There is no doubt about it, home ownership and expressing ourselves through our homes is as popular as ever. The trends this year are towards clean lines and clutter free kitchens and spa-like bathrooms.

Home renovation projects remain an improvement option that home owners show themselves willing to invest in. Tuscan and French provincial decor are being utilized less frequently, in favor of contemporary looks and finishes. The National Kitchen and Bathroom Association took a design trends survey, and here are the results.

Article from HOME BUILDER magazine, March 2014, Volume 27, No.2

Article by Judy Penz Sheluk, pages 24 & 26

modern kitchen


While transitional styles are still number one, kitchen designs are trending more toward contemporary looks, with clean, simple lines – less clutter, and little ornamentation. Shaker styling is a solid third due in part to its versatility, lending itself to traditional or contemporary. In the fading column, NKBA (National Kitchen and Bathroom Association) members are doing fewer kitchens with highly ornamented Tuscan and Provincial looks. Distressed and/or glazed finishes are also less popular, as are country/rustic styles. Designers also expect to use fewer electric cook tops and porcelain enamel sinks in 2014.

Survey Highlights

– More than half of survey respondents included accessible and/or universal design and easy-maintenance features in their kitchens, and demand is expected to continue.

– Two-thirds of NKBA kitchen designers incorporated docking and/or charging stations in their kitchens, as well as a desk or home office area. More than half included a flat-screen TV in their kitchen projects. These trends show no signs of powering down.

– Outdoor kitchens continue to be popular, with 43 percent of respondents designing them in 2013 and 41 percent expecting an increase in 2014.

– Energy-saving appliances, as well as water-saving kitchen faucets, are increasing in demand.

– Eight out of ten respondents in 2013 specified furniture-type pieces in kitchens, a trend that is expected to continue.

– Some 70 percent of respondents see quarts countertops increasing in 2014. Almost a quarter of respondents specified counter tops with recycled materials and 40 percent expect to do more in 2014.

– Wood, the most specified flooring in 2013, will grow even more in 2014.

– Glass, now number three for backsplashes, is predicted to grow in popularity in 2014.

– Satin nickel, now the most popular faucet finish, is expected to continue to flourish in 2014, as well as polished chrome.

– Stainless steel is the most popular sink material with porcelain enamel a distant second. Granite composite, now number three, is expected to grow in 2014.

Kitchen Features in Demand:

– Induction cook tops

– Steam ovens

– French-door refrigerators

– Bottom freezer refrigerators

– Touch-activated faucets

– Electronic (no touch) faucets

– LED lighting

Trend-spotting: A Place for Pets

Dozens of NKBA members reported that they created kitchens with features to accommodate cats and dogs, from day beds to feeding stations, litter box cabinets to doggy faucets.

spa like bathroom 2


The ascendency of contemporary style is a major shift in the NKBA 2014 Kitchen and Bath Design Trends Survey. As recently as a few years ago, traditional styling represented three-quarters of the bathrooms designed by NKBA members. Traditional bathrooms are now trailing contemporary, which leads at 68 percent.

The contemporary aesthetic is driven by a desire for spa bathrooms and Zen-like retreats. In the fading column, NKBA members noted a decline in Provincial and Tuscan-style bathrooms, as well as a decli8ne in rustic/country looks. Black is the least popular fixture colour and is predicted to decline even more in 2014. The outlook for 2014 bathrooms is simple style, with an emphasis on clean lines and functionality that provides accessibility and easy maintenance.

Survey Highlights

– Beige and bone colour schemes, with white fixtures and polished chrome faucets were popular designs in 2013. Grey, the third most popular colour scheme in 2013, will be by far the fastest growing in 2014, according to 58 percent of designer respondents.

– 57% of NKBA respondents specified bathrooms they described as universal design/accessible in 2013; 60% anticipate doing more in 2014.

– Soaking tubs in a master bath; preferences lean towards free-standing, non-jetted tubs.

– About a third of designers included lighting in showers; and 70% included benches or seats. Both are expected to increase in 2014.

– Electric radiant floor heating was specified by more than half of respondents, a trend which is expected to increase in 2014.

– Steam showers gained steam, with twice as many respondents specifying steam showers as whirlpools for master baths in 2013. 44% of respondents see the demand for steam showers increasing in 2014.

– Approximately half of NKBA respondents specified no-threshold showers, and 7 out of 10 expect to do more in 2014.

– 84% specified comfort height toilets and 81% comfort height vanities in 2013. Almost two-thirds see them increasing in 2014.

spa like bathroom

Bathroom Features in Demand:

– Ceramic or porcelain tile for flooring

– Quartz for vanity tops

– Linen storage cabinets

– Under-mount sinks

– Wall-hung floating vanities, console tables and open shelving.

(End of magazine article)

This survey information reveals a shift in design trends for 2014 with a focus on clean, simple lines, while addressing design issues that improve comfort and function and safety for the end users. What will your design changes be in 2014?