Trends: The 3 Most Popular Interior Design Styles – And Cabinetry Design to Match

Trends: The 3 Most Popular Interior Design Styles – And Cabinetry Design to Match

Some cabinet trends are cyclical, evolving just like fashion does. If they didn’t, we would all still have harvest-gold or avocado-green in our kitchens. Other designs are timeless, with lasting appeal. Frequently, cabinet trends are driven by which interior design styles are most popular depending on where you live.

This recent article identified the top interior design styles across the country – state by state. Turns out, the industrial aesthetic, known for its exposed brick and unfinished floors and cabinetry is tops in 12 states – spanning the entire country – from Alaska to New Hampshire and 10 others in between. While the industrial aesthetic ranked most popular, vintage and “shabby chic” ran neck-in-neck for the No. 2 and 3 spots, respectively.

Noting the popularity of these three styles, we thought we would explore how they can be applied to cabinetry design, whether it’s in a single-family home or a multifamily building with a variety of unit configurations.


Exposed brick and ductwork combined with high ceilings, unfinished concrete floors, large windows and expanses of open space are hallmarks of the industrial style. Homes decorated in this style also commonly feature a mix of weathered wood and metal furniture, open shelving and storage bins atop freestanding metal racks.

To ensure the style is carried throughout the apartment, we recommend using textured thermally-fused laminate (TFL) cabinets in gray, topped with concrete-, slate- or limestone-look countertops. Choose steel or dark pewter hardware to finish the look.

We installed this style atThe Marlowe, a recently opened rental community in Chicago’s trendy River North neighborhood, where we paid homage to the industrial style of the building and the neighborhood aesthetic resulting in a new building with an old soul. To achieve this look, we used a mix of dark gray shaker cabinets with white slab uppers. A modern handle in brushed brass adds warmth to the overall industrial look.

Given the clean, sleek look the industrial style offers, it’s no surprise to us that it’s currently the most popular and replicated design.


Popular in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest and Southwest, vintage design offers an elegant and simple style in a variety of soft, muted beiges, grays and creams or, alternatively, uses a deep, dramatic color for effect. Fans of the style embrace wallpaper, aged or slightly distressed furniture, and natural materials – mostly woods and fabrics. Other signature design elements include decorative plaster moldings and ceiling details.

Using modified Shaker-style style cabinets in crisp white, cream and taupe with bronze or brass hardware. Adding inset glass doors is another way you can match the aesthetic while displaying antique dishes and stemware. Most often, countertops are in line with the elegance of the neutral palette common in the vintage style, though some designers may go darker for added contrast.

Shabby Chic

Last, but certainly not least, is the “shabby chic” design, which is most popular in the South and Southeast. With this aesthetic, “everything old is new again,” and if it isn’t old, it’s intentionally designed to look that way through distressed treatments. Furniture is often heavily painted with obvious signs of wear and tear. A colorful mix of prints, patterns and textiles adds to the casual yet cohesive – or chic – design of each space.

When it comes to carrying the style through to cabinetry, we recommend using glazed Shaker-style cabinets in white, cream or gray with nickel or crystal hardware. The glazing creates a softer appearance and emulates the look of an older piece of furniture – a hallmark of the “shabby chic” design. Light-colored countertops in cream, light greens or pinks complete the colorful palette, creating a one-of-a-kind, lived-in look that makes these spaces especially inviting.

Jane Kelly
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