In part two of our four-part series, we focused on current trends in kitchen cabinetry. We have seen a shift toward more simple design and clean lines. Transitional and soft contemporary have emerged as being more popular design styles.
Door styles have become more clean and simple. Maple and cherry woods in medium to dark stains with darker glazes became more requested, and maple paints in mainly off-white colors emerged as being another popular choice. Islands, in a contrasting or second color, also became a common design element. There was less use of design embellishments. Aged brass hardware started to emerge as an option to brushed satin nickel and polished chrome.
Current Trends in Countertops, Backsplashes, Sinks, Lighting, Appliances, Hoods & Flooring
Just as kitchen cabinetry has evolved, so have all the other elements in the kitchen. We will briefly touch on trends in virtually everything else (including the kitchen sink) in this section.
Natural stone is still the most popular choice, but other options emerged. Classic white marbles are being more widely used in all styles of kitchens due to the introduction of better sealers (to protect from staining and etching) and more honed options.
Granite is still being used, but clients prefer the new honed and textured surfaces. Like cabinetry, the whites and dark browns, blacks and gray granite colors are preferred over the previously popular gold and green tones. Exotic granites are widely used because of their unique patterns.
Solid wood tops are an alternative. They are popular for their warmth and often used on islands or other accent areas, primarily in a walnut finish.
Composed of 93% natural crushed quartz that is blended with polyester resins, colorants and particles, Quartz countertops are the “up and coming” countertop trend, especially in transitional, soft contemporary and contemporary styling. In addition to extremely low maintenance, Quartz offers smooth, clean-line design because the particles are generally smaller, and the veining is muted to provide a less busy appearance.
Arabesque shapes became more popular in tile backsplash options. We also saw a shift toward 3×6 bevel designs and the use of longer rectangles, sometimes referred to as subway tiles. Mixing materials such as glass, stone and slate, also became a popular option.
The popularity of single bowl sinks in the kitchen is on the rise. Farm sinks are still used, but mostly where they are stylistically appropriate. However, the number one selection by consumers is the stainless steel, undermount, double bowl sink.
In terms of lighting, a popular trend is creating an industrial feel to spaces by using light fixtures and hardware in darker iron mental and darker bass finishes that are contrasted with lighter rough hewn wood accents in exposed ceiling beams and in the furniture.
We are seeing a move toward larger and more uniform sizing options to create an open and more contemporary feel. Rectangular planks are generally wider and longer. Hardwoods are still the most popular flooring choice for kitchens, with a trend toward darker stains and wider planks. However, tile that has the appearance of wood is also becoming more popular as an alternative due to the product’s easy care and maintenance. When tile is desired, porcelains have a higher perceived value than ceramics. We are also seeing a move away from travertine to limestone due to higher quality, denser stone and cleaner more streamlined looks.
Stainless steel is still the most popular finish, and commercial-style appliances are still all the rage and have moved more into the spotlight of many kitchens. Clients typically prefer gas cooktops and double oven and will use ranges only when the space is very tight. We’ve seen a rise of popularity in counter-depth over true built-in and paneled appliances, especially with refrigerators (perhaps due to tightened budgets).
We have also seen an increase in the use of warming drawers. Also, supplemental refrigeration units, such as wine-coolers and family beverage centers, are also becoming more popular.
Kithen Mantle Hoods
Kitchen hoods are still a main focal point, but the mantel hoods are smaller. We have seen a shift back to simple stainless hoods, emphasized with accent lighting.
Just as kitchen designs have evolved, bathroom designs have changed for the better as well. We will cover the latest trends in bathroom design in the fourth and final part of our series.
Thanks to Traditions in Tile and Stone for the tile backsplash images and the wood-look tile flooring photo.