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With the many sources of inspiration and countless trends that emerge, it is often difficult to keep track of the latest design trends. Surveys and studies conducted by industry organizations, such as the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) and Houzz, can offer a synthesis of the latest trends and provide figures to back up anecdotal evidence. Recent surveys by both the NKBA and Houzz indicate there are many seismic shifts occurring in the kitchen design sphere, and the Washington Post highlights some of the top trends the surveys identify.

Colorful Cabinets and Appliances
Painted cabinets, including the base of a center island, are brightening more kitchens today, as are appliances with bright exteriors. “Colorful cabinets or pops of color are very much in for kitchen design,” says Allie Mann, a senior designer-interiors specialist with Case Design/Remodeling in Falls Church, Va. “While shades of blue remain a popular go-to color, we’re starting to see more and more green accents gaining interest. When clients consider bringing in color with appliances or cabinetry, they want to tie into another element such as the tile backsplash or window treatments to add continuity to the design.”

High-Tech Features
The top three tech innovations anticipated to dominate kitchens over the next three years include mobile-device accommodations, such as the ability to control appliances with your smartphone; voice-enabled home automation platforms; and safety technology that alerts a cellphone of an undesirable situation.

While refrigerators that provide inventory updates are available, they are far down the list of technology anticipated to be widely adopted in the next few years. More common items already adopted by homeowners include faucets, induction cooktops, and steam and convection ovens.

Expanded Kitchen Islands With Storage
While kitchen islands aren’t new, island sizes have increased over time. According to the NKBA study of 2019 kitchen trends, just 2% of designers surveyed created a kitchen without a center island in the past year. The majority of kitchen islands (88%) range from 12 to 35 square feet, evenly split between islands that are 12 to 23 square feet and ones that are 24 to 35 square feet.

“Everyone wants a lot of natural light and big windows in their kitchen, but that means some of the upper cabinets are going away,” says Lita Dirks, owner of Lita Dirks & Co., a model home merchandising company in Greenwood Village, Colo. “One way to replace that missing storage is in the kitchen island. Islands are getting bigger all the time and have more storage now, too.”

New Configurations for Appliances
Among the most interesting new trends identified by designers in the NKBA survey are appliance options that change the way kitchens are configured. For example, instead of a 30-to-36-inch-wide refrigerator, homeowners can install several customized refrigerator and freezer drawers and columns for greater flexibility in the layout. Dishwashers and microwaves can also be configured as drawers that can be installed in different locations. Personalization is the buzzword for new home construction and remodeling projects.

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