Kitchen, bath design trends take a minimalist, hassle-free turn

Tuscan, provincial and country-rustic looks are fading in popularity in kitchens and baths, and contemporary designs with clean lines, minimal ornamentation and easy maintenance are rapidly taking their place, according to a style report released this week by the National Kitchen & Bath Assn.

The industry group surveyed its members about trends in kitchen and bath design. Other findings include:

• Gray color schemes are expected to increase sharply in kitchens and baths in 2014. In the kitchen, white and off-white are the top color schemes. In the bath, beige, bone, white and off-white dominate.

• Traditional and transitional styles are still in demand, and Shaker is heating up.

• In the master bath, soaking tubs are growing more popular and freestanding tubs are on the rise. Jetted tubs are declining, but steam showers are gaining ground.

• Universal design features such as shower benches, comfort-height toilets and vanities, microwave drawers and touch-activated or touch-less kitchen faucets are in demand.

• Cherry, maple and alder are the most popular wood kitchen cabinets, but walnut is expected to take off this year. Glass cabinet doors remain a favorite look. Painted finishes in colors other than white may edge out white painted finishes.

• Quartz is expected to pull ahead of granite as the favored countertop and vanity-top material. Demand for countertops made with recycled materials is expected to grow.

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