people locating in smaller urban spaces. “They want
frameless, even no door handles,” she said.
Colors and finishes
While white painted cabinets are still the single most
popular finish on display, accounting for 28 percent
of all the cabinets shown, dark stains continue to gain
in popularity. Dark stains accounted for 22 percent
of the kitchen displays. Medium stains came in at 17
percent and light stains accounted for just 2 percent.
The trend over the last couple of years for gray
cabinets in a variety of shades is no longer just a
fad. Several designers described gray as becoming a
“third palette” between white and dark tones like the
popular “espresso” colors. Gray painted cabinets took
up 20 percent of all the displays, and gray laminates
and thermofoils also gained ground. “Gray is really
popular,” said Sellers. “Whites and grays are domi-
nant,” said Shawn Hepinstall, a sales rep for JSI.
Euro influences showed themselves again in the
rise of high-gloss finishes and the use of acrylics for
doors and drawer fronts. Painted high-gloss finishes
showed up in more than 7 percent of the displays,
and high-gloss laminates or acrylics accounted for
more than 9 percent. That means that more than one
in six displays showed high gloss.
Finally, another growing color trend is to mix colors, particularly dark and light, in the same kitchen.
For example, a white or gray kitchen might have an
espresso island or the other way round. Accent colors
like blue or mustard showed up to highlight a section
of a kitchen in contrast to the main color.
Quartz is queen
When it comes to countertops, this year’s KBIS and
IBS kitchen displays were dominated by engineered
stone or quartz material. About 36 percent of all the
kitchen displays featured this material, which is about
the same percentage as last year.
Laminate materials took second place in the countertop race, coming in at nearly 30 percent. That’s a
significant rise over the 25 percent share laminates
had last year and reflects the many new innovations
in laminate materials that have made them an attractive option again for style as well as price.
Solid surface also posted gains from last year with
a 2017 showing of 14. 5 percent, compared to just 12
Wood stains displayed