What's New in the Kitchen and Bath

Creating the kitchens and baths that buyers love often separates one builder from another with prospects.

May 01, 2004


Mick De Giulio, CKD, worked with SieMatic on a cabinetry design that marries old and new.

Creating the kitchens and baths that buyers love often separates one builder from another with prospects. The luxury sector leads the rest of the market in cutting-edge designs and products for these important spaces. Gathered here are the latest trends in luxury kitchens and baths.

Matte finishes: They show up on everything from kitchen countertops to bath plumbing. In countertops, honed natural stone, engineered stone and concrete lead the way. Hardware, from faucets to drawer pulls, that looks like it's been around a while captures the imagination of buyers and designers. Finishes include oil-rubbed bronze, antique or patinaed copper, and brushed or satin nickel.

Thicker countertops: Thick, chunky countertops go to the extreme in the kitchen and bath. Six-inch-thick countertops in the kitchen sport details such as chiseled fronts. In the bath, thick countertops appear in material combinations such as glass and timber.


Thick countertops made from unique materials add drama.

Photo courtesy of SieMatic

In the Kitchen

Techno/traditional mix: Classic proportions and traditional elements meet high-tech systems. The result is a classically enduring yet state-of-the-art kitchen that blends handcrafted components and high-tech function.

Open plan evolves: De-signing kitchens to be more open to living areas has been the rage for some time, but the division be-tween the spaces has remained clear. Now this line blurs as stand-alone furniture replaces kitchen cabinetry. Consumers add everything from love seats to the classic recliner to create cozy sitting areas within the kitchen.

Alternative metals: Embossed stainless steel finishes offer the same durability and contemporary elegance as standard stainless but require less cleaning. Look for the iridium finish from Fisher & Paykel as well as carbon stainless and platinum finishes from Sub-Zero.


Cabinets make it possible to migrate kitchen functions to other areas of the home. Photo courtesy of YesterTec Design

Pot fillers: Once a novelty add-on, pot fillers are emerging as a must-have convenience in today's kitchens, where commercial-style stoves and large pots meet the demands of large families and entertaining households.

Sculptural hoods: Ventilation hoods have become the fireplace mantel of the kitchen. Manufacturers are offering more options in hood styles. Designers are making customized design statements through creative use of hood liners and by building out facades with unusual combinations of materials.

Kitchen migration: As busy lifestyles dictate ultimate convenience everywhere, kitchen elements are migrating to other areas of the home. Coffee prep areas, complete with sinks and small appliances, are showing up in walk-in closets. Must-have wine prep stations in all entertainment areas include counter areas and wine coolers.


Hansgrohe's Axor Citterio lavatory faucet (above) features contemporary design details and comes in a chrome or platinum finish.

Contemporary Bath Design's glass panel (below) creates colorful solutions to private spaces.

In the Bath

Modern/traditional mix: Bath faucets combine classic and contemporary details for a modern yet timeless look. Faucets that merge minimalist and fluid contours with traditional details such as art deco and geometric patterning exemplify this sensibility.

Flow free: Faucets that produce natural cascades of water create a spalike experience. Flat, broad spouts that eliminate the aerator create an open water flow for a soothing sound and a look as transparent as glass.

Industrial chic: Popular in urban and contemporary areas, the industrial

look features cross-handle faucets, exposed screws and unfinished metals such as raw brass.

Grab it: New styles and finishes transform the utilitarian grab bar into a trendy - and standard - bathroom safety feature for every home.

Sculptural glass: Icelike glass panels in a range of colors, shapes and textures create privacy. Glass and crystal hardware in geometric shapes and motifs completes the bath space.

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