Best in Kitchen and Bath Trends

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Winning ideas from the 2008 NKBA Design Trends Competition
October is National Kitchen
& Bath Month, and if these zones are on your remodeling wish list, now’s the ideal time to transform them for enjoyment over the holidays and a great return on investment when you sell. The professional members of the National
Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) offer plenty of inspiration in an online
tour of

Winning ideas from the 2008 NKBA Design Trends Competition

October is National Kitchen

& Bath Month, and if these zones are on your remodeling wish list, now’s the ideal time to transform them for enjoyment over the holidays and a great return on investment when you sell. The professional members of the National

Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) offer plenty of inspiration in an online

tour of the

href="http://www.nkba.org/consumer_inspiration_2008_dc_winners.aspx?category=bestof&type=2008%20Best%20Overall%20Kitchen%20Award%20Winner">2008

Design Trends Competition winners, which focus on emerging trends, kitchen

and bath safety and important design strategies for the way we live today.

As you take a virtual stroll

through these beautiful, functional rooms, watch for the following trends that

can find a home in your own kitchen and bath.

style='font-family:Arial'>Trends in the kitchen

  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Smart

    sink, expanded space: In Areti

    Tanya Rentzos’

    href="http://www.nkba.org/consumer_inspiration_2008_dc_winners.aspx?category=small_kitchens&type=First%20Place">first-place

    winner for small kitchen design, the selection of a clever corner sink

    helped to expand the valuable counter space.


  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Island

    entertainment: In kitchens of

    any scale, a wis

    style='font-family:Arial'>ely sized island offers additional prep space, storage

    for serving pieces and equipment, and can even go mobile as a roving

    entertainment center.


  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Light

    effects: Skylights and

    solatubes bring the beauty of natural light

    style='font-family:Arial'>indoors, especially in tight spaces, and finish

    style='font-family:Arial'>tex

    style='font-family:Arial'>tures and colors lead to the positive reflections

    that visually enlarge a kitchen.


  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Clear

    cabinets: Glass-front cabinets

    open up possibilities for storage and display, and create the illusion of

    depth. Integration of open shelving in a kitchen provides similar

    advantages.


  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Clever

    concealment: The

    href="http://www.nkba.org/consumer_inspiration_2008_dc_winners.aspx?category=bestof&type=2008%20Best%20Overall%20Kitchen%20Award%20Winner">best

    overall kitchen, designed by Peter Ross Salerno with Joseph Kramer and

    James Paragano, preserves the continuity of and focus on its fine woodwork

    by disguising appliances with coordinating facades. Other award winners

    play similar tricks with dishwasher and warming drawers and hideaways for

    countertop appliances.


  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Many

    rooms in one: Recognizing that

    kitchens are often the hub of a family’s daily activity and connection,

    several designs incorporate message centers, mini offices and even

    refreshment stations to prevent traffic clashes during kitchen rush hours.


  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Smooth

    transitions: Continuing on the

    theme of household traffic, winning designs also include elements that

    smooth transitions to adjacent living spaces. In the

    href="http://www.nkba.org/consumer_inspiration_2008_dc_winners.aspx?category=bestof&type=2008%20Best%20Before%20and%20After%20Award%20Winner">best

    before-and-after design by

    style='font-family:Arial'>Beverly

    style='font-family:Arial'> St

    style='font-family:Arial'>aal, this is accomplished with widened doorways

    to the dining and living areas, and radius end cabinets that soften the

    entry and lead to the focal point of the new kitchen.


style='mso-spacerun:yes'> 

style='font-family:Arial'>Trends in the bath

  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Take a

    powder with style:

    style='font-family:Arial'>Powder rooms continue to be jewel-box displays of personality, style

    and fun. Vessel sinks, fancy finishes, and thoughtful choices in lighting

    fixtures and accessories help make a statement, as in this year’s

    href="http://www.nkba.org/consumer_inspiration_2008_dc_winners.aspx?category=powder_rooms&type=First%20Place">first-place-winning

    powder room design by Lori W. Carroll.


  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Spa

    scene: The bath as pampering

    escape is another continuing trend, and can be accomplished even in a

    small space. Whirlpool tubs and air baths offer chromatherapy and

    aromatherapy features for an at-home spa setup, and natural materials and

    finishes help to create soothing surroundings.


  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Nice

    niches: Making the most of

    otherwise unused wall space, decorative niches provide openings for

    storage and dramatic displays.


  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Built-in

    benches: As both comforting

    conveniences and aging-in-place solutions, built-in shower and bath

    benches are making frequent appearances in bathroom designs, such as the

    href="http://www.nkba.org/consumer_inspiration_2008_dc_winners.aspx?category=small_bathrooms&type=Third%20Place">winning

    small bathroom created by Tanya L. Woods.


  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Monochrome

    minus monotony: As in the

    kitchen, color and texture

    choices can make all the difference in the mood and spatial impression of

    a space. Monochromatic palettes visually expand small spaces, and in

    href="http://www.nkba.org/consumer_inspiration_2008_dc_winners.aspx?category=large_bathrooms&type=Honorable%20Mention">larger

    bathrooms such as Tracey Scalzo’s elegant design, they maximize light

    while lending a sense of calm.


  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Surrounded

    in warmth: Heated towel bars

    and radiant flooring provide luxurious comfort, particularly in

    cold-winter zones.


  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Convenient

    efficiency: High efficiency,

    low operating costs, minimized environmental impact and dependable results

    are the hallmarks of today’s tankless hot water heaters, now appearing in

    the most progressive bath designs.


Note: Tom Kraeutler is the Home Improvement Editor for AOL and host of The Money Pit, a nationally syndicated home improvement radio program. To find a local radio station, download the show’s podcast or sign-up for Tom’s free weeklye-newsletter, visit the program’s website.


Tom's latest book,

href="http://www.myhomemymoneypit.com/">My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to

Every Home Improvement Adventure, is available in bookstores everywhere

and online.

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