Top 7 Kitchen Trends for 2011

Every year, designers from the National Kitchen & Bath Association gather to report the trends they are seeing in current projects and predict styles for the rest of the year.

It’s essentially a forecast for the remodeling industry!  Here are the kitchen trends straight from the NKBA survey:

  1. Dark natural finishes in countertops, cabinets, etc.
  2. “Shaker style” kitchens. Named after the religious sect known for their prominence in New England in the late 1700s, Shaker kitchens are based on the premise of simplicity.  Cabinets look clean, simple, and sturdy; and are typically recessed panel doors accented with simple hardware.  Shaker kitchens have a good deal of storage space to minimize clutter on countertops.Wood floors with rustic grains/color variations also create the old-fashioned look.  The move back to Shaker-style kitchens indicates that ornate looks (think Tuscan, French country styles) are fading away.  Why?  Designers say this stems from a desire to think about resale value.  Apparently, the simple look is more marketable to future buyers.
  3. Wine storage areas.  Fifty-one percent of designers incorporated unchilled wine storage areas into their clients’ kitchens by the end of 2010.  That number was just 39% in 2009.  Clearly, dedicated wine storage is on the rise.  (Wine refrigerators, however, are on the decline).
  4. French door refrigerators. This is the style with dual doors and a pullout freezer drawer on the bottom.  It’s convenient for smaller size kitchens as well – dual doors mean less floor space required to swing open.
  5. Induction cooktops are on the rise. Although gas cooktops are still the most popular overall, designers reported incorporating more induction cooktops into kitchens than ever before (they are up 34%).
  6. LED lighting! Obviously, this is my favorite forecasted trend.  Here are the numbers:  Use of incandescent bulbs in designs fell from 50% to 35% in a year.  Use of halogens fell from 46% to 40%.  Use of LEDs rose from 47% to 54%.  Use of CFLs remained flat at 35%.
  7. Built-in trash solutions. Trash or recycling pull-outs incorporated into cabinets are becoming more and more popular.  In fact, 89% of NKBA members included them in kitchens in the last quarter of 2010.

Designers, is this consistent with what you’ve seen in recent projects?  Weigh in below!

Emily Widle

Emily graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in journalism. She enjoys scouring the news to report on the latest in the lighting industry as well as bringing valuable remodeling tips and exemplar home projects to light.