This year we’ve seen some very interesting trends popping up in homes all across the United States. In both kitchens especially, professional contractors have noticed some serious momentum building for specific features and styles.
Cherry Wood in Decline
Cherry wood has consistently been the first or second most common type of wood for cabinetry, competing for the most popular with maple each year. However, it now seems designers are slowly shifting away from it. While in 2010 80% of kitchen designers specified cherry cabinets, that figure dropped to 72% last year and continued to drop to 69% heading in 2012. Alder wood is also down this year compared to recent history. This year it was requested and used in about 27% of homes. Last year it reached 30%, and it actually hit 40% in 2010. No one other wood type is taking over that market share, as even maple dropped in popularity this year, falling from 77% last year to 70% now.
This year a number of less common woods are gaining popularity. Oak is among these types, being chosen twice as much now at 22% versus two years ago at 11%. Walnut and birch have slightly gained momentum in the last two years, and bamboo has doubled from 5% last year to 10% in 2012.
As far as kitchen cabinet finishes go, there has recently been a steady trend towards darker over light. Natural light finishes have been recently specified by only 30% of designers, medium finishes stand at 55%, with dark natural finishes at 58%. This dark finish number is up 15% from 2 years ago.
White continues to be the most common painted cabinetry, coming in this year at just under 60%. Alternate colors were specified by only 38% of designers.
Although glass remains a small niche material for countertops, it’s been recently used by about half of kitchen designers for backsplashes. This trails only natural stone tile at 60% and ceramic tile. Even at a high rate, ceramic tile backsplashes are on the decline, as they stood at 78% a year ago and 88% in 2010.
Other popular backsplash materials are granite and quartz. The popularity of these materials as backsplashes is due to their high use as countertops accompanied by many consumers choosing to match the two surfaces.
Energy-efficiency is anything but a fad. This trend can be seen spreading across the United States and Canada. Despite the higher initial cost energy efficient appliances are certainly gaining momentum, and LED lighting is proof of this trend. Specified by 50% of kitchen designers entering 2010, that rate increased the following year and has surged over 70% in 2012.
Older incandescent light bulbs were recorded at about 42% this year. This percentage should continue to fall next year with the U.S. ban on 100-watt incandescent bulbs that went into effect on January 1st, along with a ban on 75-watt incandescent bulbs that will go into effect on January 1, 2013. Looking ahead, we also expect additional bans on 60 and 40-watt incandescent bulbs scheduled for January 1, 2014.
Pull-out kitchen faucets have seemingly become the must-have for new kitchens in 2012. After assessing the large number of new pull-out faucet models available, it’s evident these options can be included in almost any kitchen design or style, which clearly increases its popularity. In 2010 there were about half of consumers selecting a standard kitchen faucet, while only about a third of these have been ordered recently in 2012. In the last three months of 2011, 14 of out every 15 designers who designed a kitchen included a pull-out faucet. As a direct result of recent popularity with pull-out faucets, the need for pot-filler faucets has gone down considerably, as orders decreased 13% over the last two years.
The statistics provided in this post were provided by a 2012 press release of The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA)
Of course we all must remember that these are simply trends being reported over the last couple of years. Their purpose is to shed light on the current direction of the home and kitchen remodeling industry. For your own personal renovations be sure to go with what you want, and not what everyone else is getting. Afterall, it's your home and it should be designed as unique and original as you see fit.