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Luxurious New Amenities Lead Kitchen and Bath Trends for 2010

City loft bathroom from Kohler

By Sandra Meineke
Does your kitchen or bath look like it’s trapped in a time warp? Are the countertops, cabinets and floors all the wrong colors? Don’t despair!

Bonnie Richardson of the National Kitchen and Bath Associ ation says that with good planning and careful attention to the selection of materials, the typical homeowner can develop a kitchen that will last a lifetime; one that will age gracefully and only become more comfortable over time.

If you have a typical suburban house from a local builder, your white walls are still in style. If you have a custom built home designed just for you, your colors probably fit your lifestyle and complement the rest of the house, so they are good, too. “A kitchen that fits the character of the rest of the house will always be in style,” says Richardson.

However, if you are considering buying a pre-owned home or remodeling your kitchen or bath, keep in mind that—for 2010, at least—less is more. Shades of white and off-white lead the color trends, while countertops and floors that have been popular for several years continue to be so.

Nevertheless, there are some new luxury features you might want to consider when updating an older home—such as under-counter refrigeration, dishwasher drawers and flexible faucets.

The NKBA surveyed its members who designed a kitchen or bathroom during the last quarter of 2009 and came up with the most requested colors, fixtures and built-ins to determine trends for 2010.


For kitchens, traditional will continue to be the most popular design style with contemporary close behind. Shades of white and off-white are the most common kitchen colors.

Cherry, maple and alder are the top woods for kitchen cabinetry. Finishes run from medium natural and dark natural to glazed and white-painted. Other colors of painted cabinetry and light natural finishes are in decline, as are distressed finishes.

Hardwood came out on top for kitchen floors although ceramic and porcelain tile remain fashionable. For countertops, granite and quartz are still the most popular choices.

Standard kitchen faucets will be come less standard in 2010 in favor of more convenient models. Pull-out faucets and pot filler faucets will

be more prevalent. Kitchen faucets will be finished in brushed nickel, stainless steel and polished chrome. “Today’s homeowners want products with lasting style and functionality,” said Stephanie Fligner, kitchen product manager for Moen.

Moen offers the new Arbor pulldown faucet, which features a graceful, high-arc spout, multi-function pulldown wand and docking mechanism. Available in a single hole mount, Arbor blends beautifully into granite and other solid-surface countertops for a clean refined look.

French door and freezer-bottom are the two most popular styles of refrigerators with side-by-sides running close behind. Making a big statement in 2010 is the addition of functional drawer appliances. Turning convenience into a luxury, under-counter refrigerated drawers and under-counter wine chillers keep frequently used items close at hand. Perfect for the entertainer, refrigerated drawers are roomy enough to store a two liter bottle along with serving trays and pizza boxes.

The tried-and-true range continues to be the best seller, although the combination of a cooktop and wall oven is beginning to overtake it. Gas is still the most popular type of cooktop over electric, although induction cooking is gaining in popularity.

Standard dishwashers, with the traditional door that pulls from the top down, will remain the most common type. However, an increasing number of dishwasher drawers will be installed in kitchens for their ability to wash small loads in each drawer, thereby saving water and electricity.


For bathrooms, it’s in with the old and out with the new. Traditional will be the most popular design style in bathrooms; contemporary designs will be a distant second. Beiges and bones, whites and off-whites, indicate a subdued color palette.

Ceramic and porcelain tile will be the dominant flooring materials in bathrooms this year. For vanity tops, granite will remain king, with quartz and marble following close behind.

Maxx Viaggi bath in bamboo decor

NKBA also forecasts that integrated sink tops will be popular this year, as existing items can be easily used to achieve this look. By adding a sink into an antique dresser or chest, designers are creating one-of-a-kind vanities.

The most common colors for fixtures will be white, bisque and off-white. For sinks, simple under mount models will be most popular, followed by integrated sink tops, drop-in sinks, vessel sinks and pedestal sinks.

Jets galore are being installed in showers, according to Ellen Gefen, trend forecaster for TheHome.com. Many home owners are also adding a sauna or steam installation.

Brushed nickel is continuing to lead the way in faucet finishes in the bathroom. Polished chrome is also popular, followed by bronze and stainless steel. You can make a big impact with small updates like new towel bars and robe hooks for a completely coordinated look.

Country kitchen with free standing range from Viking

The kitchen and bath industry has also taken notice of the fact that many people are downsizing their living quarters, such as baby boomers and the millennial generation, which is flocking to downtown urban loft areas. Limited space means less room for traditional sized appliances.

“Regardless of why a consumer decides to live in a smaller space, there is no reason to lose upscale features in the furnishings within that space—especially appliances,” noted Marc Hotten roth, Industrial Design Leader for GE Consumer & Industrial.

GE and other appliance manufacturers now offer slim 18-inch dishwashers, which take up less room than a full-sized unit. And, in the same space occupied by a standard free-standing range

or wall oven, consumers can have 6.6 cubic feet of combined oven space. The two ovens can be operated at different temperatures. That’s twice as much cooking for the same amount of space. Refrigerator drawers under the counter can take the place of the traditional refrigerator. Fresh food drawers, beverage centers and ice makers can all be placed under the counter for a more compact, cleaner look.

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