By Annette M. Callari, ASID; CMG
Over half of 2014 is behind us, and that gives us enough time to analyze the important trends in kitchen and bath designs evolving this year. Consumers and designers are ascribing to “form follows function” in planning their new K & B interiors. Contemporary is in, with clean lines and minimal ornamentation. Less is more, and consumers are interested in scaled-down, simplified design that is attentive to creative storage features and functional space planning.
With a little help from my friends at the National Kitchen & Bath Association, below is a summary of the hottest K & B trends–each validated by the results of the NKBA annual survey (which included 420 practicing design professionals).
- Monochromatic, neutral color schemes are the hot ticket for this year. Bone, beige, gray and white are the winners. I attribute that to the clean (somewhat austere) simplicity consumers are craving. When the world seems to be spinning out of control, we react by creating safe havens in our homes. Neutral color schemes give us the relaxing, visual relief we are craving.
- It’s no surprise that Universal design is an important facet in planning new kitchens and baths. The baby boomer generation is coming to the realization that they need to plan for their “aging in place” future, and Universal design is a critical component. No-threshold showers and easy access soaking tubs are in high demand. Whirlpool tubs and steam showers (well-being and pain relief) are also emerging as important features. Showers include benches or seating.
- Comfort heights for commodes and vanities are a priority design consideration for 2014, another consideration in Universal design.
- Radiant floor heating systems are much in demand and 55% of the designers surveyed saw that demand escalating throughout 2014.
- Non-slip flooring materials are an essential ingredient and correlate with Universal design concepts. (examples: unpolished natural stone, honed granite, slip-resistant LVT, mosaic-like tile with sufficient grout lines to provide slip-resistance)
- Kitchen sinks are favoring stainless steel, but granite composites and porcelain enamel are gaining momentum.
- Chrome fixtures seem to fit the contemporary direction of K & B design. However, copper is on the horizon. Its natural anti-bacterial properties and inviting warm tones are capturing a whole new consumer audience.
- For countertops, granite and quartz surfaces are practically in a tie for first place. Minimalists will usually opt for clean, uncluttered, solid surfaces and quartz will pull ahead in that respect.
- Specialty features in kitchens are worth the investment. Effective use of space is important and given that, microwave drawers are edging out warming drawers.
- For cabinetry in kitchens, cherry is in first place, maple was second, and alder came in third. Designers are predicting that walnut will take its place in the top three by the end of the year.
If you were surprised by some of these reported trends, well that is actually good. Design is fluid and ever-changing. Staying ahead of the design curve allows you to incorporate some of these important trends into your own home. For 2014, streamlined, functional, innovative, are the buzzwords (and hallmarks) for excellent kitchen and bath design.
By Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; CMG
I have been voraciously reading all the trend and product press releases coming out of Milan Design Week. Right now, all eyes are on Milan as the city debuts the brightest ideas in design. In recent years I have traveled to Milan, and it is accurate to say this city has earned the title fashion/design metropolis of the world! As you walk the streets through the design district, high fashion is everywhere you look. There are treasures to discover—mostly sublime, but a few rather bizarre and hard to explain. But that is the nature of design—to push the limits of creativity.
I can feature only a few product highlights in this blog, but can share with you a wonderful website where you can see a full spectrum of the products featured in Milan. If you want to take a visual tour of the Design Show (one that includes tableware, light fixtures, artwork, furniture, floor coverings, textiles, jewelry, case goods and so much more, visit www.yatzer.com (best-of-Milan-design-week-2014). This website truly captured the colorful excitement and energy of Milan.
Area rugs are elevated to the ranks of fine art in Milan. And I have two discoveries to share with you (see pictures A & B):
|Picture A – The Spacecrafted rug collection by Jan Kath. Presented by COVER Magazine at the EDIT show by designjunction at Palazzo Morando in Milan.|
|Picture B – The Showdown by Ward van Gemert and Adriaan van der Ploeg (NIGHTSHOP). A handmade carpet made of soft urethane foam!!!|
|Picture C – Salvatori Stone Innovations – Salvatori Stone Innovations’ Lithoverde® claimed an Honorary Mention at the award ceremony for the ADI Compasso d’Oro. Lithoverde is made entirely from recycled stone. It represents a major evolution in terms of sustainability in the stone industry which traditionally sees a vast amount of stone being discarded during the cutting process. Salvatori utilizes the stone waste, employing a new technology that binds multiple offcuts together with a natural resin. The resulting blocks each become a unique composition of color and pattern, suitable for most surface applications. In the picture featured in this blog, you see a flooring installation as well as wall and counter applications. The stone can also be used in furniture fabrication.|
I know this is all too brief, so please do visit the recommended website. I hope you enjoy this virtual vacation to Milan Design Week. What a great way to experience Milan in 30 minutes or less.