State Of The Industry: Kitchens & Baths

Prep, serving and clean up are effortless with The Galley Workstation. Shown: Large Mixing Bowl and Natural Golden Bamboo Chef's Block.

Prep, serving and clean up are effortless with The Galley Workstation. Shown: Large Mixing Bowl and Natural Golden Bamboo Chef's Block.

By: Andrea Bernstein Rodarte

Third quarter reports on the spending habits of the American consumer indicated that more money is being invested in kitchen and master bath renovations, exceeding what was predicted for 2018 and more than the growth spurt seen in 2017.

"Home remodeling continues to increase in frequency as more Baby Boomers are electing to age in place and even Gen Xers opt to improve their current homes rather than trading up to newer ones. In fact, home remodeling has surged by about 30% in the past five years." Source:

With this amped up activity in home improvement, new products have come along to whet the consumer's appetite and trends are set in place, splashing across the internet at lightning speed.

Read on for a glimpse at some of the extraordinary developments and trends revealed at national industry shows where they impressed both judges and attendees alike. There is much to capture one's attention and be enthusiastic about.

Renovation and remodeling sales broke records in 2017. The growing shortage of affordable new housing forced many consumers to either improve their existing homes or buy older homes that require substantial repair, instead of purchasing new homes.

-Euromonitor Int'l/USA Report


Always drawing big crowds are the technology trailblazers. Cutting edge products displayed and demonstrated at exhibitor's booths are often the highlight of kitchen and bath industry shows. Smart Homes synching to Smart Appliances synching to Smart Phones. From home security to adjusting your thermostat to turning your oven on to telling the freezer to make more ice, all while you're away from home.


Serve at an IWS7S + IWS3S.jpeg

Wolf continues to set the bar for high-performance and top quality products. Wolf is offering an exciting new alternative to gas cooking with their induction ranges that feature a cooktop with incredible speed and temperature control paired with a convection oven below.

It's common knowledge that guests naturally gather in or near the kitchen. Instead of shooing them away from the sink/prep area, invite them in for a culinary adventure! The Galley makes cooking and serving an interactive experience in entertaining. Their workstations are amazing! "The Galley has grown to be an entire line of super-functional, smart and stylish workstations where one can prep, cook, serve, entertain, and clean up, all in one convenient place," R. Scott Anderson, CEO, The Galley.

So you've decided on an apron-front (farm style) sink for your new kitchen. In addition to white and stainless steel, the popular farmhouse sink is showing in copper and brass. Gorgeous! What style faucet? The popular chrome industrial pull-down faucet with visible hose is not quite right. Consider a single-lever pull-down faucet in a choice of finishes. It's extremely functional and its silhouette suits Modern Farmhouse, Contemporary, Traditional, Old World or Transitional style kitchens. Look for models with a subtle pull-down hand spray to maintain the sleek and simple look.

"When it comes to what’s trending, the list is long: asymmetrical design elements, layered patterns and textures, mixed metals and textures, creative use of tile, dramatic lighting fixtures as a focal point, interesting ceiling treatments, and a move away from the all-white kitchen to embrace more wood tones and richer colors."

- Kitchen & Bath Design News

Aesthetic Appeal

A La Cornue range will be the masterpiece of your kitchen, if not your home.  'They exhibit timeless style and summon an expression of truly refined taste'.

A La Cornue range will be the masterpiece of your kitchen, if not your home. 'They exhibit timeless style and summon an expression of truly refined taste'.

Many of the kitchens on display were contemporary with sleek cabinetry setting the tone. This is what manufacturers are showing but not necessarily reality for consumers who want more warmth and charm for a period style home.

In some cases, it's respecting the history of a home while bringing it forward. In other cases, it's a homeowner's desired aesthetic. Whatever the reason, Modern Farmhouse architecture has been growing in popularity and, along with it, Transitional interior design--a combination of Traditional and Contemporary. Kitchen cabinetry that includes details such as turned legs on oversized islands, and crown moldings, as well as apron-front sinks, pull-down faucets, and granite, marble and quartz worktops.


Black is back and gray to stay. The past decade has been all about stainless steel appliances. Flash forward to 2018 and witness color re-entering the arena. From the most luxurious high performance made-to-order La Cornue, to the black stainless and slate big box store offerings, buyers are breaking away from standard stainless steel. If you're ready to make a slight change, there is black stainless, slate and black slate.

For a swoon-worthy range, nothing tops the culinary showstopper from France. La Cornue has been manufacturing ranges as unique as each owner for over 100 years, pairing the most elegant cooking equipment with cutting-edge performance.

"The robust pace of spending on home renovations and repairs is expected to stay strong over the coming quarters, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The LIRA projects that annual growth in homeowner remodeling expenditure will remain above 7% throughout the year and into the first quarter of 2019."



In addition to kitchens, consumers are spending money on master baths. Specifically, on oversized spa showers with frameless glass enclosures and freestanding tubs. They want spa-like luxury and style. This means clean, sleek, light, spacious and uncluttered. White and gray palettes with stone. quartz and subway tile. Double vanities with loads of storage. High-end basins and faucets. Matte black faucets, accessories and hardware. Gessi offers the ideal option for achieving this trend-forward and increasingly popular look with its Via Manzoni Collection, available in a dramatic matte black finishing.

These are just some of the high points worth mentioning from 2018. Start your wish list now and know that, by the time you're ready to start your new kitchen or bathroom renovation, there are sure to be even more new products on the market and trends being set in motion.

Andrea Bernstein Rodarte is an executive editor and author for national publications including home design--from luxurious kitchens and baths, to gourmet outdoor kitchens, exterior living spaces, sophisticated child-proof pool fencing, and high tech home security systems. With her extensive history in kitchen and bath products and trends, Andrea brings a knowledgeable and unique perspective to her work.

Lindsey McGee