Study Pinpoints Kitchen Design Trends

authors  | May 3, 2019

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ — L-shaped kitchens ranging in size from 150 to 350 sq. ft. and featuring medium-to-large islands were the most popular kitchen remodeling projects over the past year.

Kitchen designers also tend to increase the size of the kitchens they’re remodeling, expect to see technology innovations grow in demand and are seeing the most interesting new products in the category of major home appliances.

Those are among the key conclusions of the 2019 Kitchen Design Trends Study, an annual market analysis conducted by the National Kitchen & Bath Association. The study, whose results were released at February’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, is aimed at identifying the most popular styles, features and materials among kitchen consumers, and to pinpoint what’s likely to be trending for the next three years. Results were based on a survey of 583 NKBA-member kitchen designers, remodelers, architects, decorative plumbing showrooms, cabinet shops and other product specifiers, according to the Hackettstown, NJ-based trade association.

“Designers and specifiers are seeing the most interesting new products in major appliances, [with] cabinets, countertops and lighting also providing innovative products,” according to the NKBA.

At the same time, designers and specifiers “want to see more innovation in cabinets (colors, finishes, styles and materials at affordable prices), vent hoods, sinks and countertops (more colors and designs),” the NKBA said.

When it comes to design styles for kitchens, transitional (88% of survey respondents) and contemporary (80%) top the list in anticipated popularity over the next three years, according to the NKBA. Farmhouse (55%), industrial (50%), traditional (46%), mid-century (41%) and eclectic (40%) will also be popular styles going forward, the association observed (see graph, above).

Other key conclusions of the NKBA’s Design Trends Study were as follows:

  • Most designers’ residential kitchen projects in the past year were between 150-350 sq. ft., and had a mean cost, including labor and materials, of $48,000. Large kitchens (350+ sq. ft.) had a mean cost of $90,000 (see graph, above). Small kitchens (less than 150 sq. ft.) accounted for only a fraction of the kitchens that were designed. Cost per square foot appears to remain the same or increase as the kitchen expands in size.
  • L-shaped kitchens (62% of survey respondents) were far more popular than U-shaped (21%), single-wall (8%), galley (4%) or G-shaped (2%) kitchens. Medium and large island sizes (12-23 sq. ft. and 24-35 sq. ft., respectively) were far more popular with designers in the past year than extra-large or small islands.
  • Most surveyed designers who are remodeling kitchens increase the kitchen’s size, with the majority (45%) reporting their increases are less than 25% and nearly 30% saying the increases are between 25% and 49%.
  • Appliances top the list of the “most interesting” new products designers say they’re seeing.
  • Mobile-device accommodations, voice-enabled home-automation platforms, safety technology and entertainment enhancements will be the most popular kitchen-technology solutions in demand over the next three years.
  • Product categories needing the “most innovation,” according to surveyed designers and specifiers, are sinks (16%), countertops (13%), faucets (9%), flooring (7%), lighting (6%) and appliances (5%).

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