Kitchen & Bath - Trends

New trends in the kitchen

Kathleen Dore

Whether you're creating your dream kitchen from scratch or simply shopping for a new faucet, we've got the lowdown on what's hot in kitchen design.

Suit yourself
From dark and dramatic to bold and beautiful, it's your choice when it comes to kitchen cabinetry. The result: there's no overriding must-have look for the kitchen, but there are mini-trends. Lovers of modern style are embracing colour: glossy lacquers of stoplight red, bright green and true blue are preferred by brave hearts. For those leaning to more transitional contemporary style, dark woods accented with stainless steel are chic and sophisticated. What's on the long-range trend forecast? European trade shows are showing an increasing number of traditional-style kitchens, and if it's happening in Europe (the continent that loves modern), it'll just be a matter of time before the past is au courant on our shores too.

Curves ahead
Could the circle be the shape of things to come in the kitchen? From curved cabinetry doors to round islands, the minimalism of modern kitchens gets a friendlier feel when blunt, straight edges are softened into curvaceous lines. Very Star Trek.

Hot and steamy
Nutritious and delicious: Turns out that healthy food doesn't mean sacrificing a sophisticated palate after all. Cooking with steam allows foodies to enjoy good food in gourmet style. Now the trend has trickled down from full-size, more pricey steam ovens to more accessible countertop options.

Top drawers
This is a two-in-one trend: that's how hot drawers are. First, savvy consumers are insisting on top-quality drawer guides (the actual hardware) for durability as well as inner organizing systems for functionality. Now there's customized storage for everything from linens to recycling materials to dishware to food. The second trend story on drawers is the dramatic increase in how many appliance manufacturers are designing their appliances to fit into drawers, including refrigerated, dishwasher, warming and even microwave drawers. This trend satisfies the desire that consumers have for an uncluttered, fully customized and integrated kitchen with multiple zones for food prep and storage.

The great pretenders
What's new in countertops? At the higher end, composites are giving granite competition. While the natural beauty of stone will always be a draw, composites like Corian's Zodiaq and Cosentino's Silestone – made from quartz particles and a synthetic binding element – have the properties of granite (such as strength, durability and heat-resistance) but offer more choice in colour and finishes and a guaranteed consistency in appearance. But the real news is that laminates are looking great in today's market. Their more natural-looking appearance and more sophisticated details – like ogee trim – give laminates an edge over other granite imposters: price.

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