Top Kitchen & Bath Trends for 2016

Counter Materials

Talking about trends always invites a strong reaction from people. There are some who hate the very idea of following trends, while others live and die by them. While I never plan my renovations according to what’s trendy (it’s not a good idea when it comes to ROI), it’s always interesting to see what’s popular and what people are currently interested in. After all, there are some trends that disappear as quickly as they came, but there are others that end up lasting the test of time.

Here are some of the top kitchen and bath trends I expect to see in the coming year. What are your thoughts – are these trends here to stay?

Kitchen Trends

Neutral Colors – Good news for everyone who likes light, neutral kitchens. Now not only are they great for ROI, but they’re also right on trend. White kitchens are still at the top of the list, but other soft neutrals such as grey, cream and beige will be popular this year. I know a lot of people complain about not seeing enough color in kitchens, but if you’re into bold or bright colors use them for elements like lighting, window treatments and accessories. There’s no reason why you can’t have a colourful kitchen while still having neutral cabinets, tile and paint colors.

Ep 106 Kitchen

Open Shelving – Love it or hate it, open shelving isn’t going anywhere yet. It’s practical for a couple of reasons: it can fit into awkward spaces more easily than traditional cabinets, and it’s significantly less expensive. The most common argument I hear against it is that dishes can get dirty or collect dust, but when dishes are in regular use the amount of dust that collects is really minimal.

Kitchen Lighting

Smart Design – With more people using their smartphones and tablets in the kitchen it’s going to be more important than ever to have built-in charging stations and storage for devices. Gone are the days of looking up recipes in cookbooks. If you want to look up a recipe you need to be able to pull out your fully charged tablet and have a spot to prop it up (or hang it) while you cook. If you’re planning a kitchen renovation this year make sure to incorporate charging stations and device storage (like the one in this photo from Consumer Reports).

Kitchen Charging Station

Bathroom Trends

Getting Rid of the Tub – This is a trend I’m not crazy about. In the majority of homes the shower gets used a lot more than the tub and as a result people seem to be getting rid of tubs completely and instead opting for spacious, stand up shower stalls with all sorts of bells and whistles. While this might suit your personal tastes, it’s not a great idea when it comes to ROI. Check out my showers vs tubs article for more info about the pros and cons of each.


Creative Tile Patterns

In the past there hasn’t been much to get excited about in the way of bathroom tile, but this year I expect to see a lot more creativity. Colors will remain neutral, but herringbone and basketweave patterns will be creeping into shower stalls with a lot more frequency. Using traditional, neutral subway tile in a new way is a great way to play with design without sacrificing ROI.


Heated Floors – Those of us who live in cold climates know how cold bathroom floors can get. Fortunately heated bathroom floors are becoming increasingly popular. Not only are they more comfortable, but they help dry out the moisture and humidity that’s so prevelant in bathrooms. For more info about the pros, cons and return on investment check out this article on heated flooring.

Bathroom Floor

What are your thoughts about these trends? Are you in favor or do you think they’ll disappear by the end of the year? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.


All photos courtesy of Skit Inc. except kitchen charging station – photo by Mark Lund Photography via Consumer Reports

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