I’m seeing a pattern of change in 2020, so I’m redoing a couple of kitchen displays in my showroom to give people ideas. I’ve started with a palette of soft neutrals, taupe-y and very warm.

In one, I’m installing new walnut cabinets for a medium base tone. I’m about to go to Boston Granite Exchange to look for a fantastic piece of marble to pull all my colors together. The cabinets are a tad masculine, so the marble countertops will bring in the right amount of femininity.

For bling, I’m adding crystal cabinet knobs, which tie in perfectly with my crystal chandeliers. The final touch will be using mirrors instead of glass on the doors, which will reflect wonderful light. There it is: warm, bright and light.

You don’t look like your neighbor or the rest of your family; you want to be you. Step outside the box – have some fun in your kitchen and all the time. Pick your favorite color and introduce it as a theme in your kitchen. Go on a shopping spree; bring in your colors. I’m a fan of neutral tones accented with plums, oranges or pinks – they all go.

Now is the time to see some fresh colors!

For base colors in cabinets and floors I don’t see as many grays or blues; I see more neutrals. It will be in with the earth tones, the new base colors, because they last. You want your kitchen investment to last in your house for 20 to 30 years; it’s a commitment you want to keep. Walls and accessories are more easily changeable than your kitchen cabinets and floor, so change up your look by changing your accent colors.

Pink is an accent color we’re starting to see more of, and it’s coming in strong in furniture, rugs and dishes. Greens are soothing. White always works.

I’m working with a gal right now who wants her dream, soft-white kitchen. Her floor is medium-brown oak with sapwood in it, with darker rings and a low sheen – very warm. You don’t see the high sheen in floors anymore. Hers will be a welcoming kitchen. I’m going to BGE with her to look for a marble or a quartzite slab in a honed or leathered finish to complement the warm tones of her kitchen.

I’m scheduled for my own new countertop in just a couple of months, so I’m planning a trip to BGE to look for my piece of marble. Like me, people know marble comes with maintenance, but we still buy it for its natural beauty. Whatever stone you are looking for, when you see the beautiful piece you want, you tag it or place it on hold; otherwise it may be gone. BGE has a great showroom and a large inventory to choose from with stones from all over the world. They always are bringing in new colors and finishes and adding to their inventory. Planning more than one trip to their showroom is not uncommon. After you’ve put your slabs on hold, your fabricator takes over.

Soon I’ll take my client to BGE and, while she immerses herself in the colors and beauty of the slabs, I’ll wander off to look for mine.

Linda Cloutier, founder of Linda Cloutier Kitchens & Baths in southern New Hampshire, has worked for more than three decades as a kitchen design business owner, specializing in spending time with her clients, understanding their design preferences and designing every project as if it were in her own home. Linda won her first Houzz award in 2015, and it’s no surprise she’s received that honor every year since.