Concealed kitchens are providing more flexibility for homeowners.
The National Kitchen and Bath Assn. announced the top 10 design trends from the 2010 NKBA Design Competition.
1. Concealed kitchens. Kitchen design has reached a new level of integration into the home's primary living and entertainment rooms and provides far more flexibility for homeowners. The incorporation of integrated and concealed appliances allows the kitchen to enhance rather than intrude into other spaces. Clean structural lines and colors allow the space to establish an identity without overpowering the surrounding rooms.
2. Beverage stations. This is a new element that is being added to many kitchens. It is usually comprised of an undercounter refrigerator, along with a multifunction coffeemaker. This functional area may include coffee cups, silverware, cream and sugar.
3. Scaling of elements. Shapes, textures and fixture placement are used to create scale. The overall composition of kitchens and baths is being defined by a functional and visually appealing sense of scale. This may be achieved with irregularly textured pebbled wall, marbled surface in glass tile, and reflective metallic material.
4. Color with energy. Rich blues, purples, greens and citric yellow colors are making their appearance in kitchens and baths. Colors that are not designed to be in the background are affecting the most innovative designs.
5. Soft geometry. Rounded organic shapes can be seen in the edge of a counter or island top, an arch over an entryway, or space-defined soffits. The introduction of rounded islands and countertops creates a smooth-flowing traffic pattern throughout the room.
Islands, countertops and partial walls can all contribute to the varying heights design.
6. Space subtleties. Fixtures once confined by location are now being used in kitchen and bath designs in new ways. Floating vanities in the bathroom and stacked appliances in kitchens contribute to functionality.
7. Design framing. Designers are bringing artistic details to new heights. Using a soffit along the ceiling or a width of wall space surrounding inset cabinetry can call out the item being framed as a focal point while providing visual balance to a room. Portions of a room can be treated as a piece of art, with a frame indicating its presence.
8. Varying heights. Island tops, countertops and partial walls are being customized to the task performed and the needs of homeowners. Varying heights seen in the edge of a wood bar top or granite countertop serves as a beautiful counterbalance.
9. Japanese influences. Impact of Japanese design can be seen subtly in clean lines, open spaces and neutral color palettes with bold splaches of color in selected areas. Artwork, Japanese antiques and traditional qualities of Japanese culture are at the core of some compelling kitchen and bath designs.
10. Art integration. The introduction of a favored piece of art creates challenges but also offers guidelines and solutions to color and material choices.
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