The buzz at this year's Consumer Electronics Show is once again all about the Internet of Things, including a new array of smartphone-operated appliances. But according to designers, aesthetics — not gadgets is what is on the minds of consumers looking to upgrade or renovate their kitchens in 2015. Topping the list is the trend toward "modern traditional," a cross between urban sophistication and country comfort.

Designers all have their own takes on what's in and what's out. In the barrage of trend predictions that accompanied the start of the New Year, though, "modern traditional" or elements that contribute to that style made most designers' lists.

According to an article in Forbes, "homeowners are shunning ultrasleek, contemporary kitchens in favor of spaces that are 'warm, homey and reflect themselves.'" Modern traditional combines elements of both styles, such as pairing stainless with rustic woods or wood with marble.

Furniture-style cabinetry and furnishings are also characteristic of this style. Instead of flat-panel doors, cabinets have classic door profiles, such as Shaker doors. Dominant colors tend to be neutrals, with grays and even black among the most popular.

Warm metals, such as bronze, copper and gold, along with vibrant tones like orange and red in appliances or furniture, add a splash of color and sophistication. Eye-catching wallpapers and textured surfaces add another layer of visual interest.

Modern traditional reflects how the kitchen has replaced the great room as the social hub of the home a place not only to cook but also to entertain.

At the other end of the spectrum are open-plan kitchens, which emphasize functionality, simple living and easy maintenance. Designed to accommodate the flow of multiple cooks, family members and guests, they take a more minimalist approach to aesthetics, opting for few or no wall cabinets, open shelving, clear counters and built-in appliances.

"Clean lines are in high demand," says designer Naomi Anderson, noting that the Shaker style is still popular with clients.

Also found on many designers' trends lists are ceilings that make a statement. Kitchen and bath designer Lee Hardcastle, quoted in the Forbes article, predicts, "More emphasis will go into ceiling design, in terms of shape, features, etc. Whether it be through the use of lighting, bulkheads or coffer ceilings, or the addition of classic embellishments, our ceilings will become part of the room's beauty once again."

Lighting is making a bigger design statement as well. "Decorative and accent lighting can bring the 'bling' to any kitchen design," observes Anderson, "like a line of gorgeous glass pendants to set off an island or an elegant chandelier hanging over a dining table." More dramatic forms of task lighting, such as under the cabinet LEDs, provide functionality and atmosphere.

Whether modern traditional, open-plan minimalism or something in between, kitchen chic is in. Today's consumers want kitchens that "wow" as well as work. That's good news for designers, who have the talent and know-how to make even the most eclectic styles come together.