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A Look at Oregon’s New Kitchen Trends

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A Look at Oregon’s New Kitchen Trends

Posted on 16 January 2020 by CRadmin2

Being headquartered in Portland, Ore., we here at CountertopResource.com keep a close eye on the latest news in the state that affects countertop trends and countertop fabricators. We know that while Oregon fabricators are only a fraction of our total readership, but we also understand that what goes in one state often goes for many others, especially the ones surrounding the source of the news.

Earlier in January, The Oregonian published an article that takes a look at home design trends for 2020. The information provided was based on consultations and interviews with representatives of Neil Kelly Design-Build in Portland and the House Plan Company in Eugene.

Among the latest findings are that homeowners are looking at livability, environmentally friendly materials and splashes of color rather than the blacks and whites that have recently been so prevalent.

“2020 is a new beginning, and many people feel inspired to update their homes,” said Barbara Miller, design director at Neil Kelly. “Trends and predictions provide a starting point, but we recommend a realistic and thoughtful approach when considering design for your individual home.”

In the livability category, it seems like we will be looking at large, open spaces that can easily be rearranged or redesigned in the future, depending on the changing needs of the homeowner. While many are looking at smaller-sized homes for new construction, the average footprint of a new house is still slightly more than 2,000 sq. ft.

When it comes to color, Neil Kelly’s clients want bold accents and warm textures. Some clients are also being influenced by traditional Pacific Northwest and Asian designs with repurposed wood or artisan tile.

In the kitchen, colorful appliances are taking over, but matte black and graphite remain popular. Kitchen islands are expected to be long and up to 5 ft. in width, which allows for friends and families to gather while meals are being prepared. These large islands are also great for children doing homework and completing projects with enough space left over for everyone to charge their phones and other electronic devices.

Rather than walk-in pantries, customers are demanding concealed prep spaces that include additional countertop space. In addition, breakfast nooks and bars are predicted become increasingly popular and will come in a range of shapes and sizes. Along with a range of sizes, newly styled countertops made from eco-friendly materials that mimic quartz or that have antimicrobial properties will be high in demand.

Next month, we will take a closer look at kitchen and countertop trends from around the country, and we look forward to delivering our findings from a range of respected sources.

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Guest Blog: What’s Trending in Kitchen Sinks for 2016?

Posted on 19 April 2016 by CRadmin2

Eric Gunderson, product manager of BLANCO

Eric Gunderson, product manager of BLANCO

EDITORS NOTE: Last month, we presented an analysis of recent trends in kitchen sinks, and Eric Gunderson, the product manager of BLANCO, responded with another insider’s opinion, which we present in full as follows:

As new products begin to emerge in the kitchen sink and faucet market, we continue to see a pattern of certain trends progressing while others die down and new ones take their place. Eric Gundersen, product manager for BLANCO works with these trends on a daily basis and provides insight into where he sees kitchen design now as well as in the future.

Where do you see faucet trends right now?

We see a few different high-demand trends right now in the market. The first is Livable Design, a term BLANCO coined that really takes precedent in the kitchen design market. Livable Design refers to products that work well in the home, are convenient and also have a grand aesthetic appeal. We are seeing a lot of Livable Designs in the market today from dual-finish faucets to Semi-pro dual-finish.

Our new BLANCO ARTONA™ series is wonderful for adding a splash of color without having to redo the sink area while Semi-pro is great because it’s extremely functional for not only consumers in the home market but also commercial consumers like chefs. BLANCO is in the forefront of the Semi-pro products offering the BLANCO CULINA™ and the BLANCO MERIDIAN™.

What is a kitchen faucet must-have?

Pull-down faucets are a huge trend right now and a must-have in the kitchen. If you’re working in your kitchen, using your sink and faucet on a daily basis, a pull-down faucet is the most convenient option and also the most functional. Something to watch for in the future is a hidden pull-down – a cool element that we will definitely see more of in the near future.

In addition to pull-downs, dual-spray faucets are also a must-have in the working kitchen. They’re convenient, provide a contemporary design that is trending right now and create fewer holes in the counter deck.

442031_ARTONA_SOAP_AN-CR_CONCEPT black_5x7What are the most popular materials you’re seeing?

Finish preference often varies based on design style. Contemporary designs are on trend right now, so we’re seeing satin nickel finishes begin to make a comeback while chrome has and probably always will be a perennial favorite.

Where do you see the trends for kitchen sinks?

Right now, we’re seeing a large rise in demand for farmhouse and apron-front sinks. The trend is definitely on the rise in all mediums including fireclay and steel. They produce beautiful aesthetic appeal in addition to being great for working kitchens because they are large and sturdy.  Another style that’s trending is a rectangular bowl with a tight radius. Again, contemporary sinks and faucets are really what are hot in the market right now.

