What’s hot – and what’s not – in these two key rooms serve as a bellwether for lighting manufacturers, designers, and retailers to stay in touch with consumer wants.
According to the annual Design Trends Survey recently released by The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), contemporary styles with minimal lines and little ornamentation will dominate this year. The survey, which gathers the opinions of 420+ designer members from the U.S. and Canada who have created kitchens from less than $20,000 to $100,000+ and baths from under $5,000 to more than $30,000, is a barometer of which trends will remain strong and which are waning.
Whether the renovation is for the kitchen or the bath, consumers are looking for increased storage and maximum features. And with Baby Boomers reaching retirement age, “universal design” (products and environments that are adaptable for older people and those with disabilities as well as the able-bodied) has become more important than ever.
According to the 2014 report, 57 percent of NKBA designers specified accessible/ universal design features in bathrooms during 2013 and 56 percent incorporated them into kitchens. Most of those surveyed anticipate adding more of these features such as shower benches, comfort-height
toilets and vanities in baths; and microwave drawers and touch-activated or touch-less kitchen faucets.
Fussy Is Out
The fancy details of Tuscan and Provincial looks are on their way out, along with their distressed and glazed finishes. More than 60 percent of NKBA Trend respondents point to Contemporary as the fastest- growing style for kitchens. Last year, the style came in second place, edged out by Transitional. Interestingly, Shaker styling came in as a solid third choice due in part to its versatility. “More and more customers are going for a Shaker door as it can either lend itself to traditional or contemporary,” explains one NKBA designer. Traditional is expected to remain in the number four position in popularity.
50 Shades of Gray
According to 71 percent of respondents to the NKBA Trend Report, gray will be the fastest-growing color scheme for kitchens in 2014. Last year gray was equal to whites and off-whites, which are still the most popular. The lighter palette is most likely due to the preference for clean, contemporary looks taking the lead in consumer preferences. Say goodbye to reds, bronzes, terracottas, and greens that reigned in popularity in recent years.
A Strong Finish
White paint was the number one kitchen cabinet finish in 2013, but it might not be in 2014. More than 60 percent of those surveyed predict painted finishes other than white to experience the biggest increase. Dark natural finishes took second place in 2013, and many designers see them growing in 2014. The medium natural stains that ranked third in popularity last year are expected to hold strong, however, stained and glazed finishes are projected to slip. The distressed look has fallen out of favor, with 41 percent of respondents noting its decline.
Some 70 percent of NKBA’s trend pundits see quartz kitchen countertops increasing in 2014. At the end of last year, granite and quartz were almost tied for the top spot in countertop materials, at 91 and 90 percent respectively. Interestingly, nearly 25 percent of the survey respondents have specified countertops with recycled materials in 2013 and 40 percent expect to do more in 2014.
Similar to lighting finish stats, Satin Nickel is the most popular kitchen faucet finish. It is followed closely by Polished Chrome, which is expected to be the fastest-growing finish in 2014. When it comes to Bronze/Oil-Rubbed Bronze, designers were split on whether they will continue to specify those darker tones.
LEDs in the Lead
Whopping increases are expected for LEDs in all types of kitchen lighting this year. Designers reveal that LEDs are already leading the way in general, task, and accent lighting. Incandescent light sources remain in second place (halogen takes third), but are expected to decline this year.
For task lighting, LED is the leader with halogen coming in second, followed closely by xenon. In accent lighting, LED is the most popular; halogen is second and predicted to wane. The survey reports 9 out of 10 designers anticipate using undercabinet lighting, and 7 out of 10 plan on specifying lighting for the interior of glass-fronted cabinets — a style that is rising in popularity. Best of all, 40 percent of those surveyed expect an increasing demand for undercabinet lights in 2014, while 38 percent predict growth in interior cabinet lighting.
________________ BATH SECTION___________________________
Last year Contemporary styling surpassed Transitional as the number one bathroom style, according to 68 percent of the NKBA survey respondents — and 54 percent expect it to increase. Although
Transitional has slipped to second place (specified by 65 percent of designers last year), don’t count it out, as 43 percent expect to do more Transitional baths in 2014. Representing 75 percent of the market just a few years ago, Traditional bathrooms drop to third place, with 62 percent specifying them and no major change anticipated.
The Grays Have It
Just as in kitchens, gray tones are predicted to be the fastest-growing color scheme for the bath in 2014. Beige and bone colors hold the number one spot (at 73 percent of the market), followed closely by whites and off- whites at 70 percent. The third-place grays aren’t the only schemes increasing in popularity. Whites and off-whites are expected to grow rapidly in 2014, while beige and bone are expected to remain steady.
Bath Faucets Sparkle
While Satin Nickel reigned as the most popular finish in kitchen faucets, Polished Chrome earns the top spot in the bath and is anticipated to have the most growth in 2014. The second-fastest growing finish is Polished Nickel, which ranked in fourth place last year.
Vanity Thy Name Is Stone
Granite and quartz are virtually tied for the number one position in vanity tops. While granite had a slight edge last year, quartz is expected to pull ahead rapidly in 2014.
Tub vs. Shower
In master baths, soaking tubs were specified by 64 percent of respondents, with 42 percent expecting to do more of them. Last year, standard tubs with shower surrounds and free-standing tubs were equally popular. However, in 2014, the amount of free-standing tubs is estimated to increase.
Interestingly, jetted tubs (whirlpool or air) were specified by less than 29 percent of designers last year and are estimated to drop even further in popularity. On the other hand, steam showers were specified by 38 percent, with 44 percent anticipating demand to increase.
As homeowners want to accommodate elderly relatives, more than half of the designers specified no-threshold showers — and that number is predicted to increase. Only one-third of the designers surveyed spec’ed shower lights, while 70 percent installed benches or seats — however, the number of shower lights and benches/seats is expected to grow.