Spruce up your Kitchen & Bath



GRANITE-MARBLETwo of the most notable home trends in 2014 have been the amped-up transformation of two rooms that used to serve functional purposes into luxurious spaces: the kitchen and the bath.

The kitchen now is seen as a social hub for entertaining and a place for family to gather.

And bathrooms have become important spaces that define a home’s overall feel, making them some of the of the most elegant and artistic rooms in the home.


Kitchens with warm, natural elements and simple lines are dominating 2014 consumer and design trends. Both design mediums and advertising mediums featured the allwhite kitchen as the superlative style in 2013.

This year the clean white will slowly give way to warm natural colors and elements, positioning the kitchen as the hearth of home. Cool gray base colors will dominate this year, with bone and off-white remaining quite popular.

n-hanceThe appeal of more open spaces around sinks and ranges has spurred the popularity of beautiful, elaborate backsplashes that serve as artistic statement pieces and an anchor point of kitchen design.

Countertops and cabinets are trending in colors closer to the wall color, creating less of a “pop” and more of a natural, flowing kitchen space.

White is still hot for cabinets, counters and appliances. Color comes in accents such as those on mosaic borders and backsplashes. There are limitless choices in accents: tiles and stone, glass and inset materials, and cabinet designs.

Creative use of stone for floors has also exploded. New colors, patterns, finishes and edges make it possible to create a kitchen that is limited only by your imagination. Plus, the wide variety of stone makes to affordable for most budgets.


Bold, non-traditional lighting will take the forefront of kitchen appeal this year, keeping with the idea of simple, clean lines with lights that “pop.”

Pendant lighting is topping the list as the first stop when considering a kitchen’s overall design. Pendant illumination can define the overall tone of the room. From simply elegant silver and glass pendants over the kitchen island, to dual pendant chandeliers in the breakfast nook to industrial aged bronze, it’s all about your personal style. Pair pendants with a few smaller nontraditional kitchen lights such as sconces and add a recessed can package for the multi-level lightscape.

When considering lighting choices, bring warmth to your kitchen by embracing warm metal accents. Brass, aged gold and black have become the go-to choice of recently, in comparison to the past popularity of colder stainless steel and chrome.

play-kitcAlong with pendants, oversized statement lighting fixtures with elements that appear more like art are becoming more and more popular as the kitchen becomes a hub of entertainment space.

While under-cabinet lighting has been popular for the last several years, 2014 will see it taken to the next level with a move toward more upscale under-cabinet surface lighting. “Feature lighting” can come in set packages, offering lower-level lighting throughout the kitchen, or an elegant illumination of specific areas in consistent use such as over a sink or prep station.

Kitchen appliances

While top-of-the-line appliances will always add an incredible amount of value to the home, they are disappearing - literally.

To fall in suit with the clean lines of today’s most popular kitchen, consumers are looking to neatly tuck appliances away into recessed cabinets with wooden paneling.

Homeowners want as many options as possible, but are looking to have their options built in, rather than an abundance of “things” in the kitchen. The trashcan giving way to a pullout trash drawer and microwave drawers are a noticeable trend.

Overall, adding more options to your kitchen while keeping pure lines and a clean cabinet façade will be key in 2014.

Outdoor kitchens

Cooking outdoors no longer consists of a rolling grill and a few lawn chairs. The outdoor kitchen has become such a spectacular option, allowing you to have a restaurantquality dining experience without leaving your home.

Natural stone is used extravagantly outdoors for its timeless quality. Granite is by far the most popular choice for durability and its ability to retain its original luster and color with little or no maintenance.


Outdoor kitchen design & appliances

This year’s Weber’s Grill Watch Survey, an annual study of spending on outdoor appliances, showed outdoor appliance spending up more than 8 percent over last season.

The grill of today’s outdoor kitchen is the center of the entire space. Today’s grills can have up to 12 burners, separate recessed heating dishes to boil water or warm sauces, and toasting drawers for the best buns.

Consumers are demanding flexibility and a variety of options for their outdoor space. Grill add-ons and outdoor kitchen appliances featuring elements like a rotisserie, deep fryer and the in-demand impenetrable stainless steel storage cabinets, allow consumers to customize their space to their family’s food choices.

“Throw in everything but the kitchen sink” isn’t an applicable anecdote for today’s outdoor kitchen. Sinks and prep stations are key. A few trips back and forth from your kitchen with a plateful of raw chicken or fish, not to mention two cleanup spots, and additional outdoor prep space will seem like a no-brainer.

Of course don’t forget to add your lockable wine-cooler, built-in trash bin and 2014’s most desired appliance, the outdoor pizza open, and your home just became the hottest dining spot in town.

Bath design elements

GRANITE-MARBLE02As homeowners look toward sustainability in design and function, many bath trends mirror kitchen trends in looking to clean lines, functionality and natural design elements.

Again, gray and bone shades will be a major player. Both shades are simple to accent with as bold of a color as you choose and give you the option of changing your entire space with just a few new colored accent pieces.

Also similar to kitchens, listello accents are becoming a must-have in the bath. A glass listello backsplash in the wall, above the sink or inside a step-in tiled shower is a luxurious and quite affordable upgrade for any bath. Granite and marble always have been and still are in style. While there are hundreds of identifications for stone, only several are acknowledged commercially: granite, marble, onyx and serpentine, sandstone and quartzite, slate and soapstone, travertine and limestone, and cantera and shell stones.

Baths are perfect places to use luxurious and dramatic natural stone, since small spaces can keep the costs within budget. Creamy limestone, rugged slate, rich travertine or lush marble can all be used in powder rooms.

Bowls are now carved from blocks of granite and vessel sinks that float over a slab of stone are popular. Of course, elaborate stone baths have been hallmarks of luxurious design for centuries.

Bathroom lighting

Layer, layer layer!

The latest and greatest bathrooms have layer upon layer of elegantly placed lighting, giving you a level for every mood and time of day. Imagine a lighting concept that combines a focal statement chandelier, dual pendant lights or sconces at the vanity station.

Being able to go from a romantic dim lighting to a bright illumination is a top desirable quality as the master bath gets larger and larger, adding elements such as lounge areas and built-in seated vanities in addition to sink vanities.

The vanity sink is a great option to add some imaginative statement pieces. Statement pendant lights or sconces with intricate ironwork give an extra glow of luxury. With the popularity of prominent soaking tubs, a chandelier can redefine the feel of your space.

Other bathroom trends

The exceedingly popular move to highstorage with simple lines will beat out minimalistic trends. Bathroom storage now often has the look of a heavy-drawered vanity or full dresser. Wood is a natural element seen in many popular vanities.

Comfort has also played a large role in recent design trends. Expect shower seating, waterfall showerheads and comfort height toilets to become more and more common.

While a step-in shower is still high on most homebuyers’ lists, prominently placed, often elaborate soaking tubs have been identified as a popular new trend by 64 percent of National Kitchen & Bath Association designers. Claw foot, oversized or jetted, the soaking tub is back in a big way.