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2015 Kitchen and Countertop Trends Come Into Focus

Posted on 23 April 2015 by cradmin

12-3-115-2015_ConnorsKitchen_f-1-716x1024 KBISLast October, we ran a piece looking at the early and forecasted kitchen trends for 2015, and it proved to be one of our more popular themes. Now that 2015 is well underway, some of this year’s trends are clearly coming into focus, and we’d like to share what we’ve learned. However, right from the start, I’d like to mention that we are trying to do a little forecasting of our own, but we need your help to do so.

If you complete our short survey, you can let your opinions and experiences be known. This will help us bring you new and increasingly relevant content, and we will also be able to share what we discover after compiling and analyzing the data we have gathered. The survey can be taken anonymously, and you can be assured that we will never connect you or your company with your answers. In addition, you can also be entered in our drawing for one of two $250 gift certificates to Best Buy. Click here to take the survey now.

That being said, let’s now check out the top kitchen trends of 2015 with the help of some of the most trusted sources in the kitchen and bath industry.

Cabinet Trends

In February, Kitchen and Bath Business (K+BB) revealed six kitchen cabinet trends for the coming year. According to RnRMarketResearch.com, demand is set to rise by 6.6 percent in the U.S. through 2018, and 80 percent of this demand is for kitchens. Among the trends for cabinets are the following:
Laminate cabinet K+BB

  • Color will begin to make a comeback in the form of soft, muted trim and accents.
  • European laminate mimicking natural wood will be popular.
  • Cabinets with motion or touch sensors are coming onto the scene.
  • LED lighting is being used for accents and functionality.

In March, Kitchen & Bath Design News reported on the Houzz Kitchen Trends Study released at the end of 2014. According to the results, the top priority in a kitchen, at 65 percent of responses, is that it should be “easy to store and find things.” However, when it comes to design, it was said that “stylish and beautiful” is the most important consideration. In addition, white is the most popular color choice (49 percent), followed by medium wood (20 percent) and dark wood (13 percent).

Kitchen & Bath Design News also released this video concerning The Latest Research in Kitchen Trends.

Best in American Living Awards

The Best in American Living Awards (BALA) is one of the top indicators of kitchen design trends in North America, and the winners were announced earlier in the year at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Las Vegas, which I had the pleasure of attending. The awards represent the most creative and innovative designs for single-family and multi-family homes spanning all sizes, styles and communities.

Past Basket NKBA“While each award winner was unique, there are certainly a number of common themes among these honorees,” said Stephen C. Moore, the chairman of BALA 2014 and senior partner of BSB Design Inc. in Des Moines, Iowa. “Homes are being designed with relaxation in mind, as this year we saw an overall simplification in the designs with cleaner lines and more natural elements.”

Highlights of BALA 2014 include the following:

  • All-white kitchens – White is trending not only for cabinets but for everything else as well, with the exception of appliances, of which stainless steel is the undisputed ruler. White cabinets with white countertops, backsplashes and trim are very popular now.
  • Dual-island kitchens – One island is no longer enough. Back-to-back islands and side-by-side islands are thought to be more casual and creative than traditional kitchens.
  • A blend of natural and contemporary – Designers are starting to blend natural materials with the contemporary. One popular combination includes stainless steel, glass and natural wood.
  • Wine rooms and bars – Small nooks for relaxing at home with adult beverages are being incorporated into and just outside of kitchens.

Kitchen & Bath Design Trends Report

The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) also released its annual Kitchen & Bath Design Trends report following the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) this January. According to this highly respected organization, contemporary kitchens will lead the way in 2015. More than half of designers are expected to produce contemporary kitchens, closely followed by transitional styles. Shaker-style kitchens are among the most popular single design.

Other highlights of the report are as follows:

  • Kitchens will have an overall contemporary feel with a fusion of styles and colors. White, gray, black and blue will be the most popular colors for the year. “I am seeing lots of white painted kitchen perimeters with espresso stained islands and dark stained kitchen perimeters with light colored painted islands. Lots of painted white kitchens with light countertops and espresso islands and painted gray cabinets,” said Christine Shorr of Morris Black Designs in Allentown, Penn.
  • European-style cabinets with a focus on accessibility are popular. More than 90 percent of designers are including pullout and rollout cabinets, and 40 percent expect see these styles increase in popularity.
  • Tables are being replaced by islands and countertops. Countertops and islands are replacing the kitchen table as the hub of a home. Among the specific designs increasing in popularity are furniture-styled dry bars.
  • Kitchen home offices call for expanding technology. Nearly two-thirds of kitchens are used as home offices in 2015, and because of this, technology is finding its way into the room, such as charging stations, TVs, LED lighting and “convenience appliances.”

