If you like to follow the trends in home improvements, you’ll want to read the latest update by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). Each year the NKBA releases its Kitchen and Bath Trends report based on a last-quarter survey given to 100 of its designers working in the field. Here’s a roundup of the 2011 trends for the kitchen.
1. Shaker style gaining in popularity. While traditional still remains the most popular style used among the designers for kitchens, Shaker has overtaken contemporary for second place. Its clean, simple lines proved irresistible to homeowners. The Shaker rise in popularity began in 2009, continued through 2010 and looks to remain strong for 2011.
2. Dark finishes on the rise. Toward the end of 2010, dark finishes became the most requested type of kitchen remodeling finishes, overtaking medium natural, glazed and white painted finishes. One type of finish that seems to have fallen out of favor is the distressed finish. One year ago they were used by 16% of designers; in the current survey, only 5% of designers used them.
4. Refrigerators see shifts in popularity. Designers have had the most requests for French door refrigerators. The least requested style of refrigerators is freezer-top models. One other interesting trend in this category to report is the dramatic decline in the request for under counter wine refrigerators. Only 36% of designers used them, compared to 50% a year ago.
5. Induction cooktop gaining in popularity. While gas and electric still remain the most popular means of cooking, induction has made inroads in popularity. In last year’s survey, 26% of designers had used induction cooktops, compared with 34% as we head into 2011.
6. Incandescent lighting is giving way to LED lighting. Incandescent lighting continues its fall in popularity as homeowners look for more energy-efficient solutions. In a year’s time the use of incandescent lighting fell from 50% to 35%. LED lighting, on the other hand has risen from 47% to 54%.
7. Trash solutions incorporated into kitchen design. A whopping 89% of the designers surveyed included trash or recycling pullouts in their kitchen designs in the final quarter of 2010. Garbage disposal installation rose from 75% to 86%. Whether these concerns are related to sustainability issues or esthetics concerns is not clear.
8. Faucet finishes are satin smooth. The favorite faucet finish for both kitchens and bathrooms is now the satin nickel finish. This is a jump from its number two spot last year. In the kitchen, satin rose to 65% from 41% last year. Other popular kitchen favorites include bronze and oil-rubbed bronze, polished chrome, polished nickel and stainless steel.
As you’re considering home improvement projects for the year, this 2011 list may just help you give your kitchen a trendy remodel.