Feature Article /
Apr 8, 2019

NKBA Report: Kitchens Are Getting Bigger, More Tech-y

NKBA Kitchen Trends report Jose Soriano Unsplash

Photo: Unsplash/Jose Soriano

The National Kitchen & Bath Association’s 2019 kitchen design trends survey found that 78 percent of designers reported increasing the footprint of their kitchen remodels in the last year.

The survey, comprised of responses from 581 kitchen designers and other industry professionals, found that most respondents (45 percent) increased the size of kitchen remodels by a modest amount—less than 25 percent. Meanwhile, 29 percent reported an increase in size between 25 and 50 percent, and only 4 percent increased kitchen size by 50 percent or more. Despite the frequency of expanding kitchens, nearly three-fourths of kitchens were still reported as “medium” size, between 150 and 350 square feet.

The survey also found that designers are expecting an increase of technology in kitchens. Appliances were reported as the kitchen category with the “most interesting new products,” with 32 percent of respondents indicating this. Respondents were most intrigued by the connected technology present in many new appliances, as well as sleek new finishes and sizing options.


Over the next three years, 76 percent of respondents expect mobile device accommodations in the kitchen to be popular. Fifty-eight percent also predict the popularity of voice-enabled home automation, as well as safety technologies that update homeowners via smartphone. 

Designers also reported interesting new innovations in the cabinet, countertop, and lighting categories. For cabinets they were interested in contemporary European styles, interior LED lighting, vertical-lift doors, and motorized opening. Countertops drew notice for matte finishes, large format slabs, concrete looks, quartzite, and a growing variety of thicknesses and designs. New lighting was all about technology—improved LEDs with more flexible applications and new controller technologies.

Respondents agreed that categories needing innovation were cabinets (19 percent) and vent hoods (18 percent). Professionals wanted to see more colors and finishes in prefab cabinets, more transitional door styles, and more affordable modern design. Ventilation brought a want for more minimal options and integrated smart technology.

Transitional style dominated designer projects in the last year, with 80 percent of designers reporting that they used the style “often” or “sometimes.” The aesthetic was followed by contemporary, with 59 percent of designers often or sometimes using it, and traditional, at 57 percent. More niche styles like farmhouse (46 percent), craftsman (30 percent), and rustic (25 percent) followed.

Transitional kitchen style is defined by many of the reported innovative product categories, such as integrated storage and quartzite, as well as a general timeless look with abundant whites and grays. Contemporary kitchens often utilize large-format backsplashes and flooring, column refrigeration, and minimal components overall.

The transitional and contemporary styles are expected to remain popular, with 88 and 80 percent of respondents respectively, predicting their popularity will stay strong over the next three years.


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