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National Kitchen & Bath Association survey finds darker colors, LED lighting among biggest kitchen trends


A few weeks back, the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) released results from its annual Design Trends Survey, which seeks to identify the materials, product types and styles gaining the most traction in kitchen and bathroom design.

A total of 350 NKBA members throughout the United State and Canada participated in the survey.

Today, we’ll take a look at the five hottest trends in kitchen design. Next week, we’ll look at the bathroom trends every builder and designer should know about.

Top 5 kitchen trends

Cherry wood in decline. “Cherry wood has consistently been the first or second most popular type of wood for cabinetry, jockeying for the top spot with maple each year. However, designers are slowly shifting away from it. While 80% of NKBA member kitchen designers had recently specified cherry cabinetry as 2010 approached, that figure dropped to 72% last year and fell again to 69% heading into 2012.”

Darker finishes. “Natural kitchen cabinetry continues a steady move toward darker finishes. While light natural finishes have been recently specified by 30% of kitchen designers, medium natural finishes stand at 55%, with dark natural finishes at 58%. Two years ago, dark natural finishes were specified by only 43% of designers.”

Glass backsplashes. “Although glass remains a niche material for kitchen countertops, it’s been recently used by more than half of kitchen designers as a backsplash material, rising from 41% a year ago to 52% now. This trails only natural stone tile at 60% and ceramic tile (including porcelain), which has been specified of late by some 74% of designers. Even at that high rate, ceramic tile backsplashes are on the decline, as they stood at 78% a year ago and 88% two years ago.”

LED lighting. “Energy-efficiency is clearly not a fad, but a real trend that can be seen taking hold in homes across the United States and Canada. Despite the higher initial cost, light-emitting diode, or LED, lighting is proof of this trend. Specified by 50% of NKBA member kitchen designers entering 2010, that rate increased to 54% the following year and has jumped over the past year to 70%.”

Pull-out faucets. “While standard kitchen faucets were specified by just under half of designers as 2010 approached, barely more than a third of designers have recently specified them. Meanwhile, the use of pull-out faucets has increased from 88% to 91% to 93%. In other words, 14 of out every 15 designers who designed a kitchen over the final three months of 2011 incorporated a pull-out faucet.”

[Photo courtesy of Houzz]