Contemporary design to 'steel' top spot
March 6, 2014
Professional designers from the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) are forecasting contemporary design will be the fastest growing kitchen trend in 2014. Quartz countertops, outdoor kitchens and energy-saving appliances also ranked highly amongst projected trendsetters, as well as wood floors, glass backsplashes, granite composite sinks, and satin nickel and polished chrome faucets.
“We see kitchen design trending more contemporary this year, with clean, simple lines; less clutter, and little ornamentation,” said John Petrie, NKBA’s president.
On the way out are kitchens with highly ornamented Tuscan and Provincial looks, distressed and glazed finishes, country and rustic styles, and electric cooktops and porcelain enamel sinks, according to a recent NKBA survey. The report polled 420 kitchen and bathroom designers from Canada and the U.S., who responded based on kitchen projects they completed in 2013 – which ranged from more than $100,000 to less than $20,000 – and what trends they expect to see in 2014.
But when considering this report, it is important to keep in mind that Canadian kitchen trends are often atypical of our southern neighbours, according to Corey Klassen, a Vancouver-based certified kitchen designer with the NKBA. His firm, Corey Klassen Interior Design, which designs kitchens, interiors and baths, recently took third place in the NKBA 2014 Design Competition in the Large Bath category.
“As far as our overall design aesthetic, we lean more towards European trends than we do overall North American trends. We tend to be ahead of America,” explained Klassen. “Contemporary is a pretty broad market. It could be absolutely anything that isn’t traditional or classic in shapes. A bit more accurate is that there is a shift towards eclectic.”
Klassen identified two major trends currently happening in Canada, which reflect the two main groups of clients he sees: baby boomers and millenials. “Empty-nesters,” he said, are more likely to seek functional, accessible and automated features, whereas millenials – who typically live in apartments, condos or much smaller homes – are not looking for full family-sized kitchens – yet. However, he noted that whether designing kitchens for those heading into their golden years or those climbing the bottom rungs of the corporate ladder, there are several overarching trends to keep an eye on in 2014.
FAUCETS: “Stainless steel appliances are always on trend, but as far as your fixtures and your fittings go, we’re seeing a lot of this champagne bronze, which is a warm metal or a polished nickel instead of a polished chrome,” Klassen said. The most popular faucet styles at the moment are warmer in colour and not so cool, sharp or jarring to the eye, he added.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY: “LED lighting has definitely improved in quality substantially in the last five years,” he said. “We have a lot of temperature fluctuations now in LED lighting so we’re actually able to get the efficacy that we really desire, whereas before we were getting a lot of discolouration.”
PET SPACES: “Whenever you have a furry friend in the home it’s important to think about them as an extension of the family,” he said. Several kitchens are including four-legged-friendly features with bowls that are either somewhat hidden, integrated into the cabinetry, or exposed as a primary function of the home. “It does depend on how important that animal is in the homeowner’s life – and obviously how much of a budget they have to spend on that area,” joked Klassen.
COLOURS: “We are departing from white and grey kitchens – finally,” he laughed. “But we’re actually changing that grey colour a little bit. It hasn’t quite left us yet, it’s shifting a little more into that dark-blue grey.”
FINISHES: “Wood greens are definitely back,” he said. The durability of a large food-safe surface, combined with movement, mimics nature to create what designers call a structural pattern. “And that’s really, really big. Definitely a return to roots.”
“Not just the traditional space planning of a kitchen is changing but as our society moves along we’re going to see a lot of different types of unique uses of material,” he surmises. “This goes back to our reduce, reuse, recycle mentality.” Rather than simply dumping old kitchen appliances into landfills, more and more people are choosing to repurpose or reuse parts of them. “Recycled surfaces are definitely back and they’re much better quality than they were 10 years ago,” concluded Klassen. <>
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