Kitchen and Bath Trends 2014

Filed in Design and Decor by on January 11, 2014

LeadPhoto-KitchenTipsWhen is a Trend Not a Trend? When it’s a Great Idea!

When is following a home decorating trend not such a great idea? When it “dates” your home and visitors know the minute they walk into your home exactly when it was built or remodeled – think avocado green or harvest gold appliances here.  We’ve got a few tips on “trends” in home kitchen and bath design that aren’t so much trendy as practical advice for good design that will always be “in style”.

Tip #1: Know who you are designing for. If you’re remodeling for resale, stay with neutral choices from the floors to the walls and everything in between. If you’re building or remodeling for yourself, infuse a bit of your personality into the space with accent pieces that can easily be changed as your tastes change. Lighting, paint and even backsplashes are a good place to let your personality shine keeping the cabinets, floors and appliances more neutral will extend their “design life”.

Tip #2: Blend neutrals. Neutral colors, like white and gray, steel and black, create contrast yet blend harmoniously with natural wood materials and browns. A deep rich black is both sophisticated and elegant when paired with white or cream as well as with polished metals and glass.

Tip #3: Let there be light. In both kitchens and baths, a good lighting plan is essential. Lighting should be layered. A single overhead light or even a series of them should be complemented with other light sources at different heights. Task lighting is a workhorse in both spaces and ambient lighting provides a soft invitation into any space.

Tip #4: Consider a “work zone design” for your kitchen. Zone design breaks up the space into work zones with separate work stations for prepping, cooking, eating and even cleaning. A well planned zone design allows space for several people in the kitchen space at one time without feeling crowded. In our lake homes, especially, there are often multiple cooks, even multiple generations wanting their time in the kitchen.

Tip #5: Universal design is…well…universal, especially in bathrooms. Walk-in tubs, shower seats, and towel bars have come a long way in terms of blending function and style. Today’s bathroom design also tends to eliminate harsh edges and instead relies on more fluid angles and soft lines that create a calmer more relaxing space.

Tip #6: The power of a shower. The ‘spa at home’ is here to stay. Luxury items like saunas, extra deep soaking tubs, multiple showerhead options, personally programmed shower function and steam rooms are becoming much more commonplace in, especially, master bathrooms. No need to leave home to go to the spa, you can come home to one.

Tip #7: The draw of a bath. While they have traditionally been marketed to older folks, or people with reduced mobility, walk-in tubs have become more popular amongst a younger crowd as well as those planning to age in place.  Models are available equipped with air jets that are meant to get the body’s circulation going and the tubs, like many other of the universal design components are looking less and less institutional and more like domestic bath fixtures.

Tip #8: Your phone went hands-free, why not your faucet? Hands-free faucets are making their way into both new and existing kitchens and baths. Even the soap dispenser has gone hands-free in a lot of our spaces.

Tip #9: Floating along. Have you ever stubbed your toe on the vanity after having gotten up in the middle of the night wandering around the bath while trying not to disturb anyone else in the house? Say hello and welcome to the floating vanity. Floating vanities have been around in modern and contemporary designed spaces for some time, but their practical, easy clean, off the floor, never stub your toe in early morning floating-style is destined to become a new normal.

Tip #10: Cozy toes and towels. Other than Alaska, can you think of a better place to install in-floor heating than Minnesota? Those warm tiles on early morning toes are a delight not to be missed. Top that off with a warm, fluffy towel after you just stepped out onto that warm floor from a steam shower or a soak in your extra deep soaking tub and you’ll never even know that there’s a “slight chill in the air” outside.

Tip #11: Kitchen as destination. Everyone always ends up in the kitchen anyway; why not design your kitchen to invite them in?  With today’s open floor plans, parties and family gatherings often flow from the living spaces and into the kitchen. An open kitchen with an island shaped for the diners to partake in the show of cooking offers the best seat in the house — much like the coveted “chef’s table” common in high-end restaurants. In our homes, the chef’s table becomes homework table, holiday baking table, craft table…even dream home planning table.

Tip #12: Breaking the glass ceiling. Glass walls and backsplashes have been popular for a while and there was a time when the thought of putting in a glass countertop or sink was unthinkable – too fragile and dangerous or just too modern?  Glass products are often made of recycled materials, they let light shine through, and they reflect light into dark spaces and are easy to clean. Green, light, bright and clean…what’s not to love about that?


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