2012 Kitchen/Bathroom Trends

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In case you’re planning a remodel, the National Kitchen Bathroom Association identified this year’s trends for bathroom and kitchen projects.

Polished chrome trumps brushed metal. Brushed aluminum had been in wide use lately but designers reported almost 20% rises in polished chrome kitchen and bathroom installations.  At the same time, polished aluminum posted significant gains.

LED Lighting is on the rise. Yes, these fixtures have a higher initial cost than incandescent bulbs but the energy savings and longevity far outpace incandescents in the long view.  Designers specified LEDs in 50% of projects in 2010, 54% the next year, then a leap over this past year to 70%.  (Interestingly enough, CFLs aren’t sharing in this trend likely due to the poor color of light and presence of mercury.)

Cherry wood is on the fall. Cherry has moved in between the first and second slot for most popular cabinetry type but stats say its been on the decline for three straight years.

Solid surfaces are gaining. Over twice as many designers have specified solid surfaces for their kitchens two years ago and that trend continues to rise, with granite and quartz as the top choices.

Darker finishes and shades of grey. Two years ago, a grey color scheme was used by only 9% of designers.  Then that number doubled.  Then it doubled again.  Bathrooms have seen the same dramatic rise, from 12 to 21 to 40% of remodels.  Darker finishes as a whole have also seen an uptick, now being the majority tone beyond light or medium natural finishes.

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