It’s always wise for home improvement stores, cabinet manufacturers, builders and interior designers to be in the loop when it comes to kitchen trends. Based on the recent Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in New Orleans, the trend is leaning towards kitchens with dark finished cabinets, sophisticated LED lighting elements, granite counter tops, crown molding and accessories like racks for wine glasses and pull-outs. While the show is not a scientific survey, it certainly does reflect what kitchen cabinet manufactures are choosing to display and sell.
Walking the Dark Side
Just several years ago, white was the mainstay color in the kitchen. However, most of the cabinet manufactures were showcasing dark stained cabinets with colors like espresso. There were displays of Asian-styled cabinets with very dark finishes. Another prominent trend was to mix and match colors and finishes. Although many of the kitchen displays featured mostly dark finished cabinets, often a bank of white cabinets complemented the design as an accent. The lower cabinets were shown in a different finish and color than the upper cabinets.
Lighting up the Dark Side
To light up and complement the dark kitchen cabinet trend, new applications for LED lighting were displayed by many manufacturers. Interior lighting systems that automatically illuminate the drawers brightened up all those hidden and dark spaces. Under-cabinet lighting with plug-and-play LED lighting systems have made it much easier for consumers to light up the room. Accent illumination was provided for specific areas like a kitchen desk and island. The options were endless.
Maple was Everywhere
Maple dominated the cabinet displays with over 50 percent of maple cabinets on display. Wood species trends always comes and goes, but maple is definitely on the go. According to Wellborn Cabinets, maple accounts for over 60 percent of the cabinets they sell to consumers. Compared to maple, cherry and oak cabinets accounted for less than 10 percent of displays, and there were few laminate cabinets being showcased.
Frameless was Just about Forgotten
Even through many cabinet manufacturers have opted for a Euro-style frameless construction for optimal space utilization, full-overlay face frame cabinets accounted for over 75 percent of displays at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in New Orleans. Frameless cabinets were just about at a tie with inset door face frame construction.
With solid wood drawers accounting for over 90 percent of displays, it was obvious that solid wood drawers were another dominating trend. Metal drawer systems were just about the only other drawers displayed. With over 75 percent of displays featuring soft-close doors and drawers, it was clear that the soft-close revolution is the trend in the industry.
With the furniture-style look continues in kitchen cabinets, the trend for adding decorative moldings is on the upswing. Crown molding, dentil molding and rope molding was the most popular. The kitchen displays also reflected some universal design features like pull-out work surfaces for convenience and clearance in cooking areas for wheelchairs. All in all, the kitchen scene has evolved to new levels.