Potential buyers for both multifamily and detached residences will want more contemporary kitchens and baths with cleaner lines, the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) reports.
The NKBA recently released its 2015 Kitchen & Bath Style Report, which documents what the industry's leading kitchen designers forecast will be the top features, amenities, and design styles this year. More than 400 NKBA members were surveyed for this report at the end of 2014.
Transitional styles—classic updated with a contemporary twist—takes the top spot for kitchen projects. On the decline for 2015 are Tuscan, Provincial, and Country styles.
"More clients are open to contemporary styles; (they're) not as hard to sell," Phill Johnson of Kornerstone Kitchens near Orlando, Fla., told NKBA.
The association also noticed a shift to the kitchen as the hub for family gatherings and churning out the creative juices. "We have experienced an increase in popularity for incorporating furniture-styled dry bars into kitchen designs," one respondent of the survey, Tori Johnson of Geneva (Ill.) Cabinet Gallery, said.
Here are the top 10 kitchen and bath design trends for 2015:
1. An accessible kitchen
Photo: Andrea Rugg
Research has found more Americans want to age in place, and accessibility is a key design factor for the kitchen. But the NKBA research found more perks to using universal design, with respondents saying it provides easier access for all, including improved storage solutions.
2. Pet Friendly Kitchens
Instead of finding ways to block the kitchen from pets, more homeowners are trying to find ways so that their kitchen can better accomodate pets. "We installed a built-in self-filling water trough for the family dogs," one survey respondent said.
3. Whites and off-whites
Photo: Joshua Lawrence
According to the NKBA, 81% of the association's designers said clients want a brighter kitchen, and a combination of whites and off-whites seems to do the trick. A close second are shades of gray, at 77%. "Gray is the new neutral," one respondent said.
4. Pullouts and rollouts for cabinets
Photo: Joy Yagid
More than 90% of respondents said pullouts are in high demand when it comes to storage. Pullouts for trash and recycling rank at number one, at 92%, followed by lazy susans (85%) and spice pullouts (62%). This allows homeowners to have less clutter on their countertops, allowing that streamlined look.
5. The cooking hobbyist's kitchen
Photo: Roland Hardy
Built-ins and undercounter appliances are taking over demand for freestanding ones. With platforms like Pinterest promoting a wellness-centered, cook-at-home lifestyle, the NKBA noticed demand for multiple appliances to accomodate multiple cooks and clean-up crews. The steam oven has increased demand, and so has the double wall oven.
6. Polished chrome fixtures
Photo: Laura Moss Photography
Research found that polished chrome is the fastest growing choice for bathroom faucet finishes, with 80% of responding designers saying homeowners specified this. On the decline are bronze and oil-rubbed bronze fixtures.
7. Wooden vanities
Photo: Arnal Photography
Floating vanities are all the craze right now, especially if they are made out of wood. "We're getting more requests for floating vanities and furniture-looking pieces," one respondent said. Also on the rise are open-shelving style vanities.
8. Pebble floor tiles
Photo: Mike Small
So long vinyl and linoleum. More homeowners are going for elegant-yet-still-affordable ceramic tile. Natural stone tile, which includes the "pebble tile" pictured here, are on the rise, and respondents say homeowners are asking for them to be used for both floor and shower wall.
9. Accesible, no-threshold showers
More than 60% of respondents designed no-threshold showers for their clients in 2014, the survey found. This is up eight percentage points from 2013 and is expected to increase dramatically in 2015.
10. Undermount sinks
Photo: Arnal Photography
The study found that undermount sinks are predicted to grow strongly in 2015, having already been the number-one style used by 90% of designers in 2014.