2021 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends

Kitchen Design

What’s Trending in Kitchen & Bath?

Curious what kitchen and bath trends and designs will reign supreme in the new year? We’ve got you covered! The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) released the results of its 2021 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends Report. The report identifies styles, features, and materials that are anticipated to be more popular in the next few years. As well as categories and new products that have the most dramatic impact on today’s kitchens and bathrooms. We’ve broken it down for you to provide specific insights on the most popular design styles of the new year!

You and I know that trends are constantly changing and what comes around, goes around! For kitchens, open layouts with large islands and conversation areas will be popular with more minimalistic styles and touches of organic or natural materials.  Technology in the kitchen and bathroom continues to grow with the need for dedicated device charging/viewing and seamless audio and video communication capabilities rising to new highs.

Kitchen Design Report Highlights Remodeling

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Most homeowners opt to stay in their homes during a kitchen renovation; the rest move out either partially or completely. Homeowners staying put are less likely to experience extreme stress than those who move out, while partial movers are most likely to regret their arrangements. Most movers opt to live with family and friends. There’s no right or wrong answer here, whatever will give you the most peace of mind is what you should go with.

Typical Kitchen Size and Spend

Typical Size and Spend: L-shaped kitchens with large islands will prove to be most popular in the upcoming year, and many times kitchen sizes are increasing to accommodate the layout. The L-shaped kitchen plan is one of the most popular and most classic layouts, for good reason. It is a highly flexible design that can be adapted to many sizes and styles of kitchens. Plus, it is one of the most ergonomically correct kitchen designs in terms of a practical and efficient workflow.  The  NKBA study also concludes that currently, medium-size kitchens prove most common with a typical homeowner spending anywhere from $40- 55K.

Top lifestyle changes after kitchen renovation

  • 1. ) 49% more family time
  •      2. ) 41% more home cooking
  •   3. ) 40% more entertaining

During a kitchen remodel, one of the most important areas you will think about is the floor plan. It influences everything from construction costs to how you spend time with your family.  The NKBA study found that one of the top priorities for homeowners was the need to accommodate a large island and conversation area. To build a larger kitchen design, where you have room to move and the kids have room to scurry about, consider removing a wall between the kitchen and an adjoining living room or dining room. Other key aspects included were incorporating work from home areas, and removing traditional stand-alone kitchen tables.

Tech Transformation

Technology is something that continues to grow each year. Technology in the kitchen continues to grow with top needs being dedicated to charging stations, seamless video communication, and emergency power options for refrigerators. In addition to that, more than half of upgraded faucets are high-tech, boasting water efficiency, no-fingerprint coating or touch-free activation. Other high-tech features such as wireless controls in upgraded appliances and home assistants in upgraded electronics are growing in popularity.

Top Kitchen Design Style Trends

      1.) 55% Contemporary
 2.) 53% Transitional
          3.) 46% Organic/ Natural

In years ahead the report predicts a steady increase in clean, organic, and natural kitchens with recycled materials. The idea being minimalistic looks but loaded with gadgets, higher-end tech. The door styles are leaning more towards those that are easy-to-clean and don’t collect dust.

We have seen the rise of both contemporary and transitional in years past. The appeal of transitional to so many is that this style allows those who live in older homes to make updates without hindering the architectural style of their homes.

Natural or organic design is an up and coming trend that we are seeing more and more of. Brighter, bolder color choices, many are getting tired of the stainless steel and white combo, although classic, homeowners are searching for a more biophilic design. Meaning, they are aiming to bring the outdoors in. This can mean earth tones, like deep greens and blues as well as large viewing vistas. The NKBA study found that most designers are anticipating using whites, grays, beiges, and blues, with some blacks and green to achieve these design looks.

Kitchen Innovation 

Designers as well as vendors and suppliers are seeing the most interesting new products in appliances, cabinets, and faucets. The new product innovation is being driven by adding technology solutions and new styles, colors, and designs. Furthermore, designers are often looking for new styles, colors, and designs to keep kitchen cabinets and sinks fresh and exciting.

  1. Kitchen Countertop Trends

    The countertop is an essential component of the kitchen. It is where all the action takes place. But more than that, the countertop is the foundation of kitchen décor when doing a kitchen renovation. It bares the burden of setting the tone and feel of the space.

    Seeing its importance in kitchen décor, it matters a lot what material, finish, and design you choose for your countertop. The NKBA study found that lighter-colored quartz countertops with slab or long subway backsplashes will be on-trend for the next few years

Faucets, Floors, and Sinks

For kitchen faucets, matte or brushed finishes will be popular in a variety of materials, including stainless, black, and nickel. As for flooring, many kitchen floors in the next few years will likely be hardwood, luxury vinyl plank, tile, or ceramic porcelain. These materials are known for their strength as well as the artistry they can bring to the space. As designers we agree with the study in that we anticipate both stainless and white single bowl, apron, and workstation sinks to dominate in the next few years.

Cooking Appliances On Trend

For cooking, both gas and induction cooktops will be common, along with convection and steam ovens and microwave drawers. What is an induction cooktop? Unlike traditional electric or gas stoves, this cooktop’s “burner” doesn’t emit any heat when turned on. Instead, it emits an alternating electric current—which creates electric currents in the metal pot you’ve placed on top. This, in effect, turns the pot itself into the cooking surface.


