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Remodeling will sustain the kitchen and bath industry in 2023. That’s according to our recently released National Kitchen and Bath Association’s (NKBA) Kitchen & Bath Market Outlook Report. Even in the face of the economic downturn — increased prices due to inflation, supply chain issues and limited availability of materials — many homeowners are moving forward with remodeling plans.
Homeowners’ preference for remodeling also coincides with the number of aging homes built during the mid-2000s boom with lower mortgage rates as they are now entering their prime remodeling years (20 to 29 years old).
Interior design trends shape how we decorate and style our homes, from colors to textures and accessories to building materials. Some of these design trends come and go, while others stay for the long run.
According to NKBA’s 2023 Design Trends report, the bath is transforming from a place of basic functionality to a space that offers a sense of calmness and solidarity. Baths are becoming a sanctuary, providing a spa-like experience. This is particularly relevant for the growing segment of the population who are looking to age in place.
One of the biggest trends for the bath is the opening up of the bathroom and connecting it to an adjacent room, such as a dressing or sitting room. The walls are coming down to open and increase the bathroom’s footprint. Where space is limited, designers are installing skylights and windows above the tub to enhance the sense of space.
Homeowners are embracing personality into their homes and taking inspiration from health/wellness and nature. The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly played a major role in how homeowners rethink their homes’ functionality and everyday living. These trends are shaping what we are now seeing within interior designs and home renovations.
These design trends are shaping the way we look at remodeling projects. Let’s take a look at some winning NKBA 2023 Design + Industry Award projects for some insight.
The Bath as Refuge
Bathrooms have evolved from spaces of basic functionality to ones of retreat, connection, self-care and refuge. Customized, spa-like experiences are the future of bathroom designs.
NKBA member and designer Mary Maney, CKBD, took home first place in the NKBA D+I Award Primary Bath category with her elegant yet soothing design.
Throughout the bathroom, marble is incorporated to add a feeling of luxury. The minimalistic style and fluid lines of the plumbing fixtures add traditional yet modern design to the vanity, bathtub and shower. The wall panels and light sconces on each side of the decorative mirrors generate a sense of symmetry.
A rug pattern with a mosaic inlay is centered on the free-standing tub and bay window to create interest in the wide expanse of flooring. Another rug pattern with mosaic tiles is incorporated into the head wall of the shower to add a focal point in this space.
An elegant, organic leaf chandelier mimics the shape in the mosaic floor tiles below it. The volcanic limestone material is warm to the touch, and radiant floor heating keeps the tile floors warm.
Clients are paying closer attention to more sustainable products and solutions in their homes as well as to the practices of manufacturers. Homeowners are looking for clean, sleek and modern designs. Functionality and ergonomics are key elements when remodeling for today.
The 2023 NKBA D+I Awards People’s Pick winner and NKBA member Emily Miller, CKD, turned this homeowner’s bathroom/bedroom suite into a truly simple, minimalistic retreat.
The homeowner wanted the primary bedroom suite to reflect a clean and contemporary gallery-type feeling while adding the functionality she needed for daily use of the space.
Today, designers are eliminating clutter in the bath by incorporating seamless storage solutions for a cleaner look. Miller’s design allows the vanity and closet space to flow cohesively with the desired white and gold color scheme.
Crisp, clean colors of white, polished chrome and satin brass tones are used to keep the space neutral yet interesting. Custom mirrored cabinets maximize every square inch of storage space above the vanity top while doubling as a functional three-way mirror.
Back-painted sliding doors conceal closet cabinetry and function more ergonomically. LED lighting is positioned in the toe kick, behind the closet sliding doors and in the newly designed bedroom tray ceiling.
The new wet room consists of a soaking tub and shower positioned behind a floor-to-ceiling Starphire glass panel. A wall-hung toilet further opens up the visual floor space of the wet room while also reinforcing the clean lines of the design. The wet room is anchored by a custom mosaic tile back wall featuring the client’s own artwork.
The renovated space creates a calming retreat while maximizing storage and function. Most importantly, it reflects the unique and creative client, giving her a space that is truly one of a kind.
