Last fall, we ran a piece looking at the early and forecasted kitchen trends for 2015, and it proved to be a very popular theme. Now that 2015 is well underway, some of this year’s trends are clearly coming into focus, and we’d like to share what we’ve learned. However, I’d like to mention that we have been trying to do a little forecasting of our own, but we need your help to do so.
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That being said, let’s now check out the top kitchen trends of 2015 with the help of some of the most trusted sources in the kitchen and bath industry.
In February, Kitchen and Bath Business (K+BB) revealed six kitchen cabinet trends for the coming year. According to RnRMarketResearch.com, demand is set to rise by 6.6 percent in the U.S. through 2018, and 80 percent of this demand is for kitchens. Among the trends for cabinets are the following:
Color will begin to make a comeback in the form of soft, muted trim and accents.
European laminate mimicking natural wood will be popular.
Cabinets with motion or touch sensors are coming onto the scene.
LED lighting is being used for accents and functionality.
In March, Kitchen & Bath Design News reported on the Houzz Kitchen Trends Study released at the end of 2014. According to the results, the top priority in a kitchen, at 65 percent of responses, is that it should be “easy to store and find things.” However, when it comes to design, it was said that “stylish and beautiful” is the most important consideration. In addition, white is the most popular color choice (49 percent), followed by medium wood (20 percent) and dark wood (13 percent).
Kitchen & Bath Design News also released this video concerning The Latest Research in Kitchen Trends.
Best in American Living Awards
The Best in American Living Awards (BALA) is one of the top indicators of kitchen design trends in North America, and the winners were announced earlier in the year at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Las Vegas. The awards represent the most creative and innovative designs for single-family and multi-family homes spanning all sizes, styles and communities.
“While each award winner was unique, there are certainly a number of common themes among these honorees,” said Stephen C. Moore, the chairman of BALA 2014 and senior partner of BSB Design Inc. in Des Moines, Iowa. “Homes are being designed with relaxation in mind, as this year we saw an overall simplification in the designs with cleaner lines and more natural elements.”
Highlights of BALA 2014 include the following:
All-white kitchens – White is trending not only for cabinets but for everything else as well, with the exception of appliances, of which stainless steel is the undisputed ruler. White cabinets with white countertops, backsplashes and trim are very popular now.
Dual-island kitchens – One island is no longer enough. Back-to-back islands and side-by-side islands are thought to be more casual and creative than traditional kitchens.
A blend of natural and contemporary – Designers are starting to blend natural materials with the contemporary. One popular combination includes stainless steel, glass and natural wood.
Wine rooms and bars – Small nooks for relaxing at home with adult beverages are being incorporated into and just outside of kitchens.
Kitchen & Bath Design Trends Report
The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) also released its annual Kitchen & Bath Design Trends report following the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) this January. According to this highly respected organization, contemporary kitchens will lead the way in 2015. More than half of designers are expected to produce contemporary kitchens, closely followed by transitional styles. Shaker-style kitchens are among the most popular single design.
Other highlights of the report are as follows:
Kitchens will have an overall contemporary feel with a fusion of styles and colors. White, gray, black and blue will be the most popular colors for the year. “I am seeing lots of white painted kitchen perimeters with espresso stained islands and dark stained kitchen perimeters with light colored painted islands. Lots of painted white kitchens with light countertops and espresso islands and painted gray cabinets,” said Christine Shorr of Morris Black Designs in Allentown, Penn.
European-style cabinets with a focus on accessibility are popular. More than 90 percent of designers are including pullout and rollout cabinets, and 40 percent expect see these styles increase in popularity.
Tables are being replaced by islands and countertops. Countertops and islands are replacing the kitchen table as the hub of a home. Among the specific designs increasing in popularity are furniture-styled dry bars.
Kitchen home offices call for expanding technology. Nearly two-thirds of kitchens are used as home offices, and because of this, technology is finding its way into the room by way of charging stations, TVs, LED lighting and “convenience appliances.”
