Kitchen and Bath Trends for 2020
What is popular in the kitchen and bath for 2020? I recently returned from my annual trek to KBIS, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, where the biggest players in kitchen and bath unveil their newest products to the press and designers from all around the world. I have attended KBIS for the last seven years and have watched some trends come and go and others evolve into much bigger trends. Attending KBIS every year allows me to see what we will appear in homes in the near future. There are the major trends – the Smart Home, aging in place, sustainability, customization, etc. but what I’m presenting here are the Micro Trends. Micro trends are some of the bigger kitchen and bath trends broken down into much smaller categories. So do you want to read about what I saw as popular in the kitchen and bath for 2020? Let’s go!
- Weathered by Nature – Leathered surfaces
- Multi-function in the Kitchen – the workstation takes over the kitchen sink
- Indoor/Outdoor- from textiles to tabletop
- European Invasion – Modern and streamlined
- Matte Black is the New Black
- Bringing Fashion Into the Kitchen
- Customization with Materials
- Customization with Color
- Innovation in Cement and Concrete
Kitchen and Bath Trends – KBIS 2020
Weathered by Nature – Leathered surfaces
We’ve seen polished surfaces lose favor over matte surfaces in recent years. Now we’re onto the next iteration – weathered surfaces. Surfaces that look and feel weathered and worn as though they have been left out to battle the elements.
New Classic White is from Compac Surfaces’ engineered marble line. It is also very green in that it is made of marble fragments from the waste created when cutting natural stone blocks. These fragments are repurposed by being crushed and mixed with dyes and resins to create designs that look like natural poured terrazzo. Three bonuses with this product – it is sustainable, the additives result in a stronger material, and it is a more cost effective solution than other similar looking products.
I’ve seen petrified wood in furniture but never before in slab form. This was a first – gently weathered and beautifully textured. This was a part of Maer Charme’s collection of slabs made of semi-precious stones (and petrified wood).
Multi-Function in the Kitchen – the sink as the new workstation
With the life of the party moving back into the kitchen, the sink has been reimagined to do more than just wash dishes. The Galley, seen below was the first on the market a few years ago, and has amassed a cult following since then.
Others have followed suit, but no one is quite like The Galley. These “workstations” may be large and most people think they are too large for their small kitchen, but when you put the workstation to use, you will realize how much extra space you have as a result. The basin has levels and when it comes to food prep and entertaining, it provides much more surface area, as you can slide the cutting board and strainer back and forth, covering up a sink of dirty dishes, giving you working space that you otherwise wouldn’t have. It’s a game changer.
Indoor/Outdoor – Bringing the Indoors Out and the Outdoors In
The boundary between indoors and outdoors continues to become even more blurred. Indoor/Outdoor textiles have been important in the home furnishings industry for the last few years. Now we can add hard countertop surfaces to the materials that are suitable for indoor/outdoor use. Quartz has always been avoided when specifying hard countertop surfaces for outdoors as it is known to have limited UV resistance. Exposure to direct sunlight for a prolonged period of time has always been problematic. This however has changed, as at least two companies I know of have just introduced product that provides UV resistance – big win!
Below are some of the new indoor/outdoor introductions from Compac Surfaces. I love the natural look – the White Stone Petra is a personal favorite.
In addition, Caesarstone also has a few new indoor/outdoor introductions but their offerings are a bit more subdued and more closely resemble your average kitchen countertop.
Marvin Windows’ newest introduction, the Skycove, was an instant hit with those who saw it at KBIS. The Skycove is a fully constructed glass pop-out structure that adds additional square footage and provides a comfortable place to gather. It arrives completely assembled and installation can be done in less than a day. When installed, it provides a seamless view to the outdoors.
European Invasion – Clean lines and modern is in
Kitchens have been taking cues from Europe where less fussy and streamlined kitchens are the name of the game.
The fussiest looking appliance in the kitchen is usually the range. In recent years, the introduction of the induction cooktop has helped to create a more streamlined environment with its glass cooking surface. But what do you do when the client likes to cook with gas? Neolith has the answer – gas burners integrated into the countertop surface.
For the cooking enthusiast who loves a clean look, and doesn’t mind cooking without gas, induction cooking in conjunction with Sapienstone as the countertop is the answer. Watch the short clip below to see how it works. The controls are shown above on the right and are hidden when not in use. When the element detects the metal pot or pan placed on the countertop cooking surface, a light indicates that it has made contact and the pan and its contents will start heating up. Remove the pan, and the countertop is cool to the touch.
Monogram Appliances’ newest introduction, the Minimalist Collection, addresses the shift towards more modern and streamlined kitchens. The bulky handles on their wall ovens have been eliminated creating a cleaner appearance.
Matte Black is the New Black
Black has always been in fashion, but these days it isn’t about just any black. It’s about matte black. Because of the lack of reflective qualities and the absence of light and shadow, matte black is less harsh and appears much softer.
