What’s Trending in Kitchen and Bath Design

What’s Trending in Kitchen and Bath Design

Simple, contemporary designs are dominating American kitchen and baths in 2016, with a particular emphasis on function and technology according to a recent survey.

The 2016 Design Trends Survey by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) surveyed more than 450 designers from across the country about materials, product types, and design styles that reflect consumer preferences from the past year.

“This year is different in that it’s technology driven versus it used to just be theme driven, like Tuscan was a very big one a few years ago,” says Alana Busse, a California-based interior designer and spokesperson for NKBA. “Right now it’s more about being connected and being simpler at the same time.”

Here are four of the top bath and kitchen trends for 2016, based on polled designers:

1. Transitional style is still king

This mix of classic and modern designs continues to be a popular choice in both bathrooms and kitchens, though more contemporary looks are increasingly seen in kitchen design.

“The transitional style being worked into many designs like the shaker door style cabinet or a shaker door with an applied piece of molding,” Busse says. “Depending upon how you accessorize it you can go more modern or more traditional. It just kind of gives you that neutral, transitional palette to work with.”

Busse also points to industrial elements like kitchen hardware and minimalist designs as prevalent ways to create a transitional look. Atlas Housewares, for example, recently launched a line of industrial style knobs and pulls that bring a sleek touch to kitchens or bathroom cabinets.

2. Pops of color create a fresh finish

While shades of white and gray are the most common in kitchens, bright alternatives like electric blue or lime green are also cropping up.

“This is the first year we’re seeing from our faucet manufacturers, plumbing manufacturers, they’re doing these bright colors,” Busse says. “It’s actually in some of the fixtures.”

3. Storage is all about smart, specific function

Generic pull-out drawers and hidden storage are getting a modern makeover according to NKBA members.

“For storage, it used to just be that people wanted trash pullouts and spice pullouts. Nowadays those are really just standard items and the trend is leaning towards specialized storage,” Busse says. Think drawers outfitted with K-Cup holders, iPad docking stations, built-in wine racks, and other use-specific storage.

4. Making room for Fido

More than 60 percent of respondents said they added pet spaces like built-in feeding stations, food storage, and crates to their kitchen projects last year. This trend reflects an increase in pet ownership in the U.S. and a desire amongst pet owners for pets to be a part of the family.

“Nowadays I’m having clients request full dog rooms,” Busse says. “Things like doggy showers that are built up so you don’t have to bend down as much to bathe the animal. Full grooming stations in homes and even doggy lounges where you have an area for a bed and things of that nature. They basically have their own little doggy hotel room built into the house.”


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