BETHLEHEM, PA — An expanded focus has been placed on “hard-working” kitchen islands that serve as everything from a gathering place and storage to a cooking, prepping and entertaining space, according to an annual report on key design trends issued by the National Kitchen & Bath Association.
The NKBA this week issued its 2024 Kitchen Trends Report, an annual research initiative that spotlights the leading anticipated trends in kitchen design over the next three years, including shifts in products, color, materials and space.
The report was issued in conjunction with the NKBA “Kitchen Design Trends Summit,” which took place at GE’s CoCREATE facility and collaborative space in Stamford, CT.
According to the report’s findings, more than 57% of surveyed designers say their clients prefer an eat-in kitchen area instead of a formal dining room, while 48% identified large islands as a top priority for serving and dining. In addition, by eliminating noisy appliances and banging cabinet doors, designers are making the kitchen more suitable for everything from entertaining and eating to work and learning. Sixty-five percent of the designers polled said their clients want ultra-quiet dishwashers and 41% are ditching noisy trash compactors in favor of standard pull-out receptacles, according to the NKBA.
Among the other leading takeaways from the report:
- Environmentally Conscious. Sustainability continues to be top-of-mind for both designers and homeowners, with a focus on selecting long-lasting products to reduce the need for replacement, donating old cabinets and appliances for reuse, allocating kitchen storage for recycling, and creating kitchen storage for use in composting.
- Well-Curated Lighting. In addition to incorporating abundant natural light into their kitchen designs, designers say they’re using multiple layers of lighting to support different functions: ambient lighting to create various moods (85%), decorative statement lighting to showcase design elements (80%), and nighttime lighting for safety and aesthetics (69%). Light sensing, motion sensing, voice activation and programmable control options all play a key role in enhancing the functionality of kitchen lighting, the NKBA found.
- A Place for Wellness and Nutrition. Kitchen design is focused on nutrition and healthy eating. Seventy-eight percent of designers say homeowners want more refrigeration space with better flexibility to accommodate healthy lifestyles, and 68% want appliances with integrated cooking functions like air frying and steam cooking.