Seen while walking around the KBIS floor, and I wholeheartedly agree:
Kohler’s Graze Collection was inspired by iron railroad spikes and the rugged steel industry that produced them, so it is only fitting that the finish shown reflects that. In addition to the sexy, matte black finish, Graze utilizes Kohler Konnect voice activated technology to turn the faucet on or off and pour specific amounts. The motion-sensing Response technology also offers on and off activation with the wave of a hand.
Belwith Keeler had a few new introductions that included matte black. A more masculine collection consisted of straight, angular lines, matte black metal, wood, and brushed brass and nickel. For another collection, curves, fluting, rounded handles were used with matte black, brushed brass, and nickel finishes and were a touch more feminine. It’s interesting to see how matte black can change its personality depending on the company it keeps.
Bringing Fashion Into the Kitchen and Bath
The kitchen and bath has always been more about function and less fashion than other areas in the home. This, however is starting to change, and fashion is becoming just as important as function.
Monogram Appliances won Best of Show for their booth design, designed by famed kitchen designer Richard Anuskiewicz. This was no surprise to those who attended KBIS, as each and every detail was meticulously attended to. Fashion was infused at every turn. When the cherry red interior drawers recall the soles of your coveted Louboutins, what fashionista wouldn’t want to move right in? And the flamed eucalyptus panels on the refrigerator were pure luxury.
Monogram Appliances not only infused fashion details in their display, they did so with their appliances as well. Check out the knobs on the Statement Range:
The kitchen has become so fashion forward that even fashion label Dolce & Gabbana is bringing their design talent into the kitchen with their line of appliances for Smeg.
Now for the bathroom – Native Trails introduced a collection of Murano glass vessel sinks. When I saw these, I immediately recognized them from a factory I visited in Murano last year. They are the real deal, beautifully made, and are exactly what I’d like to see in a powder room.
Customization with Materials
With everything being readily available online, how do we put unique product in our homes? We customize. An entirely custom-made plumbing fixture would be extremely cost prohibitive. However, Brizo has figured out a way of bringing plumbing fixtures to market that can be customized using any one of their options. Included in their line is mother of pearl, concrete, and teak. An option of personalizing using one’s own inserts is also possible, allowing the ultimate individual expression.
When doing full overlay cabinetry, you have more flexibility should you change your mind about your design choices later on. With full overlay doors and drawers, you can change what your cabinetry looks like on the outside while keeping the boxes intact. With a standard overlay or inset cabinetry, the boxes are visible, so changing the look can be quite a task.
Semi-handmade pioneered the business of changing out doors and drawer fronts a while back; however, they only work with Ikea cabinet boxes. As more European cabinet lines come into the marketplace, custom door lines will become more and more important. Full overlay cabinetry is a more cost effective way to change out the entire look and is less labor intensive.
These door fronts from Alex Andrite Design offered up several options including high gloss and matte finishes. They can even transfer an art piece onto any door or drawer front.
Customization with Color
Over the last few years we’ve discovered that consumers like to customize their spaces’ color, but sometimes they are afraid to commit. In other areas of the house they may opt to add color with pillows rather than upholstering a sofa. Pillows can be switched out, depending on the mood or season, but a sofa is trickier.
Appliance and plumbing manufacturers have finally figured out how to give the consumer the option to customize. But now changing colors isn’t as big a commitment as changing out an appliance or an installed sink.
Below is the changeable apron on the Elkay farm house sink. It comes in a variety of colors and can be changed out on a whim.
Best Range Hoods has the best option for customization – optional interchangeable panels in a variety of colors.
We all love the Monogram Hearth Oven. Not only does it make delicious pizza, but it makes a statement in the kitchen. With 5 additional color choices that were recently added, one can personalize the look in their kitchen.
Innovations in Concrete in the Kitchen and Bath
Concrete has been a material that has been used in the home for quite some time. Its uses have gotten even more sophisticated over time. Dunsmuir Insititute Architects designed the Canyon Sink for their client and Trueform Concrete executed the design. The sink represents a topographical model of the Mandeville Canyon, where the client’s home is located and is made of cast concrete. If you look closely, you’l see the client’s home in gold, perched on a ridge right underneath the faucet.
Kohler’s newest introduction of bathroom plumbing integrated with concrete was a hit. I love the cast concrete handles -especially the addition of teal, a color that has been making the rounds lately.
The same faucet is also offered in a grey palette and contrasting polished chrome and matte black.
And there you have it – the kitchen and bath (micro) trends that I saw at KBIS 2020. I’ll be back again next year, but this time it returns to Orlando for another two years. Another notable observation at KBIS – all white kitchens are dead. So is subway tile. Which micro trend would you like to see more of in the upcoming year? Leave your comments below!