Trends WHAT’S HOT / WHAT’S NOT
As with any industry, the popularity of materials and styles grows and wanes over time. As we publish this newsletter, here’s what’s hot and what’s not:
WOOD SPECIES Exotic veneers are still very popular in kitchen and bath designs. We are doing a lot of work with Rift-Cut White Oak, Figured Maple and Quilted Maple. We continue to see an increase in Cherry, and while Flat Cut Maple is still quite strong, clients are beginning to look for something a bit different. A good alternative to Maple is Alder. Alder’s coloring is in the same family as Maple but different enough to give a stain a whole new look. Alder’s graining is a bit more active than Maple, but not as busy as Oak or Ash. Red Oak, Ash, Hickory and Pine remain flat.
For custom-built furniture, we are still seeing a lot of Wenge, Sapeli, Eucalyptus, and Purple Heart. Bird’s Eye Maple and Figured Maple continue to be in demand as well as plain sliced Maple (still popular for paint and glaze and stain and glaze finishes).
STYLE AND DESIGN Contemporary design is coming back strong in kitchens, baths and furniture. Exotic veneers, simulated wood laminates, metal laminates, and trim are all very popular right now. Sleek, clean lines, floating shelves and floating base cabinets are all a part of this trend. Zen design, incorporating natural materials such as stone, metal, and wood, is also very popular now and a very strong influence on contemporary design.
Traditional and Transitional Design continue to dominate the kitchen, bath and built-in scene. Five-piece panel doors with multi-step finishes will maintain their popularity for the foreseeable future. New, multi-step finishes will become available regularly, utilizing more complicated and interesting techniques. Hardware choices and selections have increased substantially in the past few years. Whether traditional or contemporary, it’s hard not to find something you like. A multitude of designs are now available, fabricated
in all sorts of materials (not just metal) and in a wide array of finishes.
COUNTERTOPS Granite is still the #1 choice of countertop for our clients in kitchens, baths and bars. Quartz surfaces such as “Caesarstone” and “Cambria” (95% stone and 5% pigment and epoxy) are gaining in popularity. While not as natural as granite in appearance (quartz surface patterns are consistent), it doesn’t require nearly as much maintenance. Color/pattern choices in the quartz products is growing. We are still providing some solid surfacing materials such as Corian and Avonite.
APPLIANCES In the area of appliances, built-in coffee/espresso makers are becoming part of more and more kitchens. They are very attractive and convenient, in that you can brew just one cup at a time. Steam ovens will become more popular as consumers move toward healthful cooking. Warming drawers, which have been around a long time, are now becoming as much a standard as microwaves. We seem to be putting one or two in almost all of our kitchens. Another great convenience item is a pot filler, a faucet installed close to a large professionalstyle range, used specifically for filling large, tall pots. Something new we are seeing in appliances is the TV/mirror combination. You see the TV when turned on, but all functions as a mirror when the TV is off. Finally, we will start to see “smart appliances” such as Internet refrigerators with mirror/TV screen built into the refrigerator
door. It won’t be long until our appliances and computers are networked together!