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issue: February 2012 ApplianceMagazine.com


Transitional Replaces Traditional in Kitchen Design


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For the first time, Traditional is no longer the most popular design style; Transitional is the new top style.

Transitional took the top spot from Traditional for the first time since the National Kitchen & Bath Association began tracking kitchen and bath design trends. This was one of the findings when more than 350 designers, all NKBA members, identified the top design trends in the 2012 NKBA Design Trends Survey.

Designers identified the materials, product types, and styles that they've incorporated into their kitchen and bath designs in the last three months of 2011. NKBA pointed out that broad trends aren't evident in every local market, these are 10 overall trends for kitchens and baths across the United States and Canada.

Transitional Design marks this kitchen designed by Chris Novak Berry of brooksBerry Kitchens & Baths. The kitchen design won First Place in the Small Kitchens category in the 2011 NKBA Design Award.

Kitchen and Bathroom Design Trends: Transitional Over Traditional

NKBA's survey found that - for the first time since it began tracking annual design trends - "traditional" no longer comes out as the most popular type of design. The survey found that, in kitchens and bathrooms, "transitional" is now the most common style.

Transitional style is a blend of traditional and contemporary, with lines that are simpler than traditional but more elaborate than contemporary, creating a modern classic look. In 2012, Transitional came in just above Traditional.

Traditional style has been consistently used by about three out of every four NKBA member designers in both the kitchen and the bath, but the that figure fell to 58% in kitchens and 59% in bathrooms in the 2012 survey - just below the transitional style.

Contemporary is the next most common style, up 5% to 52% in kitchens and up 10% to 53% in bathrooms from a year ago.

Styles following Contemporary:
* Shaker
* Arts and Crafts
* Cottage

Kitchen and Bathroom Design Trends: The Return of Polished Chrome

Brushed metal finishes supplanted polished chrome for some time, but now it's making a comeback. Polished chrome was specified by 34% of designers in kitchens in 2011, but that grew to 52% in 2012.

In bathrooms, polished chrome use was us from 46% in 2011 to 65% in 2012.

Polished nickel is also up in kitchens, from 17% in 2011 to 25% in 2012.

In bathrooms, polished nickel is up from 28% to 32%.

As polished finishes grow, brushed finishes are losing ground.

Over two years, brushed nickel is down in kitchen, from 62% to 46%. In bathrooms brushed nickel is down from 66% to 46%.

Brushed chrome in kitchen is down from 20% to 17% over the past year, but it increased from 11% to 18% in bathrooms.

In the past year the use of satin nickel - with a finish between a brushed and a polished - is down in the kitchen from 64% to 56%. Its use in the bathroom is down from 57% to 52%.

Stainless steel: while other materials move away from brushed to polished, stainless steel is bucking the trend. It's use in kitchens rose from 46% in 2011 to 50% in 2012.

Stainless Steel also saw a significant increase in the bathroom, from 16% to 28%.

Bronze finishes are still popular in the kitchen, but saw that popularity edge down slightly, from 49% in 2011 to 41% in 2012. Bronze use in the bathroom remained flat at 41% from 2011 to 2012.

Kitchen and Bathroom Design Trends: Solid Surfaces

Granite and quartz surfaces continue to be the clear No. 1 and No. 2 choices, but NKBA reports their popularity has waned slightly, with granite falling from 91% in 2011 to 87% in 2012. Quartz declined from 71% to 69%.

As granite and quartz decrease, the solid surfaces trend was strong in 2011 and even stronger in 2012.

Solid Surfaces in Kitchens: The use of solid surfaces in the kitchen jumped from 11% in 2010 to 26% in 2011. In 2012, the ranking is up again, with solid surfaces specified recently by 30% of designers for use in kitchens.

Solid Surfaces in Bathrooms: The same pattern is also seen in remodeled bathrooms: solid surfaces rose from 26% in 2011 to 34% in 2012, while granite fell from 84% to 71%. Quartz dipped from 56% in 2011 to 53% in 2012. Marble is still the third most popular vanity top material at 41%, up 3% from 2011. Another trend in bathroom design is the use of glass vanity tops, which doubled over two years, from 5% heading into 2010 to 11% in 2012.

Kitchen and Bathroom Design Trends: Shades of Gray

NKBA points out that, when artfully incorporated, gray color schemes allow for an attractive, distinguished look without overpowering a design.

As recently as 2010 gray was used as the overall color scheme by only 9% of designers in kitchens, but the number was up to 17% in 2011 and the number nearly doubled, to 33%, in 2012.

The top color schemes in Kitchens remain: No. 1: whites and off-whites; No. 2: beiges and bones; No. 3: browns

Bronzes/terracottas have also been on the rise in kitchen design, from 20% in 2010 to 25% in 2011 to 31% in 2012.

Greens have also increased in the kitchen, from 18% in 2010 to 32% in 2012.

In bathrooms gray color scheme use has also grown quickly: from 12% in 2012, to 21% in 2011, to 40% in 2012.

The most popular color schemes in bathrooms: No. 1: whites and off-whites; No. 2: beiges and bones; No. 3: grays; No. 4: browns; and No. 5: blues.

NKBA identified green as the color trend in bathrooms in 2011, when it was specified by 25% of designers - and it stayed at that level in 2012.

Kitchen and Bathroom Design Trends: The Return of Polished Chrome

Brushed metal finishes supplanted polished chrome for some time, but now it's making a comeback. Polished chrome was specified by 34% of designers in kitchens in 2011, but that grew to 52% in 2012.

