KBIS 2024 Touched on K&B Trends and the Evolving Luxury Client

Published: June 11, 2024

Five Key K&B Trends Shaping the Future of the Kitchen

Today’s kitchens are best described as central gathering places for family and friends. According to Tricia Zach, head of research for NKBA, kitchens are multifunctional spaces that play a vital role in the daily lives of many people. Homeowners are prioritizing the investments they make in their kitchens.

  1. Personalized Design. Projects now align with how homeowners cook and entertain and their lifestyles. There is less a need to design for resale value, and timeless and classic looks are still desired. Clients want something personal designed just for them, and this can run the gamut from pet needs to specialized organization.
  2. Homeowners still want open floor plans, and kitchens are getting larger. Eat-in kitchens are used more than formal dining rooms, and dedicated beverage areas, and larger islands for socialization are gaining in popularity.
  3. Healthy Living. Design should contribute to healthy cooking and eating and the home in general. Clients are asking for drawers for fresh fruit and veggies and appliances that perform more than one function. A connection to the outdoors promotes health and wellness as does improved indoor air quality.
  4. Minimalistic Design. Homeowners want less clutter, European-style cabinets, integrated appliances and appliance garages. They are also asking for a walk-in and/or separate pantry for more storage, as well as prep/back kitchens for daily food prep.
  5. Well-Curated Lighting. Layered lighting can maximize function and elevate aesthetics. Larger-than-life lighting and lighting as a statement piece is staging a comeback. Lighting can help with safety as well, and different needs require different illumination levels.

Top photo: This kitchen created by Bahar Zaeem and Shima Radfar of Toronto-based RZ Interiors caters to a more minimalistic design with European-style cabinets and integrated appliances. Photo credit: Ryan Fung/Ryan Fung Photography

Five Key K&B Trends Shaping the Future of the Bath

Gone are the days when the bathroom was place to get in and out of quickly while getting ready for school or work. Today’s spaces are those in which homeowners want to spend quality time and relax.

  1. Lifestyle/Wellness. Clients want spaces they have seen on vacation and those that nurture their health and wellness – both physical and mental. Designers are replacing walls with windows to bring the outdoors in and adding spa-like elements like cold water plunge tubs and saunas.
  2. Primary baths are larger than ever and include such amenities as wine bars and gyms. Clients are opting to remove tubs to enlarge showers, take down walls to increase the footprint, connect baths to the closet/dressing area and include a separate space for the toilet. They want skylights to make the space feel larger.
  3. Technology/Innovation. Smart options include everything from shower systems and heated floors to chromatherapy and smart toilets with heated seats. More clients are using home automation to control lighting and window treatments and integrate sound.
  4. Layered lighting can take a space from ordinary to extraordinary. It also offers new levels of ease, safety and comfort. It can be used to make a bathroom safer, can also been seen as the jewelry of the room and can be used to set the mood in a space.
  5. Focal Points. Attention-grabbing elements in the bathroom can include tubs, vanities, oversized showers and chandeliers. Sinks can be a focal point with a colorful style, as can faucets and mirrors.

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Designer Kathleen Donohue, CMKBD, of Neil Kelly Co. in Bend. Ore., had more than one focal point in this primary bath, including the decorative light fixture and the floating vanity. Photo credit: Tim Cotter/Tim Cotter Photography

NKBA Presents: The Evolving Luxury Customer

It used to seem like luxury was out of reach for certain demographics, and now it is expected in some way, shape or form by almost everyone. According to Pamela McNally, SVP marketing & digital, NKBA, these days luxury is defined by an authentic experience and the feelings it conveys. It is also about individualization and having something different than everyone else.

Key Takeaways:

  • Younger generations – who are driving the luxury shift – equate with elements that are organic, unique and exclusive.
  • Luxury retail stores are coming back because people want the experience of visiting a location and touching the products.
  • Luxury is more about self-expression and less about status.
  • Simple, clean designs; wood and metal accents; and high-tech appliances define luxury today.
  • Future asks will include outdoor chef kitchens, home gyms with sauna/steam and home theaters.
  • Luxury is about the freedom to be who you are, live in a space you like and travel where you want.
  • Sustainability is also part of the luxury experience; these clients want long-lasting products.
  • Technology is wave of the future for luxury because of its convenience.

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