Kitchen & Bath Design News

AUG 2019

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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designs that maximize as much space as possible. We're seeing this translate through an increase in built-in storage features – like open shelving, drawer inserts and bathroom cabinets with designated areas for toiletries." Bathroom storage is increasingly acces- sorized with specialized features and power access. Those can include GFCI-rated outlets and USB ports. "A huge trend we are seeing is electrical inside the cabinets," comments Rev- A-Shelf 's McPeek. These accommodate device chargers, as well as curling irons, hair dryers and other corded bathroom items. "By adding an electrical outlet to the cabinet you reduce cords running across the counter and allow additional access to the appliances," she says. Accessories include magnifying mirrors, scale holders, grooming tool holders, waste bins and more. "Anything that reduces clutter and gets things off the floor is in. We're seeing lots of purpose-driven storage like pullouts with inte- grated power, hair dryer holders, etc.," comments Häfele's Kaminski. Charging stations built into base and wall cabinets are both popular. "Homeowners and designers are specifically looking for vanities with extra storage applica- tions when making purchasing decisions. Not only does integrated storage help enhance the bathroom aesthetic, but it provides practical solutions, too," Gifford comments. Yang points to Marie Kondo's minimalism as an influence in bathroom design – albeit a challenging one. "It is an exceedingly function- al space, and its convenience and usefulness depend heavily on the ability to efficiently store a wide array of everyday essentials." While Kondo's philosophy is to reduce your possessions to those that truly add value and "spark joy," the bathroom is a tough place to do that. Using the space well becomes critical; that's where design- er and manufacturer come together in providing creative, strategic solutions. Space is optimized by using the recesses under sinks and around pipes with pull-out drawers, and expanding wall storage that might once have been met with medicine cabinets. The latter are not going away either, though they've certainly gotten sleeker, more sophisti- cated and, in many instances, larger. TECHNOLOGY-ORIENTED Wall, tall and base cabinets are likelier than ever before to incorporate technology, with charging space for phones, built-in speakers and TV and smart home access for news and information. It's probable that in the next few years, biometric information will also be made available through linked fitness trackers. Technology is showing up in other ways, too, acknowledging our ever-present phones. Several bathroom accessory lines now include phone shelves above toilet paper holders, so your clients don't have to worry about their devices tumbling into water or crashing onto tile floors. STYLE CUES There are certainly still traditional and transi- tional bathrooms being designed, but the domi- nant trends right now are modern. You see it in the clean lines and shapes. Some feature sexy curves. Others pursue linear forms. Finishes range from wood-toned neutrals to "pops of color," says Larkin. It's not uncommon to see two finishes in one installation. This is a great opportunity to express your own and your clients' creativity. You can also do this by venturing into one of the newer surfaces. Thin porcelain cladding, seen at recent shows and accommodated by new European hinges, is coming on strong in cabinetry. It offers some advantages in durability and low maintenance. Glass is coming on strong, too, showcased at numerous European shows, both for fronts and countertops. Don't overlook sophisticated laminates and interesting hybrid materials like Fenix NTM, a velvety soft, smooth laminate-solid surface blend, when choosing surfaces for your bath- room cabinetry and tops. Hardware is going minimal, like in small finger loops, Larkin says, or it's disappearing al- together, as shown in numerous kitchen shows here and abroad. Hardware that is included is most often transitional or contemporary, beautifully sculptural and in one of the newer finishes, like matte black or brushed gold. LAST WORDS "Good design becomes great whenever it be- comes easier to organize a daily routine," says Hasting's Gifford, and where does daily routine b egin and end, but in the bathroom! These can be challenging spaces to design – and not necessarily the most profitable ones in terms of storage sales – but rewarding in their tremen- dous p otential to enrich clients' lives and create new repeat and referral business. ▪ Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS, MCCWC is an independent design consultant in San Diego, the author of New Kitchen Ideas That Work and the New Bathroom Idea Book (Taunton Press), a design journalist, and NKBA Chapter Presenter. Her website is She was named one of Kitchen & Bath Design News' 50 top innovators in its inaugural list. Electrical connections are increasingly showing up in bathroom storage. Pops of color are showing up in creative vanities. Glass is showing up stylishly on vanity fronts and tops. Medicine cabinets are adding internal phone charging stations, LED lighting and other technology features. Phone holders have become popular bathroom accessory add-ons. Photo: Rev-A-Shelf, LLC Photo: Robern Photo: Dean Larkin Design/ Adrian Van Anz Photo: Dezi Home Photo: Hastings Tile & Bath 32 Kitchen & Bath Design News • August 2019 TREND SPOTTING

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