Kitchen and bath trends shift like the tides: one year, nature-inspired themes are in demand, the next, sleek, contemporary industrial designs are hot. More than 100 designer/members of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) recently participated in a survey to reveal design trends that are expected to take hold this year. These trends were then compared with the dominant trends reported in a similar survey conducted in 2009 by the NKBA. The results show a shift in tastes in everything from cabinet wood species to color palettes.
Color & Style
The way designers are thinking about the big three design categories – Traditional, Transitional, Contemporary – may be seeing a shift toward a more specific way of looking at kitchen styles, according to surveyed designers. Shaker styles began to experience gains in 2009 and gained momentum in 2010. At year’s end, Shaker had supplanted Contemporary as the second most popular style used by NKBA member designers. The percentage of respondents who designed Contemporary kitchens fell to 48%, while Shaker rose to 55%. The only other style to see a rise in 2010 was Cottage, which registered 21% of designers surveyed.
Traditional remains strong: the style was used by 76% of designers in the fourth quarter of 2010, although that number represents a drop from the same period in 2009.
There is projected to be a shift in the materials used to compose these styles, as well. At the beginning of 2010, cherry wood was specified by more NKBA member designers for use in kitchen cabinetry than any other wood. NKBA research showed that 78% of designers has used cherry in the final three months of the year compared to 64% who used maple. The trend is projected to turn upside down, with maple surpassing cherry.
Granite and quartz are projected to retain their number one and two spots in the countertop materials category, with solid surfaces emerging as the clear number three. However, while laminate dropped from 21% to 17%, solid surfaces rose from 14% to 25%. Butcher block has seen a rise from a niche inclusion into regular use, with 12% of respondents reporting specifying it. Use of marble also doubled in the final months of 2010 to 14% from 7% of designers the year before.
Dark finishes have overtaken medium natural, glazed and white painted cabinetry finishes to become to the most specified finish at the end of 2010, a position designers anticipate will continue throughout 2011. Medium natural fell to 48% from 53% at the end of 2009; glazed fell to 42% from 53%, and white painted was specified by 47% of designers surveyed, a two-percentage-point drop from the year prior.