Contemporary Kitchen Styles Gaining in Popularity

February 14, 2014

The 2014 National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) Design Trends Survey forecasts the rising popularity of kitchens with simple lines, good storage and special places for electronics and pets. Consumers will be cleaning up their kitchens in 2014, at least from a design standpoint, according to research released at the 2014 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS).

“While transitional styles are still number one, we see kitchen design trending more contemporary this year, with clean, simple lines; less clutter, and little ornamentation,” said John Petrie, CMKBD, of Mother Hubbard’s Custom Cabinetry in Mechanicsburg, Pa., and 2014 NKBA President.

The outlook is based the findings of the survey which also revealed these trends in kitchen design:
  • Contemporary will be the fastest growing kitchen style in 2014, with 62 percent of respondents saying it’s on the upswing after ending 2013 in second place. Transitional maintained a very small lead as the number one look for kitchens. Shaker styling is a solid third due in part to its versatility, lending itself to traditional or contemporary.
  • More than half (56 percent) of 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. Some 56 percent 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.
  • 63 percent of respondents specified energy-saving appliances in 2013, and 60 percent expect to see more demand this year. Almost 40 percent of designers specified water-saving kitchen faucets in 2013, and 47 percent see the market expanding in 2014.
  • Furniture-type pieces were specified in kitchens by eight out of 10 respondents in 2013 and 56 percent expect to do more in 2014.
  • Some 70 percent of respondents see quartz countertops increasing in 2014. Almost a quarter of respondents specified countertops with recycled materials and 40 percent expect to do more in 2014.
  • Glass, now number three for backsplashes, is predicted to grow in popularity in 2014.
  • 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.
The most “in-demand” kitchen features mentioned in the survey included induction cooktops, steam ovens, French-door refrigerators, bottom freezer refrigerators, touch-activated faucets, electronic (no touch) faucets, and LED lighting.

The 420 kitchen and bathroom professionals who participated in this year’s research represent a significant segment of the market for professionally designed and installed bathrooms in the United States and Canada. Respondents reported kitchen project prices ranged from less than $20,000 to more than $100,000.

For those trends on the downswing, NKBA members mentioned doing fewer kitchens with highly ornamented Tuscan and Provincial looks. Distressed and/or glazed finishes are also less popular, as are country/rustic styles. Respondents also expect to use fewer electric cooktops and porcelain enamel sinks in 2014.

Following the trend of increased spending on pets, dozens of NKBA members reported that they created kitchens with features to accommodate cats and dogs, from day beds to feeding stations, and litter box cabinets to doggy faucets.

The 30-page 2014 NKBA Kitchen & Bath Design Trends report presents detailed findings and designer forecasts for 2014. It is available at no charge to NKBA members in the members section of
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