Homeowner How To: Hot Kitchen & Bath Trends in 2012

Written by Carrie B.  |  06. December 2012

What’s hot and what’s not in kitchen & bath design?

Kitchen and bath design tends to evolve and grow from year to year and make major shifts when younger generations start to purchase their own homes. One of the most expensive rooms to renovate, kitchens tend to be the hub of the home and have become more integrated into our daily lives than ever before.

Younger up and coming generations generally set the pace for the latest and greatest trends and look to incorporate technology that they use daily into the spaces they use most.

According to the latest National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) Design survey, which surveyed 350 member designers in the US and Canada, the following overall trends are on the rise.

  1. NOT: Cherry and maple cabinets have been consistently the most popular selection for kitchens, but we are seeing that start to fade. As many as 80% of the designers surveyed had specified cherry cabinetry through the end of 2009… and that number dropped drastically to 69% by 2012. Perhaps homeowners and designers are searching for less expensive materials, or are “all cherried out” so we are seeing a wide variety of wood species are being specified instead.
  2. HOT: Painted finishes and dark stains continue to remain super popular for cabinetry with the white painted look being specified in 59% of all kitchens.
  3. NOT: Ceramic tile backsplashes have recently been in decline in favor of natural stone and glass tiles or using granite, marble or quartz countertops and matching the backsplash in the same material.
  4. HOT: Pullout kitchen faucets have been specified by 93%, up from 88%. Versatile and handy, they definitely are taking over in the kitchen.
  5. NOT: Traditional design has taken a back seat to the simpler cleaner lines of transitional style. Contemporary style projects have also surged ahead in both kitchens and baths making up 53% of specified projects in this survey.
  6. HOT: Grey color schemes in both kitchen and baths have dramatically increased making up 40% of bathroom projects and jumping from only 9% to 33% in kitchen projects.
  7. NOT: Granite is starting to show signs of decline dropping to 87% of the projects specified, and many more designers specifying solid surfaces, up to 30% from just 11% of projects in 2010.
  8. HOT: Polished Chrome is making a comeback, specified in 52% of kitchens and 65% of bathroom projects, as more contemporary styles are taking the lead in design styles. Stainless steel and polished nickel are also very popular.

(Survey conducted by the NKBA. Click here for the 2012 Kitchen & Bath Style Report.)

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