The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) has released its annual home design trends report for 2021. It is predicting outdoor living, technology, and nature to be significant themes in design this year.
After surveying 716 professionals at the end of last year, the association identified emerging trends for products, materials, and technologies poised to be hallmarks in home designs for 2021.
Some of the trends will no doubt be featured during the Spring Parade of Homes, where you’ll be able to see a variety of design styles as well as the latest floorplans for area new construction homes.
Let’s take a look at the Home Design Trends for 2021.
The Continued Rise of Outdoor Living Spaces
A trend that was predicted in 2020 continues to be popular among today’s homeowners. In fact, COVID probably played a role in their desires for upgraded outdoor living spaces as indoor gatherings were not advised, and gathering outdoors was a lot safer.
Outdoor kitchens were a standard home upgrade in 2020. That trend is expected to continue this year as 65% of the pros who participated in the survey anticipate their outdoor living projects to increase. 76% of the outdoor living projects the pros worked on last year included outdoor kitchens.
Patio and deck projects accounted for more than half (54%) of the outdoor living projects completed last year. Screened-in porches, or three-season rooms, rounded out the top three outdoor living space trends.
Enhanced outdoor living spaces also included pools, hot tubs, fireplaces, fire pits, shelter, and better seating.
The outdoor space provides a sanctuary and an opportunity to escape from the hustle and bustle of the day, making sense for people to need refuge.
L-shaped kitchens will continue to be a hallmark of today’s homes, with larger islands becoming more prevalent. The association predicts the average kitchen island size will be somewhere between 24 and 35 square feet, offering homeowners additional storage space. The large islands also provide a place for dining and an area for kids to do homework. And the kitchen is the “heart of the home,” where a large island is perfect for entertaining and gathering.
With the L-shaped design, large, open kitchens will also be the norm as kitchen sizes are expected to increase.
Contemporary, transitional, and organic/natural design styles are going to be commonplace in kitchens. In terms of color, bright colors are out with whites, off-whites, beiges, and grays, continuing to be the standard in today’s houses.
Professionals appreciate the technology that’s being incorporated into kitchen appliances and faucets—more on those in a moment. Cabinets are predicted to be fully painted and remain primarily white. However, designers are taking more liberty with kitchen islands by adding darker cabinet colors. 68% of the designers surveyed said kitchen projects included different island colors. Cabinet door styles are primarily flat panel/slab topped with the recessed panel, a distant favorite.
As for the countertop and backsplash materials, light-colored quartz is expected to be the “in” material for counters, with slab and subway tiles dominating the backsplashes.
Stainless steel is going to continue being popular for kitchen sinks, but white is a close second. The single bowl will continue being the dominant style, but farmhouse styles aren’t too far behind.
Designers anticipate stainless steel being the popular choice for kitchen faucets, with 32% of designers thinking black will be the second most popular color.
Professionals see less ceramic and porcelain tiles in kitchen floors, with more people opting for hardwood, engineered wood, or luxury vinyl wood planks being preferred replacements.
Under-cabinet lighting is also gaining popularity with homeowners wanting dimmer switches.
Stainless steel is the preferred choice for appliance materials as well. Interestingly, convection and steam ovens and microwave drawers are seeing increased interest among the clients of the professionals surveyed. And while gas cooktops are still a staple of many homes, induction cooktops are gaining popularity. 70% of respondents said standard door dishwashers remain the most popular.
The Last Word
Home design continues to evolve at a rapid pace. New trends show the evolution of technology and the desirability of products that harness these advancements’ power. Sleek and clean designs with large open spaces are preferred with muted color pallets. Stainless steel continues to be a timeless finish choice and one that is preferred by many homeowners.
Since people are spending considerably more time at home, improving the outdoor space or buying a house that features a spacious backyard is commonplace. Outdoor kitchens are affording people opportunities to escape the indoors without sacrificing the functionality of their primary kitchens. Gathering areas on decks or patios with nice furniture and fireplaces or fire pits are not uncommon.
Residents can never have too much storage, so adding additional cabinets and expanding rooms to accommodate more storage areas are also prevalent.
Design trends tend to evolve, but 2020 saw a marked increase in openness and “traditional” styling quickly falling out of favor among homeowners. Clean, adaptable, and functional spaces are predicted to grow in popularity, especially as telecommuting becomes more prevalent.