The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), owner of the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS), has released its highly anticipated Design Trends research report. The annual report provides insight into the styles, colors, product features, materials and technology that will dominate kitchen and bath design over the next two to three years.
“Kitchens and baths are bigger and more involved,” said Tricia Zach, Head of Research, NKBA. “The study revealed that consumers want spaces to be multi-functional to meet their at-home work, education and entertaining needs.”
Other key findings of the 2023 Design Trends report include:
- Vibrant Design. Bold colors, accents and mixed materials/themes are increasingly a factor in kitchens and baths.
- Sustainability Matters. Manufacturers’ sustainability practices are becoming more important to designers as they recommend products to clients.
- Expanded Spaces. Breaking down walls to expand spaces to add function or conceal clutter: For kitchens, this means adding larger or double islands and walk-in pantries; for baths, it means adding a closet, dressing area and/or sitting room.
- Wellness Drives Design. Especially in the primary bath, where designers are creating spa-like experiences that offer clients a retreat for the mind and body.
- Tech to Make Life Easier. Technology continues to play a growing, but clearly “functional” role in the kitchen and bath.
Key Takeaways in Vibrant Design
Clients are combining multiple design elements and materials along with bold accents, splashes of color and texture.
- Combining design styles to create an updated look/feel: Modern Farmhouse, Classic Contemporary, Organic Modern, Simple Transition, Nature Inspired.
- Mixing warmer natural earthy tones, less gray and white, more medium wood tones
- Richer colors: coastal blues, greens and organic neutrals in both kitchen and bath
- Bold colorful accents through artwork, wallpaper, backsplashes
Clients are paying closer attention to more sustainable products and solutions in their homes as well as to the practices of manufacturers.
- Consideration of manufacturers’ sustainability practices
- 100% LED lighting, energy-efficient appliances, VOC-free paints
- Increased natural light via low E windows
- EPA WaterSense faucets
Homeowners are opening up the look and feel of the kitchen and bath while also expanding the functionality of each to accommodate the changing nature of the home.
- Removal of walls to open kitchen and bath to adjoining areas
- Large islands with flexible functionality for food prep, dining, and work
- Walk-in, built-in or butler’s pantry for food and small appliance storage
- Primary baths with walk-in closets and sitting or dressing rooms
Wellness Drives Design
Homeowners are seeking sanctuary, especially in the primary bath where designers are creating spa-like experiences that offer clients a retreat for the mind and body.
- Using earthy, muted colors and light wood tones to create natural, calming designs
- Spa-like features in showers: large two-person showers, custom seats, multiple showerheads, zero clearance, and steam/thermostatic showers
- Sanitary/easy-to-clean surfaces – quartz/quartzite (reduction of grout)
- Larger windows connecting to outdoors and windows above tubs to maximize natural light
Tech to Make Life Easier
Homeowners are adopting technology at a faster pace, specifically when it enables more individualized customization in the kitchen and bath.
- Technology to create a personalized environment, using app/voice controls for lighting, water, and floor temperatures, as well as humidity monitoring
- Smart appliances (kitchen and bath)
- Touchless faucets, app-controlled appliances, whole house systems,
- Water conservation technology
This annual online survey is conducted with members of the NKBA and the kitchen and bath industry, including designers, showrooms, dealers, specialists, manufacturers, kitchen and bath remodelers/contractors and architects. Occupations excluded (if not qualified) are fabricators, home centers, honorary members and installers. Participants must have designed, specified or sold products for at least one kitchen or bathroom project in the past year.
Of the nearly 600 participants, 99 percent are from the U.S. and 1 percent are from Canada; 65 percent are NKBA members and 35 percent are non-members.