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Kitchen Design Trends in 2012

Experts weigh in on what's hot


Double refrigerators, an increased emphasis on quality, a renewed commitment to hearth and home… Here’s what design experts are predicting for the top kitchen design trends in 2012…


1. Stainless steel kitchen appliance finishes won’t be going out of style any time soon – so go ahead, go steel. Stainless continues to be an overwhelmingly popular choice for kitchen designs, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.

2. Pantone, the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries, forecasts nine directional color palettes for home furnishings and interior design in 2012, including such luscious-sounding names as Nonchalance, Subtleties, Resilience, Indigo Effects, Transcending Time, Back to the Fuchsia, Reflections, Nouveau Neon and The Comics. Leslie Harrington of the Color Association of the US also tells us to expect more soft pink, purples and a pretty green resembling the new growth on a tender young plant.

3. Frugality is in for 2012 – but the kitchen is still the heart of the home. In times of financial uncertainty, the kitchen and the home will become even more important as Americans develop a greater appreciation for experiences and quality family time, says Chris Christopher, economist with IHS Global Image.

4. Kitchens remain at the top of the list for homeowner renovations in 2012, says Remodeling Magazine. Minor kitchen remodeling and design came in at the highest price among projects under $25,000, but “the project represents a relatively inexpensive “face-lift” to what is for most prospective buyers the most important room in the home.” A bonus: homeowners in the market to resell their home recoup an average of 81% from their kitchen remodeling investment.

5. Setting up kitchen zones as part of the overall kitchen design, while doubling up refrigerators, sinks and ovens is a prominent kitchen design trend for 2012, according to HGTV Magazine. Multiple refrigerators include the traditional standup model and another in a bar or kitchen island. “Hosts can chat to their guests in the kitchen while mixing a drink or the kids can grab an apple without getting underfoot,” says the authoritative online magazine.

6. Smaller, more environmentally-savvy homes with fewer rooms will be a growing trend, while family rooms and kitchens will grow larger, according to a late-2011 survey of 2,000 International Furnishings and Design Association members. Big kitchens will remain high on To-Do lists, thanks to North Americans’ escalating interest in quality home cooking, members agreed.

7. The formal dining room may be facing its demise: 71% of International Furnishings and Design Association respondents doubted that there would even be a separate dining room in most homes by 2020, part of a trend toward the blurring of lines between separate rooms into spaces that serve many different purposes.

8. Computer ‘apps,’ particularly for the new iPad 2, will become an increasingly popular tool for consumers in 2012, says Home Accents Today online magazine. A good example: DuPont’s mySurface, an iPhone application that allows users to search for DuPont™ Corian® solid surface and quartz surface colors by hue.

9. Smartphones or iPhones will become an even more important shopping tools. In fact, nearly half of smartphone users (48%) say the phone is their “new BFF” when it comes to shopping, according to an October 2011 study by Shopper Sciences, a retail marketing and shopper insights consultancy.

10. Traditional kitchen cabinetry designs will trump trendy designs as consumers aim for greater longevity and increased practicality. The National Kitchen & Bath Association says consumers are clinging to more classic designs and styles: Shaker has recently supplanted contemporary as the second most popular cabinetry style used by NKBA member designers (with traditional coming in first).

11. Quality will be the ultimate goal in kitchen design trends in 2012. Bill Esler of Closets Daily predicts: “A homeowner remodeling his kitchen cabinetry in stages over many months or even years, will want a durable wood product in a classic style, that can be matched and which will consistently accommodate additions and changes over time.”


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