Previous years saw the pendulum swing in the opposite direction, but for 2016, experts expect light, neutral colors to be, if not ubiquitous, then at least widely popular. A survey conducted by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) supports the forecast, finding that today, "beige, gray, white and off-white are the most popular kitchen design palettes." Joe Maykut of Sears Home Services notes that for cabinetry in particular, white finishes are the most common, though "many choose to contrast light-color cabinetry with darker countertops, flooring, and accents."
"Appliances are no longer an afterthought," remarks Maykut of Sears Home Services. "Today, by taking them into account from the get-go," he continues, "designers and builders are now able to incorporate appliances much more seamlessly into the overall kitchen design." In addition, as homeowners keep seeking lower utility bills, Maykut sees a continuing trend toward the deliberate selection of models with best-in-class efficiency. "People are starting to get it that the long-term operating cost of an appliances often matters more than its upfront purchase price," he concludes.
It's undeniable that trends come and go, but some manage to stick around for quite a while. "For at least twenty years," says Maykut of Sears Home Services, "stainless steel has been the preferred material for kitchen fixtures." Next year, he predicts no change to the status quo, but observes that more and more homeowners are choosing the added utility of deep-basin sinks and faucets whose sprayers detach for easy, targeted rinsing. "It’s primarily a matter of usability and practicality," says Makyut, but "it doesn't hurt that pull-out faucets are also pretty cool-looking."
While the NKBA considers hardwood the trendiest choice in kitchen flooring, Maykut points out that for homeowners on a budget, tile and luxury vinyl tile are top favorites, and he expects those options to remain highly sought after in 2016. Still, he says, “There are many types of floors to consider, each with pros and cons.” To make the right choice, he recommends consulting professionals. An advantage of working with Sears Home Services is that it "brings the showroom to your home," he says, allowing you to "see the products in the setting where they would be installed."
A New Light
In step with so many other technologies, home lighting has progressed by leaps and bounds over the past decade or so. In 2016, Maykut of Sears Home Services expects kitchen design to more fully embrace the expanding menu of opportunities afforded by LED and other advancements. "Already, fewer clients are opting for traditional schemes dependent on a single, ceiling-mounted fixture," he says. Instead, people are choosing fixtures that make "a bold style statement," even while capitalizing on the convenience of unique new applications, such as under-cabinet lighting.
Countertops are obvious to anyone who enters the kitchen and, for anyone who actually uses the space, a critical component of its design. That being the case, "homeowners often look for a material that provides the best of both worlds—that is, something that looks great and performs even better," according to Maykut of Sears Home Services. If next year turns out to be anything like 2015, Maykut speculates, then cultured or natural stone counters are likely going to dominate the marketplace, with quartz and granite competing to be the most commonly chosen material.
Make It Yours
Experts agree that personalization may be the fastest-growing trend of all. As Maykut puts it, "People are examining how they use the kitchen and renovating accordingly." For instance, a pet owner might include an island with built-in space for a dog crate, while an older homeowner might favor features that emphasize accessibility and ease of use. "It can be as simple as a charging station for mobile devices or something much more ambitious." To explore the possibilities, seek out a local contractor or go online to book a free in-home consultation with Sears Home Services.
Each week from now through New Year's Eve, receive around-the-house tips, DIY project inspiration, and clever gift ideas to help make this your best-ever holiday season—subscribe now!