Can’t-Miss Features for an Updated Home
Everybody needs a fresh look now and then. Odds are you’re not still wearing hammer pants and neon shirts (no judgment if you are), but if your home is still stuck in the past, we’re here to help. In its 2023 Design Trends study, the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) surveyed over 600 designers, contractors, architects, and industry pros to reveal the up-and-coming trends for kitchens and baths. Here are the must-have features for homeowners in 2023 and beyond.
In the Kitchen
Kitchens are no longer just a place to prepare meals. Today, they’re more like family command centers that operate all day long, and homeowners are looking to spread out with open spaces and lots of island and counter surface. Other must-haves include storage for clutter, pantries that have room for appliances and cookware as well as food, and space that continues into outdoor patios.
The trend toward blending outdoor and indoor spaces is bringing back nature-inspired tones like greens, blues, whites, wood tones, and grays, but livened up with bold splashes of color. Countertops that are easy to sanitize — like quartz, quartzite, and granite — are prized, and grout lines are going away in favor of slab and long subway styles for backsplashes, along with large tiles and slabs for floors.
Homeowners are reducing their carbon footprints by maximizing natural light from energy-efficient windows and supplementing with 100% LED lighting. Dedicated storage for recycling and water-efficient faucets round out the other most popular green initiatives.
The kitchen command center motif is most obvious in the trend toward smart controls (including mobile apps, voice activation, and motion-sensor faucets), as well as dedicated areas for charging mobile devices and laptops. Cooking is also entering the 21st century with smart appliances and ovens equipped with steam cooking and air frying technology.
In the Bathroom
Bathrooms are turning into mini spas that homeowners can enjoy as they age in place, with top goals including increased space and dressing areas that connect to the bathroom.
Nature-inspired colors, easily sanitized countertops, and floors with minimal grout lines are in vogue for bathrooms as well as kitchens. But that’s not the only thing that sets today’s bathrooms apart! Large, two-person showers are replacing standard showers, even if that means getting rid of the bathtub. For those who want a tub, freestanding and soaking tubs are the most in-demand styles.
In the bathroom, water-efficiency is the name of the game for faucets, toilets, and shower heads, and light comes from a combination of natural light (through energy-efficient windows) and LED bulbs. Meanwhile, electric radiant flooring keeps the bathroom warm without draining the HVAC system.
As with kitchens, bathrooms are going high-tech, with voice and app controls, improved temperature and moisture controls, and smart toilets, bidets, and even mirrors.