Bathed in trends

Using the nearly 500 designs submitted to the 2012 Design Competition as their guide, the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) has identified 10 dominant trends and treatments this year in kitchens and bath. Fixtures, finishes, materials, color palettes, technology, shapes, focal points and overall geometry are a few among the complex considerations that talented creative-thinkers factor into their plans when generating a room design.

1)      Glossy finishes and fixtures: Shimmering surfaces, shining fixtures, high-sheen finishes, and perfectly placed lighting accents are a prominent personality trait of current kitchens;

2)      Interior use of concrete: Concrete brought into the house is prevalent in several contexts;

3)      Colour infusion behind glass: A simple painted wall with glass panels overlaid creates a sleek sheen of color with the smooth surface complimentary to shimmering appliances and gleaming countertops;

4)      The white kitchen, reinvented: The white kitchen has been called many things – classic, contemporary, clean, sparse, but one thing can be said; it’s a consistent in kitchen design. White has never entirely gone away, but neatly and cleverly reinvented itself to remain in the archives and future of home kitchens. There are a number of ways that white continues to make an appearance, in hues ranging from snow white to varying shades of creamy, muted, milky tones. This combination of colors and textures is a strong representation of the reinvented and renewed white kitchen – strong, sleek and superb;

5)      Suspended lighting: Suspended lighting allows for a number of outcomes, and in kitchen design the result is dangling focal points that drop light onto defined areas of countertop, dining surfaces or flooring. The result can also be artistic pieces of sculpture that contribute to the visual appeal of a space, exuding light, glimmer and glitz;

6)      Symmetry in design: A strong sense of symmetry enacted in room design creates stability and balance. If not a mirror reflection of itself, the space should possess components and pieces that act as counterbalance to the one another. Symmetrical placements within design generate purpose and contentment. Symmetry as a design trend appears rooted to remain, simply translated into contemporary applications and with current styling impacting change;

7)      Repeating + complementing shapes: Starting with a particular shape and repeating it in various sizes, colors and textures adds a continuum that is soothing, easy to accept when you enter the room. It’s a principle that other areas of design are tapped into as well;

8)      Traditional technology in non-traditional spaces: Sometimes there’s a way to start with a traditional item; in this case an appliance and apply or install it in a unique way and have the result be a solution to a large challenge;

9)      Tile in totality: Tile is making its presence known in contemporary bathrooms; occupying more and more wall, floor and backsplash space;

10)  Open concept bathroom: Open plan bathrooms are more prevalent than ever and are not defined or confined by size. With the design centered on the efficiency of a bathroom space with very little in the way of walls or partial walls, the user-friendly and efficiency aspects will be at the forefront of planning.