6 kitchen design trends for 2013

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Each year, the National Kitchen and Bath Association surveys its members to identify the latest design and specification trends in kitchen design.

February 14, 2013

Each year, the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) surveys its members to identify the latest design and specification trends in kitchen and bath design. This year, more than 300 NKBA member-designers participated in the 2013 NKBA Design Trends Survey, reporting the materials, product types, and styles that they specified in their kitchen and bath designs over the final three months of 2012. 

While broad trends won’t be evident in every local market, the following are the top overall trends that emerged for kitchens across the United States and Canada.

White painted cabinetry

Among painted cabinetry, white has stayed on top of the chart since last year. Given its remarkable, upward climb over the past three years, it’s clearly no fad. The popularity of white-painted cabinetry jumped from 47 percent to 59 percent in 2012 and further increased to 67 percent this year, according to NKBA.

Photo courtesy of Normandy Remodeling, Hinsdale, Ill. 


Darker finishes

Use of light, medium and natural finishes has remained more or less consistent over the past year. Light finishes are currently used by 30 percent of respondents, medium finishes by 54 percent, and dark finishes by 55 percent, according to NKBA. Use of glazed finishes, which held at 44 percent in 2011 and 2012, increased by four percentage points this year.

Photo courtesy of Tru-Built Construction, Lincoln, Neb.


Glass backsplash

The preference for glass splashes has grown dramatically over the past three years: from 42 percent in 2010 to 64 percent this year, according to NKBA. At the same time, while natural stone tile showed consistent growth during 2011 and 2012, usage dropped from 60 percent to 55 percent in the latest survey. Ceramic or porcelain tiles held its top position for the third consecutive year, but overall usage fell by 11 percentage points between 2010 (88 percent) and now (77 percent).

Photo courtesy of NKBA.


LED lighting

Energy-efficient lighting is widely used by member designers in both the United States and Canada. As consumer awareness of energy efficiency has risen, it comes as no surprise that light-emitting diode, or LED, lighting is being specified by a higher percentage of designers, increasing from 70 percent to 77 percent over the past year, according to NKBA. The significant uptick from 50 percent in 2010 indicates that this trend has serious staying power. 

Meanwhile, there has been no significant change in the use of compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) and incandescent bulbs, with current usage at 26 percent and 41 percent, respectively.

Photo courtesy of www.furniture.trendzona.com.


Touch-activated faucets

Growing in popularity are touch-activated faucets, specified by 32 percent of member designers, versus only 20 percent of designers in 2011 and 2012, according to NKBA. Pull-out faucets are still in the top position, as they have been since 2010, with usage rising from 88 percent in 2010 to 94 percent this year. Pot-filler faucets grab the second spot this year, gaining five percentage points over the past year to 33 percent.

Photo courtesy of Delta Faucet.


Satin Nickel

When it comes to faucet finishes in kitchens, satin nickel has been on the top since 2011, its usage increasing from 42 percent in 2010 to 60 percent this year, according to NKBA. Bronze or oil-rubbed bronze finishes are also being specified more often, growing from 41 percent to 50 percent in the past year. The increased popularity of these three finishes most likely comes at the expense of polished nickel and polished chrome. The latter, which had seen a rise in usage in 2012, dipped from 52 percent to 47 percent in the latest survey; polished nickel dropped from 25 percent to 20 percent.

Photo courtesy of Blanco.


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