New Design Directions for Kitchens

This year the International Builders Show (IBS) and the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) joined forces for one fabulous Design and Construction Week in February. Co-locating in Las Vegas, the building industry trade shows attracted more than 75,000 attendees. Remodelers, kitchen & bath designers, and builders crowded together in the aisles, anxious to see and experience all the new product introductions from cabinet and appliance manufacturers, etc.

kitchen-1A fascinating display in the Merillat Cabinetry booth was this sunny kitchen from 1946. Orville Merillat, company founder, built this kitchen by hand from birch wood. His wife, Ruth, applied the finish. The countertops are the original, missing only the metal edging. The appliances are all from the same time period.

Even though this retro-kitchen fills our hearts with nostalgia, we cannot help but say, “You’ve come a long way, baby!” The many exciting kitchen exhibits at the show made that very clear. From doors and drawers that open automatically with just a light touch, to touchless kitchen faucets, to smart-phone enabled ovens–today’s kitchens offer unprecedented convenience and functionality.

kitchen-2The results of the 2014 National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) Design Trends Survey presented at KBIS provided further insight into new design directions for kitchens. According to the report–cleaner, more contemporary designs will dominate in 2014. Homeowners are increasingly requesting universal design amenities and easy maintenance features. The following kitchen features are expected to grow in popularity this year:

Style Countertops
1. Contemporary 1. Quartz (by a large margin)
2. Transitional 2. Butcher Block and other wood (tied)
3. Shaker Backsplashes
Color Schemes 1. Glass
1. Grays 2. Ceramic or porcelain tile
2. Whites and off-whites 3. Natural stone tile
Wood Cabinets Flooring
1. Maple or bird’s eye maple 1. Wood
2. Alder 2. Ceramic or porcelain
3. Walnut 3. Natural stone tile
Cabinet Finishes Sinks
1. Painted colors other than white 1. Granite composite
2. White Painted 2. Stainless steel
3. Dark natural stain Dishwashers
Faucet Finishes 1. Integrated dishwasher
1. Polished chrome 2. Two dishwashers in one kitchen
2. Satin nickel 3. Drawer-type
3. Stainless steel Storage Features
Faucet Type 1. Trash/Recycling pullouts
1. Pullout 2. Pullouts/rollouts
2. Touch-activated 3. Spice pullouts
Cooking Appliances Lighting
1. Microwave drawer 1. LED Lighting is way out in front
2. Convection 2. Incandescents
3. Gas cooktop 3. Halogen
Refrigerators
1. French door
2. Freezer-bottom
3. Built-in cabinet depth
Electronics
1. Docking/Charging stations
2. Home office area
3. Flat-screen TV

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