Countertop Trends in 2015 (and Beyond)
With the amount of information we here at CountertopResource.com are exposed to on a regular basis, we are often able to see things from all angles, and there are certainly some that we can report directly:
Quartz surfacing continues to grow in popularity. More and more companies are entering the field, whether it is a major player like Wilsonart bringing on a new line of quartz or a new, smaller import from Asia, engineered stone has a strong foothold and will continue to be among the most popular choices.
Sintered compact surfaces are making their way into the picture. Both Cosentino with its ultra new Dekton and TheSize with its Neolith products are coming on strong. Once fabricators get used to the ins and outs of these new materials, hold all bets, because they have some great qualities.
The marble look – Nearly every quartz, solid surface, laminate and just about any other countertop material being made today has released a new color/pattern that mimics marble with a white base color and dark/black veining, and with the cost of actual marble and the ease at which it is stained or scratched, these options will allow homeowners to have the look without the troubles.
Lighting – It seems lighting is increasingly coming into play surrounding countertops, whether it is backlit translucent materials (which are also becoming more common among quartz and solid surface producers) under-cabinet lights that highlight the counter surface or edge-lit tops, light is playing a bigger role in the countertop world.
Green, and I’m not talking about the color. The amount of “eco-friendly” materials being used for countertops and other surfaces that are finding their way to the market are growing at an amazingly fast pace. It is astounding what they make surfacing materials out of now. On the coasts, where homeowners seem more environmentally conscious, we will see this trend continue to develop. And ultimately, as the next generation gets into the housing market this bang will boom! (Watch for a big announcement later this year from CountertopResource.com in this very arena).
European thick or thin – We’ve noticed trends toward sleek thin countertops with no drop edges at all that are only 1/2-in. thick alongside of countertops with huge edge drops making them appear 6 cm thick. Both of these trends hit the European scene in previous years, and U.S. designs seem to be following.
Mixed materials – This trend has seemed to hold on for several years now. It is not uncommon to see a variety of materials all being used in the same space in a sort of fusion that wows. Tile backsplashes with quartz countertops and an exotic granite island can really make a showing.
Smart Kitchens – We are all certainly aware how appliances today can be controlled by an iPhone app, but we are starting to see some of these technologies being built right into countertops. If you haven’t seen the wireless built-in tablet/smartphone charging stations that have been developed, you aren’t paying attention. You might not get a lot of orders for them this year, but Starbucks is installing them in most of their stores, and that is going to pave the way for this and other direct add-ins to countertops.
The wooden look – Another trend that is emerging (or maybe re-emerging) seems to be the wood look, whether it is actual wood, reclaimed wood, wood-patterned laminate or wood-textured concrete, there are definitely more options to appeal to consumers and designers who want a natural feel in their kitchen designs. You don’t have to look far to find several examples.
Beyond the ordinary – The last countertop trend I want to throw out there (because I could go on and on) is the trend for something beyond the ordinary. Recycled glass based materials, bright throw-back laminates, eye-catching pops of quartz surfacing, unique veined solid surface and exotic granites are all becoming more common for those who want their kitchen to reflect their personality and be a sort of centerpiece for their homes. It isn’t all uba tuba, neutral-colored HPL and tan solid surface with slightly darker particulates these days.
Kitchen Trends Fading in 2015
Earlier in the month, Kitchen Bath Trends by Whitehaus Collection reported on several trends that are being abandoned this year. According to the article, Trends to Ditch in 2015, those seeking kitchen remodels are being recommended to forget about the following once-popular design ideas:
Mirrored walls, furniture and fixtures
Kitchen desks (Along with kitchen tables, these are being replaced by additional countertop surface.)
Tell Us What You Know
It looks like 2015 is shaping up to be quite a year in the world of kitchens and kitchen countertops. Although we have scoured the nation to bring you the latest reports and what we have seen and heard at the shows and on the streets, your input is still invaluable. Let us know what trends you have noticed in the comments below or by taking our Countertop Industry Survey.