Countertop Trends in 2015 (and Beyond)

With the amount of information we here at CountertopResource.com are exposed to on a regular basis, we are often able to see things from 10,000 ft. as well as from ground level, and there are certainly some that we can report directly:

  • Quartz surfacing continues to grow in popularity. More and more companies are entering the field, whether it is a major player like Wilsonart bringing on a new line of quartz or a new, smaller import from Asia, engineered stone has a strong foothold and will continue to be among the most popular choices.
  • Sintered compact surfaces are making their way into the picture. Both Cosentino with its ultra new Dekton and TheSize with its Neolith products are coming on strong. Once fabricators get used to the ins and outs of these new materials, hold all bets, because they have some great qualities.
  • The marble look – Nearly every quartz, solid surface, laminate and just about any other countertop material being made today has released a new color/pattern that mimics marble with a white base color and dark/black veining, and with the cost of actual marble and the ease at which it is stained or scratched, these options will allow homeowners to have the look without the troubles.
  • Lighting – It seems lighting is increasingly coming into play surrounding countertops, whether it is backlit translucent materials (which are also becoming more common among quartz and solid surface producers) under-cabinet lights that highlight the counter surface or edge-lit tops, light is playing a bigger role in the countertop world.
  • Green, and I’m not talking about the color. The amount of “eco-friendly” materials used for countertops and other surfaces that are finding their way to the market is growing at an amazingly fast pace. It is astounding what they make surfacing materials out of now. On the coasts, where homeowners seem more environmentally conscious, we will see this trend continue to develop. And ultimately, as the next generation gets into the housing market this bang will boom! (Watch for a big announcement later this year from CountertopResource.com in this very arena).
  • European thick or thin – We’ve noticed trends toward sleek thin countertops with no drop edges at all that are only 1/2-in. thick alongside of countertops with huge edge drops making them appear 6 cm thick. Both of these trends hit the European scene in previous years, and U.S. designs seem to be following.
  • Curves (especially with solid surface) – Designers are recognizing thermoforming capabilities and taking advantage of them. It’s not hard to find examples of these types of high-end kitchens in places like ISFA’s Countertops & Architectural Surfaces magazine.
  • Mixed materials – This trend has seemed to hold on for several years now. It is not uncommon to see a variety of materials all being used in the same space in a sort of fusion that wows. Tile backsplashes with quartz countertops and an exotic granite island can really make a showing.
  • Smart Kitchens – We are all certainly aware how appliances today can be controlled by an iPhone app, but we are starting to see some of these technologies being built right into countertops. If you haven’t seen the wireless built-in tablet/smartphone charging stations that have been developed, you aren’t paying attention. You might not get a lot of orders for them this year, but Starbucks is installing them in most of their stores, and that is going to pave the way for this and other direct add-ins to countertops.
  • The wooden look – Another trend that is emerging (or maybe re-emerging) seems to be the wood look, whether it is actual wood, reclaimed wood, wood-patterned laminate or wood-textured concrete, there are definitely more options to appeal to consumers and designers who want a natural feel in their kitchen designs. You don’t have to look far to find numerous examples.
  • Beyond the ordinary – The last countertop trend I want to throw out there (because I could go on and on) is the trend for something beyond the ordinary. Recycled glass based materials, bright throw-back laminates, eye-catching pops of quartz surfacing, unique veined solid surface and exotic granites are all becoming more common for those who want their kitchen to reflect their personality and be a sort of centerpiece for their homes. It isn’t all uba tuba, neutral-colored HPL and tan solid surface with slightly darker particulates these days.

Kitchen Trends Fading in 2015

Earlier in the month, Kitchen Bath Trends by Whitehaus Collection reported on several trends that are being abandoned this year. According to the article, Trends to Ditch in 2015, those seeking kitchen remodels are being recommended to forget about the following once-popular design ideas:

  • Chevron prints
  • Bare windows
  • Mirrored walls, furniture and fixtures
  • Tile countertops
  • Over-the-range microwaves
  • Kitchen desks (Along with kitchen tables, these are being replaced by additional countertop surface.)

Tell Us What You Know

It looks like 2015 is shaping up to be quite a year in the world of kitchens and kitchen countertops. Although we have scoured the nation to bring you the latest reports and what we have seen and heard at the shows and on the streets, your input is invaluable. Let us know what trends you have noticed in the comments below or by taking our Countertop Industry Survey.

