Styled, Staged & Sold

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What’s ‘In’ and ‘Out’ in the Kitchen: 10 Trends to Watch

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Kitchens are going dark, LED lighting is gaining steam, and trash is getting more attention--all are trends in kitchen designs this year, according to the National Kitchen & Bath Association, which surveyed 100 designers at the end of 2010 to reveal the hottest kitchen trends. (Last week, we highlighted NKBA’s 4 Bathroom Trends to Watch.)

The following is a list of what's cooking in kitchen trends for 2011, based on NKBA survey results of which kitchen designs are increasing in demand and which are losing favor.

Maple kitchen in KraftMaid’s Modern Farmhouse style; Photo credit: Courtesy of KraftMaid Cabinetry Maple kitchen; Photo credit: Courtesy of KraftMaid Cabinetry

1. Cabinetry

Gaining steam: Maple cabinetry

Losing steam: Cherry cabinetry (Cherry dominated kitchens in early 2010 but was overtaken by maple cabinetry this year)

Kitchen cabinets in Sonoma Maple, Midnight with Bristol Maple, Pebble; Photo credit: Wellborn Cabinet Inc. Kitchen cabinets in Sonoma Maple, Midnight with Bristol Maple, Pebble; Photo credit: Wellborn Cabinet Inc.

2. Kitchen finishes

Gaining steam: Dark natural finishes; light natural and colored painted finishes also remained fairly common, inching up slightly in use.

Losing steam: Medium natural, glazed, and white painted finishes are on the decline and the use of distressed finishes has dropped significantly in the last year.

Photo credit: Miro Dvorscak Photo credit: Miro Dvorscak

3. Color

Gaining steam: Grays, beiges, and bones

Losing steam: Brown tones, whites, and off-whites

O’Neil Cabinets shaker style; Photo credit: Courtesy of O’Neil Cabinets O’Neil Cabinets shaker style; Photo credit: Courtesy of O’Neil Cabinets

4. Design styles

Gaining steam: Shaker style, which is characterized by its simplicity, un-ornamented yet functional, finely crafted style. (Shaker overtook contemporary style this year as the No. 2 most popular kitchen design style). Traditional style remains the most popular kitchen design, although it has dropped slightly in popularity compared to last year.

Losing steam: Contemporary style

Kitchen from Huntwood Cabinets features an island with built-in wine cubbies; Photo credit: Alan Bisson Kitchen from Huntwood Cabinets features an island with built-in wine cubbies; Photo credit: Alan Bisson

5. Cabinetry upgrades

Gaining steam: Unchilled wine storage (yet undercounter wine refrigerators are losing favor)

Losing steam: Tall pantries, lazy Susans, appliance garages, and pull-out racks are declining slightly in popularity.

DuPont Corian solid surface in Sorrel; Photo Credit: TC Studios DuPont Corian solid surface in Sorrel; Photo Credit: TC Studios

6. Countertops

Gaining steam: Solid surfaces, a low-maintenance countertop surface, has grown in popularity, but granite and quartz continue to hold dominance. Other countertops surfaces increasing in niche use include butcher block and marble.

Losing steam: Laminate

Liebherr’s 2060 series Liebherr’s 2060 series

7. Refrigerators

Gaining steam: French door and side-by-side refrigerators

Losing steam: Freezer-top refrigerators and freezer-bottom models

Thermador’s Masterpiece Series 36-inch Silver-Mirrored Induction Cooktop; Photo credit: Thermador Thermador’s Masterpiece Series 36-inch Silver-Mirrored Induction Cooktop; Photo credit: Thermador

8. Cooktops

Gaining steam: Induction cooktops are closing the gap on gas and electric models; double wall ovens are increasing in use.

Losing steam: Gas cooktops are still popular but their use is falling slightly in favor of induction and electric cooktops. Single wall ovens and warming drawers are also on the decline.

Kichler Lighting: Design Pro LED creates light layering and uses 75% less energy; Photo credit: Kichler Lighting Photo credit: Kichler Lighting

9. Lighting

Gaining steam: LED energy-efficient lighting options

Losing steam: Incandescent lighting and CFLs (compact fluorescent lights)

Photo credit: Rev-A-Shelf, LLC Photo credit: Rev-A-Shelf, LLC

10. Trash

Gaining steam: More designers are taking into account trash considerations in kitchen designs, with trash or recycling pull-outs, garbage disposals, and trash compactors on the rise.

Losing steam: Not considering where the trash goes in the kitchen

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