At the recent International Builder Show, one of the most anticipated education sessions revolved around the art of designing model home kitchens that captivate potential buyers. Led by industry experts Erin Hurley, Mallika Thomas, and Sarah McDaniel, the session explored the top kitchen trends of 2024 and how to implement them effectively to create spaces that not only sell but also resonate with the pursuit of happiness and functionality.

The Pursuit of Happiness:

In today’s fast-paced world, kitchens have evolved beyond mere cooking spaces. They now embody the pursuit of happiness, serving as hubs for connection and joy. The speakers emphasized the importance of infusing warmth, comfort, and a sense of welcome into the kitchen design.

Floor Plan, Location, and Layout:

A well-thought-out floor plan is crucial for maximizing space and flow within the kitchen area. The speakers highlighted the significance of strategic placement within the home layout, ensuring seamless transitions between cooking, dining, and living areas. The kitchen should not only be functional but also centrally located, fostering a sense of integration and connectivity.

Place of Gathering and Togetherness:

Today’s kitchen is more than just a place to prepare meals; it’s a focal point for gatherings and togetherness. Incorporating elements such as kitchen islands with seating, cozy nooks, and open layouts encourages interaction and fosters a sense of community within the home.

Cabinetry, Functionality, and Form:

Cabinetry plays a pivotal role in defining the aesthetic and functionality of the kitchen. The panelists stressed the importance of marrying form and function, opting for sleek designs with ample storage solutions. From minimalist styles to bold statement pieces, cabinetry should complement the overall theme while catering to the practical needs of homeowners.

Countertop and Backsplashes:

Countertops and backsplashes serve as both functional elements and design focal points in the kitchen. The speakers highlighted the rising popularity of durable yet visually striking materials such as quartz and ceramic tiles. Incorporating unique textures, patterns, and finishes can elevate the aesthetic appeal while ensuring ease of maintenance.


Ventilation hoods are no longer mere utilitarian fixtures; they’ve become statement pieces in modern kitchen design. The speakers emphasized the importance of selecting hoods that not only effectively remove smoke and odors but also add visual interest to the space. From sleek stainless steel to rustic-chic designs, hoods can enhance the overall ambiance of the kitchen.

Appliance Trends:

In line with technological advancements, kitchen appliances are becoming increasingly intuitive and integrated. The speakers discussed the growing demand for smart appliances that offer convenience, energy efficiency, and connectivity. From touchscreen refrigerators to voice-controlled ovens, incorporating cutting-edge appliances can enhance the kitchen’s functionality and appeal.


Proper lighting is essential for creating ambiance and functionality within the kitchen space. The speakers emphasized the importance of layering lighting to accommodate various tasks and moods. From pendant lights to under-cabinet fixtures, a well-designed lighting scheme can enhance visibility, highlight architectural features, and add a touch of drama to the kitchen.

Details, Details, Details:

The devil is in the details when it comes to crafting model home kitchens that stand out. The speakers emphasized the significance of paying attention to small details such as hardware, faucets, and finishes. These seemingly minor elements can make a significant impact, adding personality and polish to the overall design.

By prioritizing the pursuit of happiness, functionality, and aesthetic appeal, builders and designers can create kitchens that not only entice potential buyers but also elevate the overall living experience.

Contact us to discuss your next project. Our attention to detail (specifically, kitchens) is unmatched! We design and merchandise model homes and amenity spaces that elicit dreams of home ownership and a lifestyle worth living, set our client’s product apart from the competition, and help homes sell.