Look For Changes In Kitchen And Bath Designs In 2011
The results of a survey by the National Kitchen and Bath Association on design trends for 2011 suggest there will be some changes in kitchen and bath styles this year. Below are 10 kitchen trends and 4 bathroom trends that are poised to take hold. These are overall trends across the United States and Canada; they won’t necessarily appear in all geographic areas.
Shake It Up — The Shaker style began a rise in popularity in 2009 and gained momentum in 2010. By the end of the year, Shaker had supplanted Contemporary as the second most popular style used by NKBA member designers. While Traditional remains the most popular style — used by 76 percent of designers in 2010 — that’s a slight drop from the previous year. Meanwhile, the design of contemporary kitchens fell to 48 percent while Shaker rose to 55 percent. Cottage was the only other style to garner at least 20 percent of the market.
Maple Cabinetry — As 2010 began, cherry was specified by more NKBA member designers for use in kitchen cabinetry than any other wood; 78 percent of designers used cherry in the past three months of the year, compared to just 64 percent for maple. This year, however, those numbers are nearly reversed, as cherry has fallen to 71 percent, while maple has risen to 76 percent. The only other type of wood to be used by at least 20 percent of designers was alder, which came in at 28 percent, but that represents a sharp decline from the previous year, when alder was used by 39 percent of designers.
Dark Finishes — Dark natural finishes overtook medium natural, glazed and white painted finishes to become the most specified type of finish toward the end of 2010. While medium natural, glazed and white painted finishes fell, dark natural finishes rose from 42 percent to 51 percent. Light natural and colored painted finishes remained fairly common, as each rose slightly from the previous year. Distressed finishes dropped significantly from a year ago, when they were used by 16 percent of designers, to just 5 percent.
A Place for Wine — While the incorporation of wine refrigerators seems to be on the decline, unchilled wine storage is growing in popularity. More than half of designers surveyed included wine storage in their designs in 2010. While other types of cabinetry options remain more common, most are on the decline, including tall pantries, lazy Susans, and pull-out racks. Appliance garages also seem to be falling out of favor, as their use declined from 36 percent at the end of 2009 to 29 percent a year later.➝
Solid Surfaces — While granite and quartz will retain the No. 1 and 2 spots in the countertop market in 2011, solid surfaces have emerged as the clear No. 3. Both granite and quartz essentially held their dominance from a year earlier, as the percent of designers incorporating these countertop materials into their kitchen designs in the last three months of 2010 changed very little from a year earlier. However, while laminate dropped, the use of solid surfaces rose. Rising out of a niche, both butcher block and marble increased.
Goodbye, Color — Homeowners seemed to be afraid of color as 2010 drew to a close. The use of every color except beige and gray was either flat or down across the board from a year earlier. Even neutral browns have been deemed too bold by many clients. Meanwhile, whites and off-whites dropped only slightly, while grays, beiges and bones rose in popularity. The only other colors to be used by at least 20 percent of designers were bronzes and terracottas.
Bonjour Réfrigérateur — The French door refrigerator has strengthened its position as the type specified most often by NKBA member designers. Freezer-top refrigerators were only specified by 8 percent of designers as 2010 drew to a close. Freezer-bottom models fell very slightly and side-by-side units rose slightly. Meanwhile, French door refrigerators jumped from 67 percent to 78 percent. Among smaller units, refrigerator or freezer drawers remained flat, while undercounter wine refrigerators fell sharply, an interesting change given the increasing use of unchilled wine storage.
Inducting a New Cooktop — Induction cooktops haven’t overtaken gas and electric models, but they’re closing the gap. As 2010 began, gas cooktops had been specified by 76 percent of NKBA designers, compared to 38 percent for electric and 26 percent for induction. Today, the incorporation of gas cooktops has fallen and electric cooktops have risen slightly while induction cooktops are up to 34 percent. Meanwhile, single wall ovens are down in popularity and double wall ovens are up. In addition, warming drawers and ranges are down.
LED Lighting — Incandescent lighting continues its journey to obsolescence. Only 35 percent of designers continue to use incandescent lighting in their designs. Instead, designers are clearly opting for more energy-efficient lighting options. The use of halogen lighting is down over the past year, but LED lighting has increased.
Trashy Designs — A greater emphasis is being made to address trash considerations in the kitchen. Some 89 percent of kitchens designed by NKBA members in the last year include a trash or recycling pull-out. Garbage disposal installation was up from the previous year, and trash compactors have become more common. These changes may be due to an increase in sustainability awareness, but they certainly indicate an increase in concern toward trash generated in the kitchen.
Quartz Countertops — Quartz continues to take away market share from granite in bathroom vanity tops. A year ago, 85 percent of NKBA bathroom designers incorporated granite into a recent design, compared to just 48 percent for quartz, but now that gap has narrowed to 83 percent for granite and 54 percent for quartz. Unlike in the kitchen, solid surfaces haven’t gained much popularity in the bathroom. Solid marble has declined while cultured marble and onyx have increased. No other material has even 10 percent of the market.
Green Bathrooms — No, we’re not referring to eco-friendly spaces — we literally mean green bathrooms. A year ago, green color palettes were used by only 14 percent of NKBA designers, but at the end of 2010, that figure had risen to 24 percent. Still, whites and off-whites, beiges and browns are the three most commonly used color tones in bathrooms. Other common color tones include blues, grays and bronzes and terracottas.
A Worthy Vessel — Undermount sinks continue to dominate newly remodeled bathrooms. However, vessel sinks have become the clear second choice among designers. Also up are integrated sink tops, pedestal sinks and drop-in sinks.
Satin Nickel Faucets — This trend relates to both bathrooms and kitchens. From the end of 2009 to the end of 2010, the percent of NKBA designers who specified a satin nickel faucet rose from 41 percent to 63 percent in the kitchen and from 45 percent to 57 percent in the bathroom, while the percent who specified a brushed nickel faucet fell in both kitchens and bathrooms. Other popular faucet finishes in both the kitchen and bathroom are bronze and oil-rubbed bronze, polished chrome and polished nickel. However, while stainless steel is popular in the kitchen, it’s much less utilized in the bathroom.
By Gayle Mensch