In bathroom, polished chrome use was us from 46% in 2011 to 65% in 2012.

Polished nickel is also up in kitchens, from 17% in 2011 to 25% in 2012.

In bathrooms, polished nickel is up from 28% to 32%.

As polished finishes grow, brushed finishes are losing ground.

Over two years, brushed nickel is down in kitchen, from 62% to 46%. In bathrooms brushed nickel is down from 66% to 46%.

Brushed chrome in kitchen is down from 20% to 17% over the past year, but it increased from 11% to 18% in bathrooms.

In the past year the use of satin nickel - with a finish between a brushed and a polished - is down in the kitchen from 64% to 56%. Its use in the bathroom is down from 57% to 52%.

Stainless steel: while other materials move away from brushed to polished, stainless steel is bucking the trend. It's use in kitchens rose from 46% in 2011 to 50% in 2012.

Stainless Steel also saw a significant increase in the bathroom, from 16% to 28%.

Bronze finishes are still popular in the kitchen, but saw that popularity edge down slightly, from 49% in 2011 to 41% in 2012. Bronze use in the bathroom remained flat at 41% from 2011 to 2012.

Other Design Trends

Kitchen Design Trends: Cherry Wood in Decline: Cherry wood and maple have for years been the popular type of wood for cabinetry, with each type taking turns as the first or second most popular wood type.

But the NKBA survey shows designers moving away from cherry wood. In the report released in 2010, 80% of NKBA member kitchen designers had recently specified cherry cabinetry. That fell to 72% in 2011 and fell to 69% in the 2012 report.

Maple has also seen its popularity wane somewhat, decreasing from 77% in the 2011 report to 70% now.

A number of less frequently used woods are now being specified more often: * Oak was specified by 22% of designers in 2012, up from just 11% in 2011.
* Walnut is at 13%, up from 9% in 2011 and from just 3% in 2010.
* Birch is up to 15%, from just 5% in the 2011 report.
* Bamboo is at 10%, up from 5% in 2011.

Alder is on the decline: the wood was specified by 40% of kitchen designers two years ago, but that dropped to 30% in 2011 and to 27% in the 2012 report.

Kitchen Design Trends: Darker Finishes: NKBA says natural kitchen cabinetry is continuing to move to darker finishes.

The 2012 report said:
* Light natural finishes were specified by 30% of kitchen designers recently.
* Medium natural finishes were specified by 55%, of kitchen designers recently.
* Dark natural finishes were at 58%, up from 43% of just two years ago.

Painted cabinetry continues to be dominated by white. White cabinets were recently specified by 59% of kitchen designers, other colors only by 38% of designers.

Distressed finishes may be coming back. Distressed finishes were specified by 15% of designers in the 2010 report and only 5% in the 2011 report - but by 22% in the 2012 report.

Kitchen Design Trends: Glass Backsplashes: NKBA reported that glass is still only a niche material for kitchen countertops, but is strong in backsplashes. The material was specified by 52% of designers, up strongly from 41% in the 2011 report.

Glass is still in third place.

Ceramic tile (including porcelain) remains in first place, specified by 74% of designers.

Natural stone tile is in second place, at 60%.

Although still No. 1, ceramic tile backsplashes are down from 88% in the 2010 report and from 78% in 2011.

Also popular materials for a kitchen backsplash: granite at 30% and quartz at 20%.

Using a granite or quartz backsplash to match the granite or quartz countertop is common, but NKBA reports that the same sort of matching isn't nearly as common when solid surface countertops are in the design. Such solid surface materials, despite their countertop popularity, have been recently specified by only 11% of designers for backsplashes.

Kitchen Design Trends: LED Lighting:

NKBA sees the strong LED lighting trend - and a big 2012 surge - as one of the ways consumers and designers are addressing energy efficiency , despite its higher initial cost. The percentage of kitchen designers specifying LED lighting: * 2010: 50% * 2011: 54% * 2012: 70%

Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), on the other hand, are not seeing rising popularity. NKBA sees the drawbacks of such lights - poor light color and the presence of mercury in the bulbs - outweighing their inherent energy efficiency when compared to incandescent bulb. They were specified by only 26% of designers, down from 36% a year ago.

Incandescent bulbs were at 42% in 2012 - a number that is expected to continue falling in the future as U.S. bans production of such bulbs phase in (As of Jan. 1, 2012, 100-watt incandescent bulbs may no longer be produced. The ban extends to 75-watt incandescent bulbs in 2013 and 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent bulbs in 2014.)

Kitchen Design Trends: Pull-Out Faucets:

Pull-out kitchen faucets are now the dominant type of kitchen faucet in the NKBA survey of designers. Standard faucets were specified by a little less than half of designers in the 2010 report. In 2012, just over a third of designers recently specified them. The use of pull-out faucets climbed from 88% in the 2010 report to 91% in 2011 to 93% in 2012.

The versatility of such faucets may be the cause of decreasing use of pot-filler faucets, recently specified by 28% of designers and down from 41% two years ago.

Bathroom Design Trends: Medicine Cabinets

Medicine cabinets were on the decline for years, with decorative wall mirrors used in their place. NKBA says that now, with designers and consumers looking for better use of their space, medicine cabinets may be coming back: the percentage of designers who specified medicine cabinets went from 43% in 2010 to 36% in 2011, but climbed up again in 2012, to 66%.

 

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