Color trends, materials, smarter designs and plain cool


2016 Trend Report

We are often asked what wood species are popular, or what finishes we’ve been seeing from customers seeking advice on what’s in right now. This isn’t a question we take lightly

Modern elegance with traditional appeal with high function.

Modern elegance with traditional appeal with high function.

We are often asked what wood species are popular, or what finishes we’ve been seeing from customers seeking advice on what’s in right now. This isn’t a question we take lightly, as we spend a good amount of time and money forecasting sometimes years ahead to determine which machines, processes and resources we’ll need to better serve our customers when their day comes.  So, while we can give you a boilerplate answer that XYZ wood may be popular, a species wood is really a small part of the whole home design experience.  I’d love to say, don’t worry about the wood or the finish just yet, let’s figure out a game plan for a great design that will remain current, and how we want to deck it out with your budget in mind.

After spending a couple of days at the Kitchen and Bath show in Las Vegas seeing what the big national brands are up to, visiting with fellow shop owners around the country, as well as our own experiences back home, here is a brief summary of what’s happening in kitchen and bath cabinetry.  As we begin the year we are seeing an even greater push to integrate technology that is more seamless than ever. USB integrated outlets have become the norm as we are increasingly reliant on portable devices.  Thermostats, appliances, home monitoring  and climate systems are routinely controlled from one’s phone via the internet or Bluetooth. There are even LED light bulbs with Bluetooth or video and audio monitoring- www.sengled.com!

We are seeing a lot of different grays in both paints and stains, some natural finishes and many shades of white. The dark espresso and ebony stains seem to be less and less lately. I never knew there were so many shades of white, so you’re going to need to be very specific when asking for a white (don’t worry, we can help with that).

Textures have become part of the interior experience as well. Honed tops, rough and weathered reclaimed woods, luxury vinyl tile flooring are all creating a more dimensional experience.

Rustic textures with fine finishes

Rustic textures with fine finishes

White melamine has been a mainstay in the Midwest for many years and continue to be strong. We are however, seeing a big push towards finished plywood cabinet interiors as well as some light gray melamines.

Drawers, often overlooked and deftly placed above base cabinet drawers have taken center stage in the kitchen. In most cases, large soft close drawers have replaced roll-out shelves behind cabinet doors simply because they offer more storage space and are more efficient than opening doors and then pulling out a roll-out. Customers are looking to bring the cabinets contents out to them in the ligt of the room rather than have to get down on the floor to look in a dark cabinet.

The long coveted solid wood Dovetail drawer, while still quite popular seems to be slipping in favor of plywood and other materials.  With today’s modern materials and construction methods dovetails have become costly and offer no advantage in terms of strength and longevity.

The amount of cabinet accessories has become staggering. Each year at the trade shows many more are rolled out that offer better storage solutions, outlets in new places and organizational products from around the globe. All of this great “stuff” still won’t replace a beautiful yet highly functional design. That’s the rewarding part for us, to create a beautiful space that compliments and simplifies everyday living.

 

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