New York — The vast majority of kitchen design professionals – three out of four – complete projects more for function over form, providing aesthetically pleasing design that fits into clients’ living and cooking styles rather than designing a “show kitchen.”
That’s among the key findings of a “2016 Kitchen Design Forecast” issued by Sub-Zero and Wolf, the Madison, WI-based supplier of premium refrigeration, wine preservation and cooking equipment.
Sub-Zero/Wolf revealed the results of its forecast at “Design Pros Call It,” a recent event at the company’s showroom in New York. Results were based on the insights of 53 regional and eight global winners of Sub-Zero and Wolf’s 11th annual Kitchen Design Contest, all of whom were polled on trends in kitchen design, products and consumer purchasing priorities.
Other key findings from the poll include:
- Seven out of 10 designers say that open floor plans are still in demand.
- Seventy-two percent of designers agree that the formal dining room is a thing of the past. When retained, formal dining spaces are becoming part of a different room divided by barn doors or drapery, which allow homeowners to close up the space but keep it open if they choose.
- White is still the most popular color in the kitchen, but design professionals are seeing a rise in new neutrals and accent colors, with gray, blue and black as the most popular colors.
- Design professionals named convection steam ovens and induction cooktops as the hottest appliances. Integrated appliances are also in demand. More panels and panel overlays are being used; refrigerator and freezer drawer technology is on the rise, as is the desire for concealed ovens, cooktops and sinks when not in use. However, design pros agree that the term “integrated” is the most misunderstood word in kitchen design today.
- Wood is the number-one material of choice, followed by quartz and stainless steel.
- When it comes to kitchen must-haves, 82% of design pros say the kitchen island is a must-have, while 72% point to recycling centers.
- Over half of the design professionals surveyed agree that the outdoor kitchen is becoming more popular.
- As children become more interested in cooking and the cooking process, designers need to start thinking about how to include them in the kitchen design, whether that means creating a separate drawer refrigerator especially for their snacks, a smoothie or salad station, or corner sinks so parents and children can clean dishes together.
- Aging Americans are looking for a cleaner design with fewer ledges and grooves. They seek curated homes, and are downsizing or “right-sizing.”
- Designers are seeing more “organic design,” in which salvaged woods and recycled materials are being incorporated into the home, not solely in terms of materials but also in living things like plants.
- While there is growing interest in the modern aesthetic, the most popular and widely categorized style of kitchen design is transitional, a term typically used only in the U.S.