Some people go to Las Vegas for the gambling, some for the shows and restaurants, others for the shopping and people watching. Last month, more than 31,000 kitchen and bathroom designers, manufacturers and retailers spent a week doing what they like best: ogling the latest stunning designs for their two favourite rooms.
The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), a not-for-profit trade group with more than 60,000 members in the U.S. and Canada, hosted the 2014 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show. The group also released its annual design survey, in which they asked 420 designers (9% of whom are based in Canada) what they saw cooking for the coming year for the two most-renovated spaces in the home.
In kitchens, contemporary styles are rapidly gaining ground on the ever-popular traditional look. “While transitional styles are still No. 1,” says John Petrie, NKBA president, “we see kitchen design trending contemporary this year, with clean, simple lines, less clutter and little ornamentation.”
More practical considerations are surfacing. Consumers don’t want “frou-frou,” one designer said, as much as they want “good storage and space planning.”
Here are some other findings:
• While transitional styles still hold the No.1 spot, 62% of the respondents said contemporary kitchens are on the upswing. Shaker is No. 3, being a style chameleon that usually fits either traditional or contemporary spaces. Retro/mid-century came in at No. 8 on a list of 10 styles. Slipping in demand in 2013 were Tuscan and Provincial styles, distressed or glazed finishes and country looks. Painted cabinetry will still be very hot, while walnut will be chasing maple as the wood choice.
• Whites and off-whites took over from beiges/bones in 2013 in the colour category, but grey will be tops in 2014, 71% of designers said.
• Eighty per cent of designers called for furniture-style pieces in 2013, where, for example, a kitchen island stands off the floor on legs, and may be of different finish and even style than the wall cabinetry. Fifty-six per cent see that style continuing through 2014. Pullouts of all sorts will be de rigueur.
• Quartz is the new granite — or will be in 2014; 70% said they see quartz’s popularity increasing this year, but granite rules for now. Butcher block and other woods are fast gaining on them. And almost 25% of respondents called for counters with recycled materials, and 40% said they expected to do so more often in 2014. Backsplashes will be glass.
• Fifty-six per cent included accessible and/or universal design in their clients’ kitchens.
• Two-thirds incorporated docking/charging stations and desks, and 56% installed flat-screen TVs.
• Outdoor kitchens were designed by 43% of respondents, with 41% expecting an increase in 2014.
• Bathrooms, too, are increasingly moving away from the traditional to a sleeker, cleaner, spa-like look. The association calls this a major shift; just a few years ago 75% of bathrooms installed were traditional — now it’s at 62%. Respondents expect contemporary to continue its growth.
• It used to be that there was no ill a good soaker tub couldn’t cure; 64% of NKBA designers specified one in the master bath in 2013, preferring free-standing non-jetted tubs. However, only 42% see that trend accelerating, related perhaps to the rapidly growing move to clean-lined no-threshold showers with benches; 70% of designers expect to install one in 2014.
• Furniture-style pieces are in demand for bathrooms as well as kitchens, with a call for wall-hung vanities, console tables and open shelving.
• As with kitchens, grey will be the colour scheme of 2014, 58% of respondents said. Currently, beige-toned decor with white fixtures and polished chrome faucets are popular.
• Fifty-seven per cent of designers are utilizing universal/accessible bathroom design, with 60% expecting to do more in 2014.
• Comfort-height toilets and vanities were very popular, with 84% and 81% respectively being installed in homes; about 64% see that popularity growing in 2014.
Those oil-rubbed bronze faucets and the polished brasses that were so hot recently? Overall, their popularity is predicted to decline in 2014 in favour of stainless, polished chrome and satin nickel again.