COMPONENTS & HARDWARE
By William Sampson
An extensive survey of designers and specifiers by the National Kitchen and Bath Association reveals a variety of new
trends driving kitchen design. Among those are new appliances, transitional and contemporary styling, and increasing
use of L-shaped plans with large islands.
With 538 respondents, including designers, builders,
architects, and manufacturers from the U.S. and Canada,
the survey highlights a multitude of trends, including design
styles, innovations, layouts, size, costs, appliances, accessories,
The most popular kitchen layout, according to the survey,
is far and away the L-style, with 62 percent of respondents
picking that as most popular. Medium to large islands were
cited by 88 percent of respondents, and only 2 percent cited
no island at all. U-shaped plans were the second most popular
at 21 percent.
And most designers who are doing kitchen remodels are
enlarging the kitchen in the process. According to the survey,
78 percent said the new kitchens are slightly to significantly
larger. Only 23 percent said the remodeled kitchens are about
the same size, and no respondents cited smaller kitchens. The
largest single group ( 45 percent) cited increasing kitchen size
up to 25 percent.
So, how big are those kitchens? Nearly three-quarters of
respondents said the most popular size is medium or 150-350
square feet. Large kitchens more than 350 square feet account-
ed for 22 percent of respondents. Small kitchens of less than
150 square feet were cited by only 5 percent in the survey.
Cost per square foot appears to stay the same or increase
as the kitchen size gets bigger. For medium-size kitchens, the
mean cost was $48,000. For large kitchens, the mean cost was
Appliances seem to be capturing the attention of designers and specifiers as the most interesting new products in
the kitchen arena. Some 32 percent chose appliances as the
most interesting new product. Cabinets came in at 16 percent,
countertops 13 percent, lighting 11 percent, and technology
solutions 8 percent.
The technology number might be deceptive because de-
signers said that one of the important features making appli-
ances most interesting was technology, such as interconnectiv-
ity, touch screens, sensors and other features. With regards
to appliances, white is the leading appliance color, but with
designs that “don’t look like Mom’s appliances.” Other trend-
ing appliance colors are black, stainless and bright colors.
In a note of caution to cabinet manufacturers and installers,
the survey highlights new trends in alternate sizing and placement of appliances. These include under-cabinet and drawer
washers and refrigerators, as well as narrow refrigerators and
microwave drawers. Flush-mount appliances were also cited.
Cabinet trends cited in the survey included contemporary
European styles with hidden handles, LED interior lighting,
vertical-lift doors for wall cabinets, and motorized opening
and closing with the touch of a button or knee activation.
NKBA charts design trends for 2019
Industrial style kitchens are among the trending design, according to
a recent study by NKBA. Credit: Carlie Korinek, designer.