Crawford has pushed the field of interior design forward by insisting that a room’s feeling is just as important as its appearance. As such, contemporary furniture often incorporates a variety of materials, including wood, leather, teak, linen, plywood, and plastic. Smart furniture is also on the rise. In 2017, popular devices include remote surveillance systems, indoor gardening systems, and leak-detecting faucets.

A kitchen remodel isn't as costly as it sounds. Yes, there will be several big initial expenses, but this money isn't lost. You will enjoy a new kitchen as long as this is your home, and when it comes time to sell the house (if that time ever comes) there will be added value from the remodeled kitchen. In the end, it's likely you'll be repaid for the majority of the project.