New tech, multifunctional sinks, quartz – check out what's new and trending in kitchen design
Credit: Julia Dilworth

New tech, multifunctional sinks, quartz – check out what's new and trending in kitchen design

Kitchen renovations are usually the most costly in your home, so when industry professionals are dispensing advice, homeowners sit up and listen.

Such was the case last month when one of the Kitchen and Bath Association’s Top 30 Under 30 designers, Jamie Banfield, took the stage at the Vancouver Home and Design Show to talk about what’s new and trending in kitchens.

Click through for 10 of the hottest trends in kitchen design

New Tech

New Tech

Smart Appliances

Technology has come a long way in the last couple of years. From small appliances to innovations with refrigerators, these are exciting times, according to Banfield.

The touch screen isn’t exclusive to the smartphone and it’s hitting the market in all shapes and sizes on kitchen appliances. When it comes to the fridge, new technological advances mean the fridge can catalogue groceries inside and offer recipes with available items. Like “your little personal assistant at home,” Banfield said devices can order goods for you when you’re running low, and devices like the Egg Minder can tell you when food has gone bad.

Kitchens of the Future Going Green

Next Banfield showed the audience a photo of the Urban Cultivator (pictured above). Developed locally in Surrey, this small unit grows herbs right in your kitchen (as seen on Dragon’s Den).

“Probably in a couple years from now you’ll actually see parts of a kitchen just laid out/designed just for growing,” said Banfield.

Now We’re Cooking… with Induction

Now We’re Cooking… with Induction

Gas is never going away, asserts Banfield, but a new cooking trend growing in popularity is the witchcraft-ian method: induction. Showing the crowd photos of boiling bots on the same element as frozen ice, Banfield explained that induction works by way of magnets (not magic) that transfer heat to the cooking device only, such as pots and pans, as opposed to the element. Banfield said this is a great feature for those with kids or the visually impaired who could turn on the stove accidentally.

The Multifunctional Sink

The Multifunctional Sink

“Sinks these days, they’re turning into full-functioning units, where we want to have storage for our scrubbies, little trays where we can wash our vegetables, strainers and all the little gadgets that can go with them,” said Banfield of the growing trend. Multiple accessories, multiple sink stations, people are asking for more, more, more, said Banfield, because they’re putting more emphasis on the time they spend in the kitchen, and the necessity of accommodating three to four people cooking at once.

When it comes to faucets, increased functionality is also the trend du jour. And hands-free and one-touch technology has been kicked up a notch to go beyond simply turning the faucet on and off, but also altering pressure and temperature. 

The Classic Kitchen

The Classic Kitchen

“Classic kitchens are always going to be pretty much white,” said Banfield. “White will always be on trend – it’s probably the safest kitchen for resale.”

White in the kitchen is eternally popular for good reason he explained, as it shows clean and blends well with any hue or tone, making it easy to customize a personal look.

Characteristics:

  • White painted/opaque, raised/flat doors
  • Natural marble stone flooring and backsplash
  • White/grey countertops, stainless steel

 

The Transitional Kitchen

The Transitional Kitchen

According to Banfield, the Transitional Kitchen is the one that’s going to save marriages. This is because it’s possible to merge opposing styles, such as contemporary and traditional, instead of homeowners having to confine themselves to just one look.

Typically very monotone, there is a mixture of some sort of contrast either in colour or texture, said Banfield.

Characteristics:

  • Two-tone
  • Dark/light: Stain/painted
  • Travertine, mid-tones, warm 

The Contemporary Kitchen

The Contemporary Kitchen

“We see a lot of this,” said Banfield. “It can be a more cost-effective way to install kitchens, because they’re flat doors typically. They could be laminates, veneers, could be fewer drawers — very minimalistic, so we’re seeing a lot of this coming though in new condo developments and stuff like that because it is a simpler way to install.”

Characteristics:

  • Bold colour
  • Play with scale and proportion
  • Square edges, glass/metal cabinetry
  • Integral paneled appliances, slab doors

Reusing Materials

Reusing Materials

Even in brand new builds, homeowners want used, repurposed pieces with a touch of character. Such items are environmentally friendly, but also unique details that won’t be found anywhere else. Live edge and reclaimed wood products are also having a moment for this reason; people want locally sourced and sustainable, said Banfield.

One of the designer’s favourite one-stop-shops for the pre-loved is Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver’s ReStore. At locations in Vancouver, Burnaby and North Vancouver, you can find all sorts of home items from hardware to bathroom sinks discounted around 50 to 70 per cent off. 

Quartz No. 1 in Countertops

Quartz No. 1 in Countertops

“Quartz is man-made and it mimics the feel of natural stone,” said Banfield. “But it comes with a warranty.” It’s likely a bit more expensive than a natural stone and it is a lot more expensive than laminate, said the designer, but what this trend tells us is that consumers are willing to pay more for quality and for something that is going to last. This ties into the fact that most consumers are staying put and renovating, putting money into the house instead of buying new, explained Banfield.

A mainstay for British Columbians, Banfield said shades of greys and whites remain popular choices in quartz. Look out for the Calacatta Nuvo from Ceaserstone said Banfield, as it’s a white slab that offers the natural look of marble, but the durability (and warranty) that comes with quartz.  

On the Floor

On the Floor

“The No. 1 flooring in the kitchen is actually hardwood flooring,” said Banfield. “That’s what we’re seeing all through Canada and the U.S.”

Banfield said this could be because of its warmth and softness over concrete or tile. Wood floors are easier on the back and more forgiving on dropped glassware. Hardwood or engineered hardwood also has the benefit of being updatable. Over time, you can touch it up or refinish it as needed.

As far as trends go in hardwood flooring, textured, grainy and au naturel is in, as well as big, “beefy” planks, up 12-inches wide and eight-feet long. 

In the Zone

In the Zone

After years of open concept living, people are seeking more intimate, closed off spaces, said the designer. “They want to maybe make some portions of the space open and some closed off. They want to be able to entertain and be involved in the conversation, but they also want to go sit and read a book.”

To zone off more personal spaces, Banfield suggested adding partitions, or a second, more centred kitchen island, or varying heights to create nooks for different activities in parts of the kitchen counters or islands.

Want to see more of Jamie Banfield’s trending designs? Check out his new cabinet line, the Banfield Collection, launching this fall in partnership with Troico Manufacturing.