Eight Trends in Kitchens and Baths, Illustrated
Look at traffic flow, storage, natural colors, and daylight in this slideshow of design ideas for kitchens and baths.
According to the National Association of Realtors, 12% of Americans move each year, and that’s at a low ebb because of the economy. Normal is closer to 20%. And what’s the first thing people do with a new house? Frequently, it’s remodel the kitchen, even if only to mark it as theirs. And when they do, they are looking for certain to accomplish some key changes …
- Control traffic in those busy kitchens
- Ad storage, storage, storage
- Look to white as an always-popular color
- Use transitional styles with neutral colors and clean lines
In bathrooms, the drive to upgrade is even stronger. Decades ago, a single family might have just one bathroom, but now, everybody wants their own. They’re looking to experiment and make those baths not only more numerous, but also more beautiful, more easy to use, and more bright. These days, Americans have higher expectations for their baths …
- Add more bathrooms
- Compartmentalize bathrooms
- Use curbless showers
- Incorporate natural light
In the slideshow that follows (scroll down and click below), look for the signs of these eight trends in the kitchens and baths that have been featured in the pages of Fine Homebuilding. You’ll see that, and more.
In this remodel, the designer reworked the layout of the master bathroom by dividing it into four zones — vanity, private toilet, wet room, and storage wall — while choosing materials, fixtures, and a lighting scheme that work together to create a calm and relaxing environment. This private toilet is located in a daylit nook off its own hallway; the toilet is accessible from the master bedroom without entering the rest of the bathroom.
This project illustrates the potential in reimagining existing spaces with light remodeling work. A new layout and updated fixtures and finishes makes this an absolutely new bathroom within the old one’s footprint. Removing the existing tub made way for a large light-filled shower defined by a glass partition and a low curb. The partition helps bridge the gap between the traditional and the contemporary styles of the space.
The conversion of this tiny first-floor powder room into a three-quarter bath presented challenges. The entire room was covered in a waterproof membrane. Th floor is pitched at 1/2 in. per ft., with a pair of square drains near the back wall. A high-efficiency exhaust fan clears the room of steam. The leveled toilet doubles as a shower seat. It features a built-in washbasin that drains into the toilet tank, providing water for the next flush.
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Using a transitional style, this remodeling project prioritized using historic details in a new and creative way. The contrasting lower and upper cabinets in this kitchen are clean and modern while still evoking historical charm, and the gray subway-tile backsplash connects the colors with another fresh take on the traditional. Flat-panel doors and brushed-nickel hardware are characteristic of the transitional style.
This light-filled kitchen is the new heart of a 1940s house in a suburb of Minneapolis, with the island, table, and window seat providing plenty of space for kids and friends to hang out. The transitional style let the designers connect the kitchen to the rest of the home — with a white palette, brushed-nickel hardware, and V-groove details in the cabinets, walls, and ceiling that evoke the cottage style — with modern pendant lights and brushed-metal finishes.
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This Japanese-inspired remodel occupies the same footprint as the old bath, but the tub is in a new window bay, which was a less costly way of creating more space than building a full addition. With its elevated position and view of the garden out the window, the large tub reinforces the Japanese ritual of bathing. A tansu-style tub surround features steps with pullout drawers. Entrance to the bath is through a door carved by a local artist.
In this redesign of a master bath in a Tudor revival, the designer added a new tiled shower and a toilet alcove. The alcove was created by stealing space from the master bedroom. The glass shower’s clean lines and simple hardware don’t compete with the period-style fixtures nearby. The white subway tile and mosaic floor were features common to many Tudor homes of the time.
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In this light-conscious remodel, adjacent surfaces run perpendicular to a daylight source. Placed close to adjacent surfaces, the skylight washes those surfaces with daylight, which then reflect light into the room. Inline surfaces lie in the same plane as the daylight source, rarely receive direct light, and are naturally in shadow. To balance the light, they require illumination, ideally with reflected daylight, as intended here.
This renovated U-shaped kitchen space includes plenty of countertop work surfaces as well as the sink, dishwasher, and gas cooktop. Countertops at the sink and in the appliance garage, where spills are more likely, are Carrara marble with a honed finish. At the sink, the 11⁄4-in.-thick marble is mounted on a plywood base and has a mitered lip that gives the illusion of a thicker slab. Over the sink is a restored vintage light fixture rescued from the trash outside a historic home.
This bathroom originally suffered from a dysfunctional layout. After renovation, the door from the living room side was moved to the kitchen side, a shower was built in place of the linen closet, an old window was replaced with a smaller unit higher up the wall for privacy, and a skylight was added above the vanity.
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This project was a major transformation of a dated master bathroom with mauve sinks. An interior shower wall was moved to increase the size of the shower by 9 in. The owner choose a tile floor that looks like hardwood with a white subway tile in the shower. The granite top has a honed finish that gave the bath a unique feel with the under-mount sinks. Vanity lights were moved up to give the bath a larger feel, with an LED light in the shower.