May 6, 2015

Cleaner, more contemporary designs are dominating homes in 2015, according to the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s annual trend report. The report shares what’s trending nationally in kitchen and bath design. Since our customers are a little more centrally located – hello, greater Des Moines! – we decided to compare national trends with what we’re designing right here.

Quartz, granite, solid surface, marble and laminate are all frequently chosen countertop options. Quartz is growing in popularity, while granite, laminate and solid surface are declining.

Red House Remodeling: It’s no surprise that granite and quartz are by far our most-used counter materials. In the past, homeowners have chosen quartz over granite for its perceived durability. However, with granite sealer, that offers a 15 year warranty, it really just depends on the look the homeowner wants. Butcher block is also a desired material for islands.


NKBA: Stainless steel sinks are by far the most popular, followed by granite composite, and both are growing in popularity. Regardless of material, undermount sinks are definitely most popular.

Red House Remodeling: Granite composite and stainless steel sinks are most popular with our customers as well. Stainless sinks, updated with clean lines, have a modern look that blends well with contemporary and transitional styles. In addition to undermount sinks, farmhouse/apron front styles are also popular in stainless or enamel cast iron.

All types of tile – ceramic, porcelain, natural stone, glass – continue to grow in popularity.

Red House Remodeling: With the magnitude of tile available in the market, backsplashes offer an opportunity to add creative impact to a space for a relatively low price. In kitchens, backsplashes always extend from counter to the upper cabinets, and where space allows can extend higher to surround windows or around the range hood to create a focal point.

LED is the leader in overall kitchen lighting as well as for under cabinet lighting.

Red House Remodeling: LED has always been attractive because it’s energy efficient and long lasting. It’s become more prevalent lately because the price has lessened and because it’s available in any color temperature, so it looks like the lighting homeowners are used to.

Flooring – Kitchens
Wood and tile remain dominate flooring materials and are expected to continue to grow in popularity. Vinyl/linoleum has been declining and will continue to do so.

Red House Remodeling: Wood look tile, in a variety of hues, is widely available and is popular with homeowners. Its durability makes it functional in areas where wood wouldn’t be the best choice.

NKBA: Higher end brands are growing in popularity along with microwave drawers, convection ovens, induction cooktops and steam ovens. Free standing microwaves continue to decline.

Red House Remodeling: Our customers continue to prefer stainless steel appliances, but new options, like smudge proof stainless, slate and other gray finishes are growing in popularity. These options offer the look of stainless steel but with less maintenance. Also noteworthy, slide in ranges (those with no back above countertop level) are desired more and more. Why? It’s obvious that the back won’t work in an island, but even in a traditional location, the slide in range looks more clean and current, and won’t obscure a great-looking backsplash design.

Desks/Charging Stations
NKBA: About 2/3 of kitchens now have desks or home office areas, along with flat screen tvs and docking/charging stations, and this trend continues to grow.

Red House Remodeling: We’re redesigning many traditional desk areas as drop zones that include storage for family members’ daily “clutter” along with charging stations for electronics. We often install USB outlets in this area for convenience. Not many homeowners report actually sitting at the desk area, using island or table seating instead, so the transformation of the desk to a drop zone makes sense functionally.

Beverage Stations
NKBA: What’s popular in beverage centers? When space allows, wine refrigerators continue to grow in popularity.

Red House Remodeling: The beverage station itself is a popular addition to many kitchen remodels, replacing, in some cases, an unused desk area. Wine or beverage refrigerators allow homeowners to entertain more efficiently and take the burden off the home’s main refrigerator. Some homeowners are opting for refrigerator drawers for extra cooling. An added benefit of these ancillary units is that they are typically low and easy to access for kids. Whether it’s wine and cheese, or juice boxes and cheese sticks, whatever fits your lifestyle!

NKBA: More than half of kitchen projects in 2014 had accessible or universal design features, which provide easier access for all residents, not just those who have special needs or disabilities.

Red House Remodeling: Most of our projects have some element of universal design, whether or intentional or not. Drawers in lower cabinets as opposed to pull out shelves are popular because they are more easily accessed and they provide more efficient storage than pullout shelves. Hard surface floors throughout the home are in style and provide ease of movement. Pulls are more accessible than knobs along with lever style door knobs.

NKBA: Pull down faucets and touch-activated faucets are growing in popularity, and polished chrome and satin nickel are the most popular finishes. Oil rubbed bronze is on the decline.

Red House Remodeling: Our customers like the functionality of pull down faucets as well. While touch-activated faucets are popular, they are costly, and most homeowners choose to allocate their budget elsewhere. Brushed nickel and polished chrome are the finishes that our customers choose most frequently.

Um, what about cabinets? There is so much to say about cabinets that we devoted an entire post to cabinets, including styles, colors, finishes, wood species, accents, islands and storage. Click here to see how NKBA cabinet trends compare to what we’re designing in our market.

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