Gone are the days when kitchens were just kitchens — now they’re so pretty they could be any room of the house.

Kitchens are undeniably the heart of today’s homes so, understandably, you want your kitchen to look its best. Even if you aren’t in the market for a total re-do, one or two trendy updates will bring your kitchen into the 21st century, but what are the new trends?

After a review of several of the top design magazines, it was easy to see that blending materials and adding splashes of color was top of the list.

There are of course designs that always seem to stand the test of time, however, small evolutionary changes blend the classic with the contemporary.  Black-and-white with an added touch of lacquer for instance or classic clean lines with absolute black granite countertops and warm rustic hardwood floors keep these looks holding strong.

Cabinet color is also trending in a slightly different hue.  Cabinet color could be moving towards gray from white, a soft gray cabinet with richly stained wood is clearly on the top for designers right now.

The idea is that keeping a kitchen neutral allows you to personalize it to reflect your style.  If you feel like adding things like a custom wood range hood, or a wood stained island or even an apron-front cast-iron sink in a color other than white for a pop of color you can.

Other than colors and materials other trendsetting features include maximizing storage space with things like multi-tiered drawers, adding in automation with wonderfully useful creations like, sensor-activated lights that illuminate the kitchen only when it’s in use to meat thermometers that alert your smartphone when dinner is done and hands-free faucets for all the times when you have dirty hands.