The National Kitchen and Bath Association recently released its 2011 kitchen and bath study to predict trends for this year. While some trends are definitely on the rise, others that were hot (or not so hot) last year are gaining (or losing) momentum. Here is the definitive list of what will be big in the coming months:
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1. The Case for Space. If you recall, opening rooms was also one of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry's predicted trends for 2011. It seems that today's chefs don't want to be stuck in a stodgy room. And for those who are more frugal, simply knocking down a wall may be enough: "Knocking down a few walls costs a lot less than adding square footage. If you're a do-it-yourselfer, though, make sure you're not destroying load-bearing walls."
2. Tough Counter to Crack. Quartz is back in a big way. People are going for the hard mineral because it is the "perfect alternative to granite and marble for low maintenance and high durability" in both the kitchen and the bathroom. In fact, 85 percent of NKBA bathroom designers incorporate quartz into their designs.
3. Going Green. While it is important to be eco-friendly, this year people are quite literally going green, especially in bathrooms. The calming, earthier tone saw a rise in popularity late last year; at the beginning of 2010 only about 1 in 7 people requested green in their remodel, but by December 1 in 4 wanted the color.
4. Shake It Up. Shaker-style kitchens - an organized, wood-paneled, cabinet-centric approach design - are having a major comeback. While people are still leaning towards traditional models, the Shaker utilitarian approach has been used by 55% of kitchen remodelers last year.
5. Dark Times. Dark natural and deep reddish-brown maple finishes are in this year for cabinetry and even floors. With more people turning to the dark side, medium natural, white, and glazed finishes have fallen by the wayside.
6. Relax in Style. People are turning up the volume on in-home luxury; maybe because of the economy, people are finding ways to pamper themselves at home. From spa-like bathrooms to a rise in unchilled, wine cabinets being installed, homeowners are creating spaces in their homes to simply relax. For those on a budget, MSN Real Estate suggests "adding multiple shower heads to a shower typically costs just a few hundred dollars, making it one of the most economical ways to add a spa feel. Also, try to avoid moving fixtures, since that can add enormously to a project's cost."
7. Kitchen 3.0. Most people love new tech toys, so why should the kitchen be any different? From French-doored refrigerators with customizable freezers to an 8% rise in requests for induction stove tops, the future kitchen is here. Surprisingly, as people are integrating more high-tech gadgetry in the kitchen, they are leaning towards more traditional and functional designs (see #4).
8. Going Green…The Other Way. Some choose to paint to be green, but homeowners are also becoming - not surprisingly - more eco-aware in their choices. From bamboo flooring to installing LED lighting, remodeling is taking a turn for the sustainable. NKBA members even said that 89% of the kitchens they designed included some consideration for pull-out trash and recycling bins, and a distinct rise in both garbage disposals and trash compactors.
9. You're so vain. Piggy-backing on the spa bathrooms, vanities are getting a redemption. Remodels are taking a turn from the super-industrial look with finished metal to vessel sinks and integrated sink tops, which have a warmer, more classic feel. The bathroom vanity is also seeing double-dual sinks are now a "given" in master baths.
10. Hit the (Hardwood) Floor. While carpeting may have never been the best choice for the kitchen or bathroom, this year it is being panned for the entire house. Hardwood and tile remain a staple, but bamboo flooring is also gaining popularity. Liz Pulliam Weston of MSN Real Estate adds, "high-end linoleum - which sounds like an oxymoron, but isn't - is being used in more fashionable homes."
What kitchen and bath trends would you like to see become popular? Which trends do you wish would just go away already?
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