The National Kitchen & Bath Association released their annual Design Trends study. The report takes a deep dive into all aspects of both kitchen and primary bathroom design, with the goal of highlighting styles, features, materials and innovations expected to be most popular over the next few years. The survey included over 700 respondents from across North America. More than half the participants were designers and the remainder were architects, remodelers, showroom professionals and manufacturers.
Here are some highlights from their research:
It’s no big surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic will have a substantial lasting impact on kitchen and bath design. As homeowners spend more time at home, kitchens and primary bathrooms are getting larger, the volume of outdoor living projects is increasing significantly and there is a need for easy-to-clean surfaces, flexible living spaces and seamless technology integration for added convenience and peace of mind.
Aesthetically, design preferences in both the kitchen and bath will continue to be more contemporary and transitional in style, with the added influence of a new leading trend of “natural/organic.” This combination feels more European in style and scale, with clean lines, minimal detailing, the warmth and texture of natural finishes, and larger windows to bring the feeling of the outdoors inside.
Traditional design, which consistently had been one of the top three kitchen and bath styles for more than a decade, is now anticipated to be one of the least popular. “We expect designs for both the kitchen and bath to continue trending toward a more modern, organic feel that is both streamlined and adaptable,” said Bill Darcy, NKBA CEO.
“The kitchen has long been the heart of the home. But especially during the pandemic, it has emerged as the most prominent, multitasking room as well,” Darcy says. “We see this continuing with more open-space concepts, an extension into multi-season outdoor living spaces, larger kitchen island hubs and increased functionality and storage to allow homeowners to cook, eat, work, home-school and play, all in the same vicinity.”
Additional emerging trends for the kitchen include:
Gas and induction cooking methods are nearly equal in popularity, with induction expected to replace traditional glass electric cooktops. Ventilation hoods will become the new decorative focal point in the kitchen.
Finishes are matte and brushed in stainless steel or black. Functions include motion-controlled, handsfree or touch/tap.
Space is dedicated for device charging and viewing. It’s important to have seamless video communication. Also, in case of an outage in your area, plan for an emergency power backup.
Quartz, particularly in lighter colors, will continue to be the driving material for countertops. Backsplashes go large scale, featuring a solid slab or long subway tile. Complementary colors and materials mix on perimeter countertops and islands.
Additional emerging trends for the bathroom include:
SHOWER AND TUB
In demand are roomier freestanding showers to accommodate two people with zero-clearance entry, integrated seating and grab bars. Surrounds are larger-format with fewer grout lines. Stylish linear drains work by allowing the water to flow into a trough beneath the shower floor.
Similar to the kitchen, bathroom faucets are going toward voice-activated or hands-free, in black or nickel, matte or brushed finishes.
Convenience in the bath comes in the form of bidets and toilets with self-closing lids.
Floating vanities come to the forefront with integrated electrical outlets, charging capabilities and storage.
Radiant heated flooring adds a layer of warmth underfoot.
Motion-sensor lighting, temperature control, leak detection with mobile alerts, and mirrors with integrated internet access, are all desired features to take the bath high-tech.
CONNECTING IN THE KITCHEN
There is increasing value on a more hidden, but quite powerful feature in the kitchen—connectivity which means your smart apps talk to your appliances. Wi-fi enabled appliances allow everyday tasks to be streamlined and keep errors to a minimum.
“For example, artificial intelligence is used to inventory the contents of a refrigerator. Connected food apps then suggest recipes for dinners based on those contents,” says Ken Rieman with Custom Distributors. “A range can be connected with a hood to signal the start of the exhaust fan. A refrigerator can serve as a command center with a touch screen featuring Wi-Fi, voice activation, cameras and more.”
Does “connectivity” mean there’s more to break? “It’s really the opposite,” says Darin Rieman, Ken’s brother and partner at Custom Distributors. “Smart technology monitors the performance of the appliance and suggests the most efficient settings. The most recent technology will be downloaded to the appliance to keep it at peak performance.”
Basco available at Basco Shower Enclosures, Worly Plumbing Supply and Bath Works
Bosch available at Custom Distributors and The Appliance Loft
Brizo available at Worly Plumbing Supply and Bath Works
Cambria available at Neal’s Design Remodel and Haus Studio
Delta available at Worly Plumbing Supply and Bath Works
Kohler available at Keidel and Ferguson
IBMirror available at ibmirror.com
Gaggenau available at Custom Distributors
Robern available at Keidel and Ferguson
Samsung available at Custom Distributors