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What’s Next in Design, Wellness and Lighting for Our Industry

June 9, 2022

Design Trends: Styles + Materials

This KBISNeXT Stage session at KBIS 2022, sponsored by Ferguson and presented by National Kitchen & Bath Association vice president of marketing, Pam McNally, shared what can we expect from kitchen and bath spaces in the next three years as consumer requirements for both areas evolve to fit changing lifestyles.

Key Takeaways:

  • More Color. People want to use color to exude fun, happiness and calmness. They are going bolder in areas like focal walls and backsplashes. Fixtures will not be as shiny, and we will see more black and matte finishes.
  • Millennial Desires. This generation wants a more organic look and feel through natural and recycled materials, large windows and doors and spaces that flow into the outdoors.
  • Spa Bathrooms. Today’s homeowners are looking for restfulness with more wet rooms, less shower glass to clean and large-format tile.
  • More Interest in Kitchens. There is and will continue to be a desire for aesthetic light fixtures, wood grain as opposed to painted cabinets, quartz waterfall countertops and high-tech appliances.
  • Sustainability Sense. Consumers will lean more toward recycled materials, LED lighting, VOC-free paint and water-saving fixtures.

The Language of Luxury

Experts discussed how to find, engage and nurture the luxury client and speak the language that attracts and develops the ultra-high-end client base. Speakers included David Friedman, co-founder of Wealth Quotient; Brian Brown, owner of Brian Brown Studio; Julie Faupel of Realm Global; and Kathryn Given, style director for luxe Interiors + Design.

Key Takeaways:

  • Every luxury consumer is different, and their preferences are dynamic. Luxury can be inclusive versus exclusive.
  • Spaces need to be more dynamic for those who live there, as well as staff who are employed there. Communities within those spaces are important.
  • A design pro doesn’t start out in the luxury market, they have to do their best work and excel at marketing to attract those kinds of referrals and create a stellar first impression.
  • Luxury clients appreciate honesty and transparency about all charges and fees to build trust. Own up to any mistakes and provide solutions.
  • Ask five great questions about their hobbies and interests and translate the answers into the design. Do some internet research on them ahead of time.
  • Considering a client’s privacy – physically and digitally – is the new luxury.

design for wellness lighting

An ideal lighting plan includes task, architectural and decorative fixtures that provide different functions. Tashka2000/Adobe Photoshop

Well Lit: The Importance of Lighting in Every Project

The panel discussed how to design the perfect lighting scheme, integrating lighting into whole-home systems and coaching clients on new design possibilities. Speakers included Laura Van Zeyl, VP of lighting for the Dallas Market Center/Lightovation; Pete Romaniello, IALD, owner of Conceptual Lighting; Mark Langston, chief lighting advisor, Light Can Help You; and Kelly Finley, founder and principal designer of Joy Street Design.

Key Takeaways:

  • An ideal lighting plan has a combination of architectural and decorative fixtures for different functions. Plans are tailored to each client.
  • Give your clients a baseline of what good lighting is by showing them what bad lighting is, so you can all make educated decisions.
  • LED technology allows us to do things we could not before, but it does not replace good design. You still have to think about color, dimming, distribution and glare control.
  • Decide on color temperature by determining how you are using the space. Do they entertain in the room? Are there kids doing homework there?
  • If you don’t know what you are doing, don’t be afraid to ask an expert. You have one shot to get it right for the ceiling lights; those will be there for a long time.

Design Trends: Spaces and Layouts

This session, also sponsored by Ferguson and presented by McNally of the NKBA, took an informed look at the significant planning shifts that will drive kitchen and bath design in the next two to three years.

Key Takeaways for Kitchen Design:

  • Homeowners are willing to take down walls to have a larger kitchen space.
  • Islands will grow to 24-35 square feet, as they act as flexible, functional and multi-purpose design elements. Their use goes beyond prep and cooking to include working, learning, social and crafting activities.
  • Comfortable and accessible seating options are needed to accommodate increased traffic in the kitchen by users of all ages and physical abilities.
  • Designs will support a need for quiet, private spaces with temporary partitions like barn doors, curtains or pocket doors.

Key Takeaways for Bathroom Design:

  • Homeowners are willing to take down walls to expand the bath and include more storage and/or a dressing area/closet.
  • Wet rooms – enclosures encompassing both shower and tub – will be in demand. Relatedly, larger walk-in shower areas will continue to grow in popularity.
  • Natural light and ventilation in the bath will increase as more and larger operable windows, skylights and exterior doors are added to the design.
  • Bathrooms will be designed to comfortably accommodate users at all life stages.

wellness design in the bathroom

More clients are asking for wet rooms in their design for wellness projects. These spaces house both the shower and tub, as well as larger walk-in shower areas. Onzon/Adobe Photoshop

Design for Wellness

Monogram ambassador Gwyneth Paltrow spoke with designer Brigette Romanek and Monogram creative director Richard Anuszkiewicz about what design for wellness means to her and how luxury appliances fit into the wellness lifestyle.

Key Takeaways:

  • Wellness thrives with a holistic approach that addresses mental, physical and emotional well-being. Outside the home, pursue wellness with mindful activities such as silent retreats.
  • To be effective, design must be intentional. It’s the designer’s responsibility to help clients live their best lives.
  • Orienting the range or cooktop so the cook does not have their back to the room enhances the social connections in the kitchen.
  • Learning from adversity is part of wellness. Experiencing delays – from fires, floods and the pandemic – in the construction of her home Paltrow said was “a lesson in patience and letting go.”
  • Top photo credit: Slavun/Adobe Photoshop