When Nature Calls
Nature-inspired spaces, sometimes called organic design, use design elements inspired by nature to promote health and wellness — top priorities for bathroom designs. Bathrooms with water-efficient faucets, toilets and showerheads, as well as energy-efficient fans and lighting, and recycled materials will limit environmental impact. So, you can really enjoy the time you spend in that environment.
Nature provides a calm and soothing effect. It’s all about bringing the outside in and paying tribute to the natural world from the comfort of your home. Nature-inspired elements include a warm wood look, high-quality slate and a modern concrete look for a natural feeling. To further create a feeling of nature, designs should include large windows and skylights, natural stone surfaces, bamboo, cork and showerheads that mimic the feeling of rain.
Gina D’Amore Bauerle — partner and interior designer at D’Amore Interiors and member of NKBA, the American Society of Interior Designers and the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver — knows exactly how to bring nature to life within a home, along with expanding space where it makes sense.
Bauerle, winner of the NKBA D+I Awards Secondary Bath category, took a choppy layout, opened it up and made a grander bathroom to serve as both the powder room and guest bath.
To start, the interior doorway separating the sink and closet from the toilet and shower was removed to create a larger, more open space. A decorative cabinet replaces the closet to further open the space. It still functions for linen storage but adds style and the feeling of more space.
The floating vanity features an oversized marble trough sink with additional storage to further make the room feel more spacious without losing its functionality. Warm wood tones combined with an airy steel frame pull in a natural feeling with a contemporary flair.
An oversized backlit mirror emphasizes ceiling height and adds dramatic lighting to the wall mural. The abstract wall mural adds color, dimension and interest to this space. We cut the end of the mural diagonally through the window area and allowed the shower tile to flow out of its enclosure and meet up with the tile.
The new Toto toilet provides comfort features the client was seeking, as well as daily cleaning to keep the bowl fresher. The wall-mount style also leaves more surrounding space and contributes to the more open feeling of the design.
The solid stone shower pan simplified the installation of the new shower, as well as provided a clean, contemporary execution. The teak drain cover reincorporates the warm wood tones from the vanity and linen cabinet, keeping the new style of this bathroom in harmony with the rest of the home. A funky shower stool doubles as a shampoo storage surface, eliminating the need for a built-in shower niche.
Small, white mosaic hex tiles on the shower walls play off the wall mural shapes while becoming a crisp light contrast to the warm and darker colors surrounding it.
Warm-toned ceramic plank floor tiles complete the design and modernize the space.
Far Beyond the Surface
NKBA member Lori Carroll continues to make waves throughout the design industry. Winner of the 2023 NKBA D+I Awards Powder Room category, Carroll was able to help her clients build their dream home after it was burnt in a fire.
The winning design project was a spectacular powder room. The homeowners’ only request was to create a contemporary space that would feel fresh, unique and, most importantly, would be an instant wow for their guests.
In small areas such as a powder room, finishes are critical in creating a memorable but inviting space. Here, the vanity wall takes center stage, anchored by an elegant slab of honed marble. A Julie Wawirka white bronze sculptural sink combined with the Sonoma Forge waterfall faucet create a modern feel with a bit of uniqueness.
An artful combination of textured marble tile and Ann Sacks mosaic stone is a timeless yet unmistakably bold focal point for the room. To finish the vanity, an Arteriors brass circular mirror is ideal, providing soft lines and an unmistakable style.
The Holly Hunt Cumulus Shimmer wallcovering, in a silver taupe finish, perfectly coordinates with the vanity. Hand-dyed by artisans, no two pieces are exactly alike, giving the entire space a unique, eye-catching refinement.
For the more functional aspects of the space, style is still paramount, with a Kohler Cimarron toilet in a dune finish and Samuel Heath stainless-steel accessories adding a dose of sophistication. Finally, a comprehensive lighting plan includes under-cabinet lighting, recessed ceiling lights and dark smoke Hubbardton Forge pendants on the vanity wall. They provide the room with a soft glow reminiscent of nature.
The refined color palette, consisting of shades of taupe, bronze and beige, is reminiscent of the homes’ natural surroundings. Luxuriously textured finishes are the epitome of elegance.
Client needs are dictating the overall approach of their home remodels. One common theme involves the desire of clients to remain in their homes longer and create a better home environment for their own personal needs and wants.
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