If a kitchen or bathroom remodeling project is in your future, the professional members of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) offer plenty of inspiration in an online tour of the Design Trends Competition winners, which focus on emerging trends, kitchen and bath safety and important design strategies for the way we live today.
As you take a virtual stroll through these beautiful, functional kitchens and bathrooms, watch for the following trends that can spur an idea for your own kitchen and bath.
Trends in the kitchen
- Smart sink, expanded space: In Areti Tanya Rentzos’ first-place winner for small kitchen design, the selection of a clever corner kitchen sink for this remodeling helped to expand the valuable counter space.
- Island entertainment: In kitchens of any scale, a wisely sized island offers additional prep space, storage for serving pieces and equipment, and can even go mobile as a roving entertainment center.
- Light effects: Skylights and solatubes are a minor remodeling project idea that brings the beauty of natural light indoors, especially in tight spaces, and finish textures and colors lead to the positive reflections that visually enlarge a kitchen.
- Clear cabinets: Glass-front kitchen cabinets open up possibilities for storage and display ideas, and create the illusion of depth. Integration of open shelving in a kitchen provides similar advantages.
- Clever concealment: The best overall kitchen, designed by Peter Ross Salerno with Joseph Kramer and James Paragano, preserves the continuity of and focus on its fine woodwork by disguising appliances with coordinating facades. Other award winners play similar tricks with dishwasher and warming drawers and hideaways for countertop appliances.
- Many rooms in one: Recognizing that kitchens are often the hub of a family’s daily activity and connection, several designs incorporate message centers, mini offices and even refreshment station ideas to prevent traffic clashes during kitchen rush hours.
- Smooth transitions: Continuing on the theme of household traffic, winning designs also include remodeling elements that smooth transitions to adjacent living spaces. In the best before-and-after design by Beverly Staal, this is accomplished with widened doorways to the dining and living areas, and radius end cabinets that soften the entry and lead to the focal point of the new kitchen.
Trends in the bath
- Take a powder with style: Powder room bathrooms continue to be jewel-box displays of personality, style and fun. Vessel sinks, fancy finishes, and thoughtful choices in lighting fixtures and accessories help make a statement, as in this year’s first-place-winning powder room design by Lori W. Carroll.
- Spa scene: The bath as pampering escape is another continuing trend, and can be accomplished even in a small space. Whirlpool tubs and air baths offer chromatherapy and aromatherapy features for an at-home spa setup, and natural materials and finishes help to create soothing surroundings.
- Nice niches: Making the most of otherwise unused wall space, decorative niches provide openings for storage and dramatic displays.
- Built-in benches: As both comforting conveniences and aging-in-place solutions, built-in shower and bath benches are making frequent appearances in bathroom designs, such as the winning small bathroom created by Tanya L. Woods.
- Monochrome minus monotony: As in the kitchen, color and texture choices can make all the difference in the mood and spatial impression of a space. Monochromatic palettes visually expand small spaces, and in larger bathrooms such as Tracey Scalzo’s elegant design, they maximize light while lending a sense of calm.
- Surrounded in warmth: Heated towel bars and radiant flooring provide luxurious comfort, particularly in cold-winter zones.
- Convenient efficiency: High efficiency, low operating costs, minimized environmental impact and dependable results are the hallmarks of today’s tankless hot water heaters, now appearing in the most progressive bath designs.
Kitchen and bath remodeling is always a good idea for the future value of your home, returning up to 75% of its cost when the home is sold.