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Kitchens and Baths: Contemporary Look and Universal Design are In This Year

Category: Home and Garden

Feb. 11, 2014 — While consumers still prefer transitional kitchens by a slight margin, contemporary will be the fastest growing kitchen style this year. In bathrooms, contemporary already surpassed transitional to take the top spot in design for 2013, with even more growth anticipated in 2014. These trends are according to the annual Design Trends Survey released last week at the 2014 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA).

Fading fast are Provincial, Tuscan and country/rustic styles and the distressed cabinet finishes that often accompany them, along with their companion bronze, terracotta and red color schemes.

Other key 2014 kitchen and bath trends:
Gray is forecast to be the fastest growing color scheme for both rooms. In 2013, gray slightly trailed whites/off-whites in kitchens. In baths, gray was the third most popular color scheme, behind beige/bone tones and white/off white.

Kitchen products expected to grow in 2014 include induction cooktops, quartz counters, glass backsplashes, wood floors, walnut cabinets, polished chrome faucets and granite composite sinks.

Bath products on the upswing will be quartz vanity tops, wall-hung vanities, open shelving, polished chrome faucets, under-mount sinks, and ceramic or porcelain floors.

Universal design – thank heavens
After reading many Cooktop Hunter reviews, it’s clear to see that consumers are demanding more universal design features. Fifty-seven percent of NKBA designers specified accessible and/or universal design features in bathrooms in 2013 and 56% incorporated them into kitchens. In the bathroom, related features included shower benches and comfort-height toilets and vanities. In the kitchen, NKBA foresees an uptick in demand for microwave drawers and touch-activated or touchless kitchen faucets.

Staying plugged in is a priority for in kitchens. More than two-thirds of NKBA kitchen design professionals incorporated docking and/or charging stations, a trend that shows no signs of powering down.

In baths, however, the desire is to unplug and relax. Spa features gaining ground include electric radiant floor heating and steam showers. While whirlpools continue to decline in popularity, fully 64 percent of NKBA designers specified a soaking tub in their master bath projects in 2014, and 42 percent expecting that trend to accelerate in 2014.

About the Survey
The 420 kitchen and bathroom professionals who participated in this year’s research represent a good cross-section of the market for professionally designed and installed bathrooms in the United States and Canada. Respondents reported kitchen project prices ranged from less than $20,000 to more than $100,000 and bathroom projects ranging from less than $5,000 to more than $30,000. NKBA members reported the products, colors and features they used most often in their 2013 bathrooms, then predicted which ones will flourish or fade in 2014.

Comments: We thought you would like to know the latest trends in case you are buying a home or thinking about renovating. In the meantime, please share any design thoughts you might have in the Comments section below.

Posted by Admin on February 11th, 2014


  1. Many universal design concepts are easy to intergrate into an existing home. Here’s a handy checksheet for universal design both inside and outside the home (I love my “comfort height” toilets!):

    Jan Cullinane, author, The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement

    by Jan Cullinane — February 12, 2014

  2. Sorry about that type, above: should be integrate!

    by Jan Cullinane — February 12, 2014

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