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Ten Kitchen Trends You Don't Want to Miss

Posted: 11 March 2015

The NKBA releases their annual trend report each year, based on a survey of kitchen designers from across the country. This report is meaningful because rather than being a survey of what people think they might want, it is based on what people actually choose for their homes.


We've also added our Clark Construction insights to bring you personalized recommendations on the top ten trends to consider remodeling your kitchen.

1. General Look & Style

white Shaker kitchen with Grabill Cabinetry The most popular look at this time is a clean contemporary feeling transitional style which incorporates simple clean lines. Shaker style also remains strong, particularly in the New England area.


A slightly softened Shaker look (shaker with a little more detailing) is appealing in our market area as well, as it combines the contemporary transitional trend with the strong love in the New England area for a more traditional look. Tuscan, rustic, distressed, and glazed styles are losing ground.

2. Mixing Colors

kitchen with Wellborn Cabinetry and color blockingMultiple colors in kitchens has become very popular. Homeowners use up to three cabinet colors in a kitchen, such as white perimeter cabinets with dark stained walnut island cabinets or or a hutch in one color, island a second, and perimeter cabinets a third. Using two or three colors in kitchen is something we have been seeing more of over the past few years, and an increase in bold colors.


Alain Caren, Sr. Designer, says “The trend towards the inclusion of color blocking in kitchen designs is here to stay. It’s good for several reasons . It adds interest to the kitchen, and often provides a cost savings - oak stained with espresso (or Java), is close to 20% less expensive than maple painted/glazed cabinetry and works great as an island or for base cabinets, with light or white painted wall units. Additionally, stained base cabinets tend to be somewhat more durable than painted ones, especially with the nicks and dings that they get.”

3. White

But we, and the designers across the country, are seeing white white white; lots of white and all its variants, as well as grey.


Natasha Vecca, Lead Kitchen Designer at Clark Construction says "Our market area is strongly influenced by variations of white and off white colors when choosing cabinetry. I also see my clients looking to incorporate shades of grey and greiges (a mix of grey and beige) into their designs. Grey is quickly becoming the new neutral."

4. Counters.

Quartz counters are in. Reasons for this are both functional and aesthetic. Quartz counters are nonporous and maintenance free. Granite can absorb liquids and food, risking potential staining and bacterial growth within the countertop.


kitchen with Cambria's Bellingham quartz countersWith quartz counters, you get the look and feel of granite, but receive greater strength, since there is typically twice as much quartz in it, the mineral that gives it strength. Aesthetically, the slabs are larger, which means that you can often avoid seams, and when there are seams, they are generally less noticeable than a typical granite seam.


Many beautiful granite-esque designs have come out, so you can have your cake and eat it too! There are exotic looking slabs with a lot of movement, as well as replicas of the standard granites that we all love.


Pricing can be a lot more straightforward - all Cambria designs are sold at the same price, and slab standardization eliminates running all over to find the “perfect granite slabs”.

5. Backsplashes

There’s always something new and exciting with backsplashes. Lots of glass and natural stones such as marble are trending up. Brick is making a come-back, and subway patterns in various tiles, from glass to porcelain to brick, remain strong.

6. Steam ovens

Steam ovens are becoming the newest appliance we can't live without.


thermador steam ovenMike diNapoli, of Albano Appliance says, “The use of steam has shown to produce the best overall results in oven cooking by most effectively maintaining food’s moisture. Reheating with steam not only heats food but helps bring back moisture, unlike a microwave which tends to dry out reheated food. Once you get used to reheating with steam, you’ll only use your microwave to reheat liquids and make popcorn.


The new generation of steam oven easily replaces a standard second oven with convection bake capabilities. Even newer is the versatility of the combi-steam oven, which can bake and broil with all the benefits of steam. A few manufacturers now also offer steam ranges so that you don’t need to purchase a separate oven.”

7. Storage

kitchen with pantry pullout from kitchensource.comPeople love to be organized, keeping their kitchens uncluttered, perfect for the trend towards clean lines and a minimal aesthetic. We see a lot more “in-cabinet” organizers, keeping things out of sight, but close at hand. They aren't just smart small-space solutions; they guarantee you're using that space well.We suggest creating a storage plan to solve your storage problems up front. Know what you're planning to store in a cabinet before you add the new space!


We’re designing in more pullout spice racks, plate storage, and more drawers for pots and pans. A pullout next to the cooktop can keep oils, vinegars, and other cooking staples out of sight yet close at hand. Rather than carry recyclables out to the garage, convenient recycling pullouts in a base cabinet make for a quick and easy solution to store used plastic bottles and newspapers. Easier recycling means fewer recyclables thrown in the garbage. A deep walk-in pantry became a canned-good black hole. An alternative to these big cavities are walk-up pantry units with pullouts.

8. Finishes for Plumbing Fixtures and Cabinet Hardware

Surprisingly, chrome is back; and its very strong. Oil rubbed bronze is on its way out. Satin and polished nickel are still around, particularly in our area of the country.

9. French Door Refrigs

Seems like this is the best invention since the bread slicer. Refrigerators used to be boxy and boring. But times have changed, with manufacturers increasingly thinking outside of the icebox to try to redefine the modern refrigerator.


Samsung french door refrigerator with two freezer drawersWe can't live without the new French door refrigerators. They really make an improvement in how your kitchen works. You can fit more in a smaller width space, and everything is better organized. Those side by sides with their narrow freezers are a thing of the past. With your refrigerator door effectively split into two, it also means that you won't be letting as much cold air out when you're opening just one door to grab the milk. Some models come with two separate freezer drawers, with the top one located about waist-high. This will keep you from bending down quite as far as you would with a bottom freezer.


With the high demand for French door refrigerators, you're sure to find a huge variety of options, including models with top-of-the-line smart features you won't find with other styles. You can also upgrade the look of your fridge to match your kitchen or integrate it into your kitchen with matching panels.

10. More Than One Dishwasher

If you’ve had a big family event, or even have a big family, you can easily understand the wish for multiple dishwashers, and the trend to include more than one in a kitchen. Even in a smaller home, a big dinner party will more than fill a standard dishwasher. We are seeing more dishwasher drawer units, more secondary dishwashers located in the butler’s pantry, or the islands. There are 15” dishwashers that are a great secondary choice.


And while you’re at it, what else might you want multiples of? Trash cans – one for each kitchen zone? Two cooking areas for multiple cooks (my own personal dream!)? Kitchens will continue to evolve as how we use them continues to change, and it will be fun to watch how functionality trends in the years ahead.

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