Last month I spent the entire day at an NKBA/AIA seminar and came back with many kitchen and bathroom interior design tidbits that I'll be sharing with you next week in honor of the KBIS show which I'm unable to attend.
Kitchens and bathrooms are by far the most important rooms in the house when it comes to remodeling, selling and buying. Interest in these highly specialized and technical areas of the home gobbles up a huge portion of HGTV and DIY Web sites, and is a specialty among designers like me.
The National Association of Home Builders reports that improvements in these rooms also carries one of the largest rates of return when houses are sold; 78% of the remodeling costs are usually refunded, so builders, consumers, buyers and sellers carefully watch the trends in kitchen and bath design.
What can people expect to see at KBIS?
More (and smarter) appliances: More kitchens are being fitted with two ovens, two work islands, two dishwashers or dishwasher drawers and two refrigerators, and not just in Kosher Kitchens. We're also seeing double laundry rooms, which hopefully means more European-style washer/dryer combos which take up less space. Make sure if you need to double up, you use Energy Star rated appliances.
More kitchens: Some high-end homes boast double, triple or quadruple kitchens. We see this now in Kosher homes, but it's becoming more mainstream. Thankfully, Manhattan building codes prevent us from doing this in the City!
Smarter storage: For ergonomic reasons, we're seeing less upper cabinets (too hard to reach) and more drawers rather that base cabinets (easier to access). Because of this we will see an increased pantry size, and the use of more ergonomic storage with practical accessories, such as plate racks, accessory drawers, pivoting pantry units, and corner drawers.
The cyber cafe: The computer has become and integral part of the Kitchen environment. In our recent Kitchen renovation in Boston, we installed twice as many outlets as required by code, including data ports and a mounting station foe viewing recipes and checking email while in the Kitchen.
Bathroom interior design:
Separation of his/her space: While double-sinks have always been a must-have, the master bathroom is dividing in two, with more demand for not just for two sinks but for two separate vanities, along with his-and-her dressing rooms.
The toilet room: in colonial times we used to house the toilet in a separate room and once again the toilets will be increasingly compartmentalized. Along with the separation of master baths, expect to find his-and-her toilets as a design feature of dual master baths.
Hardware: One of the most economical redos for either the kitchen or bathroom interior design is to replace outdated hardware with new fixtures. The most-popular hardware finishes on the horizon are nickel and oil-rubbed bronze.
Water towers: Showers with multiple heads that pulsate, rain, change colors and give you a massage are the newest bath luxury. How do you balance this luxury when water conservation is also of utmost importance? Low flow, high efficiency heads solve the problem without sacrificing performance.
Cabinetry: No buyer has ever asked for less storage, and the bathroom is one place people seem to want more. Especially in the City we commonly design floor-to-ceiling cabinetry and more drawers than doors. As always, we only use FSC certified woods, no-VOC finishes, and formaldehyde-free substrates.