2014 is in full swing, and springtime means that people are investing in kitchens and bathrooms, two areas that bring high returns on home improvement investments that capture an “up-to-date” feel that’s both enjoyable and marketable.
In lighting, we’re seeing some notable trends. First, many people are switching from incandescent bulbs and compact fluorescents in favor of next-wave LED technology. As LEDs continue their takeover, we see a variety of applications moving forward, most notably in the use of sconce lighting to give homeowners even more ways to enhance the mood of a cozy dinner at home or entertaining guests.
The world of color is changing again, too. Appliance colors are diversifying from their neo-traditional palate of white/black/stainless, and as a result, we’re seeing a color renaissance that goes back an entire generation for its inspiration. From red and blue dishwashers to small electrics spanning the color spectrum, colors are expressing more whimsy than ever.
All of this color expression in major appliances and small electrics demands that fixtures offer a more neutral canvas. Perhaps the two areas now reverting with greatest effect to neutral palates are in the most glamorous upgrades, countertops and cabinets. Quartz countertops are approaching parity with long-dominant granite, and white, gray, and off-white shades are emerging as the dominant cabinet colors, replete with metallic and black pulls. Even brass and aged gold are making a comeback!
As homeowners tie in their tables and chairs in kitchen settings, they will gravitate less to natural wood finishes and more toward stainless-steel and black matte-finished legs to complement white and gray tops. Built-ins will dominate modular units in both the kitchen and the bathroom, as people continue to opt for a look of permanence when they update.
As in previous years, consumers will continue to embrace new technologies in appliances for the kitchen, and more adventurous designs for the bathroom, including shower seats and radiant floors. They will also opt for more eco-friendly products and materials. As this is an area where kitchen and bath product manufacturers were among the earliest adopters, consumers are now benefiting from a host of more planet-friendly buying options at similar costs to traditional materials.
image credit: Luxe Estates Collection