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An Early Look at 2015 Kitchen Trends

Posted on 17 October 2014 by cradmin

Somrak-KitchensAlthough we are still in the autumn of 2014, most of us are already looking at what 2015 has in store for us. Much of our business depends on being able to accurately predict the latest trends, and many people are already taking a shot at what will be popular for new and redesigned homes next year. When it comes to kitchens, several opinions are floating around news outlets and blogs, and countertops are not going unnoticed. According to HGTV’s 9 Hot Trends for Today’s Kitchens , homeowners are moving away from continuous counters that fit around the perimeter and instead prefer freestanding pieces and island countertops. This is because the kitchen is being seen less as a utilitarian room for cooking but more as another type of living space. In addition, many people are now in the market for artistic upgrades to make their kitchens unique, and recycled materials, such as those containing depression-era glass, are becoming popular.

HGTV goes on to name the Top Countertop Materials for the Kitchen. Granite makes the list for being timeless, durable and easy to clean while some modern kitchens now have stainless steel countertops because they are nonporous, do not have to be sealed and resist bacterial growth. Another countertop material that is gaining popularity, according to HGTV, is butcher block, which is said to add warmth and rustic elegance.


Although marble is often considered too soft for kitchens, it is beloved by bakers and adds an element of glamour. Another material that is gaining widespread popularity is concrete. These countertops are versatile and can be designed and dyed to complement any décor. Finally, quartz is the countertop material of choice for many because of its stain and scratch resistance and its uniform look.

An article published by LowesEmployees.com, Kitchen Trends or Kitchen Nightmares? Remodeling for 2015 covers remodeling trends for the coming year. Most kitchen remodels now include a change in countertops, and to corroborate HGTV, granite and quartz are the most popular choices. However, marble and tile countertops are close behind. In addition, countertops are increasingly being seen as an important element of the “kitchen triangle,” which is the busy space between the sink, range and refrigerator.

Another source of early kitchen trends for 2015 is Sharon’s Style Portfolio, the official blog of Sharon McCormick Design, LLC, in Durham, Conn. According to McCormick, the ultra-minimalist kitchen is starting to make waves. These so-called “invisible kitchens” were popularized by the Dutch Architectural firm known as i29 and show only a low profile countertop that is only a few centimeters thick, a faucet and a sink. All other fixtures and appliances are hidden behind sliding wall panels.


When it comes to countertops, McCormick proclaims that textured surfaces, such as leathered granite are gaining a foothold. She also asserts, like many of the others, that metal countertops, including stainless steel and copper are extremely popular. Last December, we ran a story about EOS Surfaces, distributed by Wilsonart, which is a copper-enhanced surfacing material that kills 99.9 percent of bacteria within two hours of exposure. This material is so popular that production is estimated to take more than a year to catch up with orders, and it has yet to be released for residential use.

Another trend recently reported by Realty Today, is the use of black and other dark colors in the kitchen. While this is not new for 2015, it seems to be catching on in the mainstream, especially with younger homeowners who are moving away from the old, sterile white of the parents and grandparents. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on the subject, Maria Stapperfenne, president of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), said, “People aren’t afraid of the dark.”

New York architect Richard Sammons of Fairfax & Sammons stated, “Dark materials create atmosphere. They are a corrective antidote to the antiseptic quality of the 20th-century white-enameled kitchen or the professional stainless steel kitchen so recently in vogue.”

While we here at CountertopResource.com do not profess to have the ability to see the future, we do take into consideration the attempts of all others. What do you believe 2015 has in store for the kitchen and countertop industry? Let us know in the comments below or by sending an email to [email protected].

You may also be interested in this updated version of this article on 2015 kitchen trends that also focuses on 2015 countertop trends we have been observing or this 2015 forecast for the countertop and surfacing industry.

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Zillow Presents Top Kitchen Design Trends for 2014

Posted on 24 December 2013 by CRadmin2

We recently ran across an interesting bit of information that we thought we would share with you. Zillow, one of the most popular Web-based marketplaces for real estate and homes, recently announced the top kitchen design trends for the coming year. According to Zillow’s press release, kitchen remodeling is projected to be one of the top priorities for homeowners in 2014, and many of these jobs will include the installation of new countertops.

Based on a survey of the Zillow Digs Board of Designers and the most popular kitchen photos on the Zillow Digs website, black countertops are projected to be among the top kitchen trends. Homeowners are said to believe that black countertops add an air of sophistication to kitchens. However, many homeowners will be pairing black countertops with light-colored, gray or marble designs in order to create a level of contrast.

In addition to black countertops, the Zillow Digs Home Design Trend Report states that open shelves, glass cabinets and dark paint tones, such as copper, brown and red, will be very prominent in kitchen remodeling in 2014.

Homeowners are said to be looking at granite and quartz for their black countertops, and one member of the Zillow Digs Board of Designers went on record stating that honed, black granite or granite with a leather finish provides a tasteful, dramatic aesthetic.


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