We wanted to share this update with you regarding the latest bathroom design trends.
Kurtis Kitchen and Bath
By Stacey Freed | remodeling
Residential bathroom trends are all about contemporary style, clean lines, and easy maintenance, says National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) president-elect Maria Stapperfenne.
Contemporary has overtaken transitional style for the No. 1 spot in bathroom design, according to NKBA’s 2014 Kitchen and Bath Trend Report.
However, transitional will remain popular in the coming year because consumers want designs that go with the rest of their homes, which, in many cases, are still traditional, says Stapperfenne, manager of Tewksbury Kitchens & Baths in Whitehouse Station, N.J.
The contemporary look offers the clean lines and minimal ornamentation that people have been seeing in the spa-like baths that have become popular. “People are busy enough in their own lives that they want to simplify,” Stapperfenne says. They want clean looks but they don’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning. The trends for vanities, cabinetry, and countertops support this.
With so many products on the market and so many moving parts to a bathroom remodel, making selections is one of the more stressful parts of the process. It’s important for remodelers to stay on top of the trends so they can anticipate clients’ needs and wants and appear knowledgeable-become the “go-to” expert.
Knowing where to source products will help remodelers save money by cutting down on the amount of time they spend with clients in making selections.
Here’s your tip sheet on what’s trending:
Gray is coming on strong. Gray, according to NKBA, was the third most popular color scheme last year but will be the fastest growing in 2014. Beige and bone are in the top spot in 2014 followed by white and off-white. “We’re seeing a lot of gray and a lot of white-a white canvas with bold accents in cabinetry,” says Andres Mittal, senior project designer for Hammer Contractors in Olney, Md. Mittal says he also has been getting increased requests for different colored pieces like a black or blue tub.
Floating vanities. European style seems to drive the market with floating vanities, which are “all the rage,” Stapperfenne says. Wall-mounted and easy to clean under, they also can help keep down tile labor costs since a floor can be laid before installation.
This new vanity style also means storage options will change. At a recent European bath show, Stapperfenne says she rarely saw sinks with cabinet doors beneath them. Vanities nearly always had drawers with what she calls “detailed storage solutions”-for example, specific compartments for hair dryers, even a heat-proof box for curling irons.
If space allows, clients also want his and hers vanities, “whether around the corner from each other or on opposite sides of the room, says Bob Peterson, president of Associates in Building + Design Ltd. in Fort Collins, Colo.
When clients do ask for more traditional vanity styles, Peterson says, they’re specifying ones with simple, clean legs. If the vanity hits the floor, Peterson has been installing a “shallow pencil drawer in the toe-kick” for added storage. Stapperfenne says some manufacturers include a pull-out step in a toe-kick for children to use.
Eight out of 10 vanities specified by designers are wood, according to NKBA, and that’s likely to be the case in 2014. On top of the vanity, consumers are still requesting granite, but Stapperfenne says quartz is growing in popularity. A non-porous surface, quartz is perceived as easier to keep clean. Notes Peterson: “It’s waterproof, makeup proof, and fingernail polish proof.
He says he’s also being asked to create “any storage other than medicine cabinets. If there’s a place to put a cabinet or a built-in [clients are] fine with it, but they don’t want it behind the mirror.”
Undermount and integral sinks. These designs are the most popular for their clean lines and easy maintenance.
Big tiles underfoot. The bigger the better, it seems. “There’s a demand for 12x24s because there are fewer grout lines, less maintenance, and easy cleaning,” Peterson says. Ceramic/porcelain or natural stone make up the majority of bathroom floors, and there won’t be major changes in those choices, says Stapperfenne.
Freestanding tubs and walk-in showers. If clients want bathtubs, they’re asking for free-standing ones, whether “soaking tubs or with air or water jets,” Stapperfenne says.
Peterson is “tearing out Whirlpool tubs and putting in large, walk-in showers.” Mittal was surprised that more clients of every age are asking for walk-in showers, and according to the NKBA report, 70% of respondents say they’re designing no-threshold showers.
Although an increased awareness of Universal Design may play a role in its popularity, the no-threshold shower is seen as both contemporary in style and more functional than a traditional stand-alone shower. The lack of a threshold reduces a tripping hazard, and wheelchair users can roll in to shower without assistance.
None of this is a surprise to Stapperfenne, who says a lot of what’s in the shower has come from the hospitality industry. “Whatever luxury items you see [there] are moving into the residential market,” like rain head showers, steam showers, and various body sprays.
Luxe appeal. Luxury is not limited to high-end designs, either. “People are seeing that this kind of design is more affordable than they think,” Mittal says. “You can show them they can improve their bathrooms visually without affecting functionality. Once they’re aware it’s doable and not reserved for the high-end, they’re more attracted to it.”
With clients searching magazines and the Internet for design ideas, it’s important for remodelers to be right there with them. Peterson encourages his clients to go to Houzz, and also lets them know his work is on there as well.
Mittal trawls the Internet, reads design publications, and visits design centers. “There’s so much out there that when a client comes with a request, I tell them honestly if I don’t know about it,” he says. “But I do the necessary research to get myself up to date to be able to speak intelligently about it.”