Top Kitchen Design Trends
A recent national survey of kitchen designers conducted by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) and luxury appliance manufacturer Thermador identifies several trends influencing today’s kitchen design -- from popular colors and finishes, to new materials, and even new technologies being incorporated by designers.
More than half (56.8 percent) of the kitchen designers surveyed said “traditional” was their most often requested type of kitchen design. However, designers identified contemporary and clean, simple lines as kitchen design trends to watch for.
For cabinetry, the top two most used finishes in kitchens are cherry and maple, while paints and exotic woods tied for third. This is a departure from the once-dominant oak cabinetry. Moreover, designers identify stainless steel as the top color scheme in today’s kitchen designs, followed by beige and bone colors.
Stainless steel continues to lead the way as the most popular finish for appliances. However, appliances with custom paneling to match cabinetry are more commonly incorporated into today’s kitchen designs. The appliances that most often receive paneling are dishwashers and refrigerators.
Designers identified modular refrigeration, along with induction cooktops and speed-cooking ovens as one of the most exciting kitchen technologies. “Modular refrigeration like the Thermador Freedom Collection is gaining popularity because it provides designers and their clients greater flexibility,” says Michael Traub, president and CEO of Thermador. “With Freedom, they are liberated from having to design the entire kitchen around traditional and bulky refrigerator/freezer combinations while being able to achieve truly flush integration with cabinets.”
Countertops and Backsplashes
The countertop material used most frequently is granite, and with unlimited stone colors and designs, it’s highly customizable. However, another stone material -- quartzite, noted for its durability -- comes in a strong second. Additionally, the top three backsplash materials are tile, followed by granite and glass.
Functionality and Layout Today’s households often function with more than one cook, so kitchen designs frequently incorporate multiple cooking stations such as a range and a wall oven, or a range and a cooktop. Appliances are also occupying islands to add cooking space. Additionally, prep sinks are showing up on islands or other locations in the kitchen for increased functionality.
“Kitchens are more commonly becoming a household’s hub,” says Ed Pell, manager of marketing research at the NKBA. “With multiple cooks working in the kitchen, and more entertaining and family activities conducted there, designers want to fulfill their client’s desire for increased functionality with efficient work areas.”
When it comes to appliances, designers indicate that homeowners believe high-end options are a good home investment. In fact, designers say premium appliances are the top “dream” item amongst their clients -- winning over custom cabinetry and special countertops.
When designers were asked to name new trends to take note of, many identified new color applications. Specifically, greater use of color in cabinets was cited as an up and coming trend, as was the use of two colored cabinetry and molding, and the overall bolder use of color. (ARA)