Trend Report: Kitchen & Bath

Designers offer the following thoughts on enhancing our utilitarian spaces




1 - “Long ago, kitchen designers followed the rules of the triangle pattern. We’ve seen a shift in how consumers use their kitchens, so that way of thinking is no longer current. We now design utilizing zones: the cleanup zone, prep zone, coffee and juice-bar zone, and cooking zone. This is much more functional and up-to-date. It also enables more than one cook to work comfortably in the kitchen and allows for most everything to be at your fingertips.” — Jodi Caden, Caden Design Group, Birmingham

2 - “We’re being asked for recycled, green, and earth-friendly products, such as bamboo doors, natural-wood interiors, and stone or quartz tops.” — Jodi Caden, Caden Design Group, Birmingham

3 - “We’ve just completed five ‘urban’ kitchens in the new Greenleaf project [at Maple and Woodward in Birmingham] and are finding a trend for smaller but superbly appointed kitchens are receiving wide praise.” — Mark Johnson, Mark Johnson & Associates, Pleasant Ridge

4 - “Lighting has changed drastically to the LED strips for under counter. They never need changing and last forever.” — Janice Morse, Designs Unlimited, Birmingham

5 - “Kitchens continue to be an integral part of the whole-house design, where family and friends gather. Our clients often express that the kitchen is one of the most important spaces, and they’re investing in high-end custom cabinetry and professional appliances. Function and beauty are carefully balanced with artistically designed range hoods, open-cabinetry shelves, and large beautiful windows beside traditional upper cabinets.” — John and Donna VanBrouck, VanBrouck & Associates, Brighton

6 - “Curb-less showers with linear drains are used to create a clean look and to increase accessibility and safety for aging in place. Safety is always a priority; manufacturers are designing beautiful grab bars that are no longer institutional looking. We may not install them initially, but build blocker boards into the substrate and notate it in the plan for the grab bars to be installed in the future.” — Tanya Woods, Xstyles bath+more, Bloomfield Hills

7 - “Insist on multiple light sources: traditional down-lights for utility, under-cabinet LEDs for task lighting, a recessed ceiling cove for that cocktail-party mood (especially important in open-plan kitchens), and always beautiful pendants over the island to dress up all the utility.” — Mark Johnson, Mark Johnson & Associates, Pleasant Ridge

8 - “As we make our homes smaller and more efficient, counter seating, more than ever, is a must: best for a quick breakfast, homework on the laptop during dinner prep, or for an intimate dinner for the empty nesters who don’t want to eat on a big dining table or a TV tray.” — Mark Johnson, Mark Johnson & Associates, Pleasant Ridge

9 - “There’s a shift away from traditional to cleaner, more transitional lines with an emphasis on functionality and lifestyle, as seen in hidden and compartmentalized appliances and workstations instead of the traditional work triangle.” — Marianne Jones Hauswirth, Marianne Jones, at Michigan Design Center, Troy

10 - “We’re still doing as many open (to living spaces) kitchens as ever, but are adding enormous rolling doors to allow for a bit of separation when it’s time for cleanup or when catered events require staff to cross paths with guests.”— Mark Johnson, Mark Johnson & Associates, Pleasant Ridge

11 - “Steam ovens, magnetic-induction cooktops, and microwave drawers are the must-see appliances before starting a kitchen project.” — Liz Firebaugh, Signature Kitchens, Petoskey

12 - “Thoughtful, timeless design with a strong reference to classic or vintage elements is extremely desirable: the white marble, the farm-style sinks, and the vignette approach to the layout. Everything is toned down, pretty, yet purposeful. Also popular are kitchens that don’t look like kitchens.” — Amy Miller Weinstein, AMW Design Studio, Birmingham

13 - “The color palette and trend that I’m seeing is light. White kitchens are making a resurgence, particularly in Thermofoil. [Also], integrated appliances with many options.” — Janice Morse, Designs Unlimited, Birmingham

14 - “Weathered and exotic woods in gray tones and driftwood finishes are starting to gain in popularity. Chrome is still one of the most popular finishes; however, champagne bronze is the new brass with its soft, subtle golden finish.” — Tanya Woods, Xstyles bath+more, Bloomfield Hills

15 - “Our master bathrooms are definitely becoming more spa like, with fireplaces, morning bars, and sitting areas — more a part of the master-suite experience. We’ve been incorporating woods and stones and a lot of concrete and always a lot of light and windows.”  — Kevin Akey, AZD Associates, Bloomfield Hills

16 - “The trend in kitchens is really very much about the integration of the cabinets into the house. The kitchen is the center of the house, and making it look like great architecture and very cool is the trend today. It’s about everything being ultra-organized and put in its place.” —  Janice Morse, Designs Unlimited, Birmingham

17 - “Clients want powder rooms that are stunning. Storage is not necessary. People love vessel sinks, floating vanities, and some glamour.”  — Susan Winton-Feinberg, Walter Herz Interiors, Bloomfield Hills

18 - “In kitchens, people love a big island, also space for stools, granite countertops, a built-in looking refrigerator, a separate freezer, double ovens, large sinks, and vegetable sinks.” — Susan Winton-Feinberg, Walter Herz Interiors, Bloomfield Hills

19 - “Build less space but add all the bells and whistles: the highestperforming appliances your budget will afford, luxurious materials with a bit of shine, such as cast-aluminum brick tiles, stainless steel, and richly stained woods.” — Mark Johnson, Mark Johnson & Associates, Pleasant Ridge

20 - “The overall look of bath design is clean and simple: modern, light, airy spaces with soothing, natural colors. Gray is very popular and is the latest neutral.” — Tanya Woods, Xstyles bath+more, Bloomfield Hills

21 - “Walk-in pantries have always been a coveted feature in a kitchen. We’re seeing them expand into a work center, as well, by including a countertop for coffee making or appliance storage.” — Liz Firebaugh, Signature Kitchens, Petoskey

22 - “I’m using more porcelain than stone in baths for ease of cleaning. Porcelain tile with texture that mimics linen or wood grain are a current trend.” — Tanya Woods, Xstyles bath+more, Bloomfield Hills

23 - “Technology trends are popular in kitchens: docking stations for charging mobile devices, a shelf for an iPad to look up recipes. Energy-efficient lighting, LED, is leading this trend.” — Tanya Woods, Xstyles bath+more, Bloomfield Hills

24 - “Master baths seem to be a little bit smaller and more efficient; however, they’re not necessarily less complicated. We’re seeing a lot of sensitivity to well detailed and designed projects that may take up less square footage but are being done with better quality.” — Robert Clarke, architect and president, CBi Design Professionals, Bloomfield Hills

25 - “In kitchens, lighting is becoming a feature. We’re lighting countertops from underneath and even using a lot of the newer materials. We’ve also been building a lot of our own light fixtures for a one-of-a-kind feature.” — Kevin Akey, AZD Associates, Bloomfield Hills

Photographs by Beth Singer

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