Primary Bathroom Trends: Typical Kitchen Size and Spend

Bathrooms come in second to kitchens as places where considerable attention is given to layouts and finishes, and size doesn’t limit the quality of their design. Because less material is required for a smaller bathroom, you may be able to use higher-quality finishes, since you are buying less. From this 2021 NKBA study it was found that for primary bathrooms, the typical homeowner is spending anywhere between $10K and $40K. For layout, homeowners are opting to change their bathroom layout by removing larger bathtubs to increase shower size, taking down walls, and connecting the bathroom to the closet area.

We are seeing more clients request “wet rooms” as well as private toilet areas. Many want to create separate his/ her bathrooms, if they have the space, of course. Another design detail we are seeing being incorporated more and more is an open floor plan with no toe kicks, in addition, we are seeing a lot of requests in the bathroom for more adequate lighting and additional storage. 

Technology in the Bathroom

Like kitchens, technology continues to be important in primary bathrooms. It may seem like there’s not much opportunity for high tech there. After all, the basic things we do there don’t really need tech advancement. But that would be wrong. The bathroom is actually where there is the most potential to improve with technology, especially in saving water and making the space more hygienic. Smart controls for floors/ showers, water conservation, motion-sensor lighting, and leak detector sensors are just a few of the many advancements we will see more of in 2021 and beyond.

Bathroom Innovation Trends

Some designers are and specifiers are seeing new product innovation for showers, bathroom technology, faucets, toilets, and vanities. We are seeing more innovative materials being used for the shower and an increase in bidets, and smart toilets. In years ahead, it is predicted there will be new styles for vanities, especially floating or free standing.

Bathroom Design Styles

Bathroom design styles that promote a clean and calm feeling will be most popular in the next few years. Trends for home decor don’t change too quickly, so you can keep them going for a few years without fear of being ​terribly outdated.  You can also change small things, like the shower curtain or smaller decor elements, to keep a neutral bathroom trendy and fresh. For 2021, designers predict that anything clean and sleek without being too contemporary will be very popular for homeowners. The idea of brighter colors and easy to clean, light surfaces will be very attractive.

Designs are also evolving to include items from several different styles. For example, a modern bathroom may have elements of organic design or a touch of mid-century. The blended styles are becoming more prominent and truly becoming a style of their own.

Bathroom Design Materials

For primary bathroom countertops, many designers will be using light-colored quartz as their countertop of choice. It’s hardly a surprise after the year that was 2020 that bathroom trends into 2021 are very much headed up by the trend for home spas. This means we can expect to see lighter colors, painted or wood grain finishes, as well as floating or free standing vanities.

Primary bathroom storage is key, especially for linens. Vanities or medicine cabinets with electrical outlets, backlighting, and connected mirrors will also be popular in 2021.

Bathroom Flooring and Lighting

Bathroom flooring can make a big statement, whether it’s a large master bathroom or a small powder room.  It provides the foundation and tone for the room.  Generally, you want it to be pretty, stylish, and practical…practical for cleaning and for safety. For flooring, ceramic porcelain tile will be key, especially with the addition of heat. Designers will be using multiple lighting sources in bathrooms, in mirrors, showers, sconces, and vanities with the addition of dimmer switches, motion sensors, or connected controls.

Bathroom Shower and Tub Options

Many shower features applicable for aging are becoming popular, especially a built-in seat, zero clearance entry, and grab bars. We, as designers anticipate freestanding or soaking tubs will be most popular in years to come as we have seen a steady incline in recent years past. The appeal of this is they take up less room and are typically easier to clean.

There you have it. We’ve shared the trends industry experts agree will be gracing kitchens and baths in 2021. Remodeling your kitchen or bathroom is a significant investment and understanding the market and trends will help you in deciding to move forward with your decision. We think the more you know going into it, the better you will appreciate the entire process! With excellent new brands popping up and lots of innovative design ideas on display, there are plenty of on-trend looks and state-of-the-art appliances and fixtures to pick from for your 2021 project!

About the NKBA

The NKBA is the world’s leading trade association for the kitchen and bath industry providing tools, research, certification, and events to thousands of professionals. The National Kitchen + Bath Association (NKBA) is a non-profit trade group that promotes professionalism in the kitchen and bath industry. Established in 1963 as a network of kitchen dealers, it has evolved into the premier association of designers, retailers, remodelers, manufacturers, distributors, fabricators, installers, and other industry professionals.

Today, the NKBA represents an unparalleled network of peers, tools, and resources designed to support professional growth and business success. To view the full NKBA 2021 Trends Report click HERE

Wondering how your ideas and goals for your space in 2021 might look when designed by one of our Certified Professional Kitchen Designers? To get started, we’d love to send one of our qualified professional designers to your home and explore the options with you.  Contact us HERE or chat with us below to find out more.

About Drury Design Kitchen and Bath Studio

Founded by Gail Drury, CMKBD in 1987, Drury Design’s Client Focused Design™ approach integrates design recommendations, materials selection, and construction management into one seamless customer design, project management, and build experience. For kitchen, bath, and home remodeling ideas view Drury Design’s design portfolio or stop by the studio at 512 N. Main Street in downtown Glen Ellyn, Illinois.