In so many ways the pandemic has changed the way we live, and this couldn’t be more true than it is for kitchen and bathroom design. As two of the most-used spaces in a home, these rooms are getting elevated in new and exciting ways. Today, I want to share ten of them with you: 5 for kitchens and 5 for bathrooms.
Before we get started, I want to mention another observation I’ve seen. While it’s true that some amenities (like the 10 I’m sharing with you today) are seeing more popularity than others, I’ve also noticed that we all seem to care a little bit less what others think.
These days, we are looking less to others and more to our own inner creativity as we make design decisions. I think this is such a positive change — and I am really loving the confidence I’m seeing to live life more boldly and unapologetically!
So as you browse these new kitchen and bathroom design ideas, pay attention to how they make you feel. Do you love them, or just like them? Do they inspire any other creative ideas? Lean into those feelings and what they tell you about your preferences and goals.
5 Emerging Features in Kitchen Design
The kitchen is the heart of the home, and while traditional functionality is always in style (for cooking, baking, etc.), these days, the kitchen is becoming a social space. I’m seeing clients eager for a kitchen island where they can sit around with their kids (or grandkids) or as a place to host friends for wine nights or dinners. What design features are accompanying these new desires?
Open shelving is a warm, homey feature that is growing in popularity. I love it because you can feature personal items like books, picture frames, pottery, and artwork. But these shelves don’t have to be “just for show”. You could use them for everyday and special occasion items, as you see fit. In the project above, the clients from the Art Lover’s Infill opted for open shelving to highlight their treasures.
Another benefit? When you replace upper cabinets with open shelving, you also create a sense of openness, making the space feel bigger, brighter, and more inviting.
Most people wouldn’t think of the kitchen as a place to decorate, but it absolutely is — and that trend is growing. One of my favourite decorative elements for kitchens are wall sconces. This additional lighting adds a dynamic layer of warmth that gives you the ability to adjust the atmosphere in the room from intimate to bright, depending on the occasion. Above, the wall sconces in the Lakeside Walkout project bring warmth and charm to the room.
More and more, I’m seeing clients opt to hide those cold-looking stainless steel appliances. Instead of shiny and silver, they are looking for a softer look. We can achieve this by adding paneled appliances that create a seamless built-in look. You can even extend the look by implementing built-in millwork and plaster hood fans, like we did in the kitchen above.
There are two backsplash options that are gaining steady popularity right now. The first (above) is a handmade glazed tile that offers a warm and welcoming take on the subway tile craze of the past few years. The vintage, tumbled look also allows for new tile shapes and includes a classic square shape.
The second style gaining popularity is a slab backsplash (above). A slab backsplash uses the countertop material and runs continuously up the wall. This style of backsplash is often taken all the way to the ceiling or to the underside of the upper cabinets for an elegant yet natural look.
Pro Tip: If your slab backsplash runs up to the underside of the upper cabinets, you can add a shelf to display decor and personal pieces that tell a story.
Many of our clients are saying goodbye to stark white cabinetry, too. Instead, cabinet finishes are starting to warm up, from soft shades of cream and taupe to light-toned woods, like the oak cabinetry in our Family Friendly Heritage Kitchen above.
5 New Features in Bathroom Design
You’ve seen what’s happening in kitchens. Now, what design elements are coming to bathrooms? It all starts with self-care…
Larger Showers & Freestanding Soaker Tubs
Bathrooms are playing a larger and more important role in self-carel. Key among the desired amenities are larger showers and freestanding soaker tubs. In addition to bringing the luxury spa feeling right into your home, these pieces make a beautiful statement — especially if you have a view to enjoy.
Since many people are eager to throw trends out the window and embrace what they love, it’s no surprise that mixing design styles has become the norm. Bathrooms are a great place to mix vintage and modern pieces in a fresh and interesting way.
For example, you can design a bathroom with intricate millwork, arched doors, freestanding tubs next to sleek plumbing, and a statement chandelier, like this Regency East Bathroom from Kohler. Or you can add character to a minimalist and modern bathroom by pairing traditional lighting and era-specific faucets.
Wallpaper can transform and elevate a space instantly, and I am loving how many people are starting to embrace wallpaper these days. With options from soft and calming to bold and colourful, you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for. If you want a rejuvenating spa aesthetic, I suggest using a natural textured grasscloth in a neutral. (P.S. Don’t forget to add comfy seating to your bathroom!)
Like in kitchens, people are starting to feel more creative and daring with their bathroom design, which means embracing colour. Great places to pop colour into your design include sinks, cabinets, tiles, and walls. This Botanical Baroque Bathroom from Kohler has stunning pops of blue and gold in the shower tiles, basin, and wallpaper.
Along with self-care, living well, and enjoying life to the fullest, we have a whole suite of additional luxury amenities that I’m seeing highly requested. These amenities include heated towel bars and floors, TVs and speakers, fireplaces, and steam showers. Steam, especially, has a lot of health benefits!
I love seeing how general preferences change with the times, but at the end of the day, my focus is always on you. I strive to design spaces that feel like a timeless reflection of you, what you love, and what makes you feel like coming home to yourself. I don’t take responsibility lightly!
Until next time,
Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have clear skin and washed my face daily with only a washcloth (I also wore almost no makeup). To this day, I still love the idea of a simple, clean skincare routine. But, unfortunately, a lot of organic, chemical-free products are a significant investment!
I recently came across the Om skincare line at Ash Refillery and have fallen in love with a few of their products. And they are located in one of my favourite areas (Invermere, BC), where I have spent many summers as a kid and adult!