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Fresh Trends in Kitchens and Baths

Use these inspiring new looks to maximize your makeover.

Design trends can be as fickle as April sunshine, but with these expert tips you'll be in-the-know on the latest styles for your kitchen and bath.

Cabinets

While chocolate dominated wood finishes last year, warm medium brown is the go-to color this year. Cherry tops the list of favorite woods, and there is a growing sense of refinement in finishes. As in color trends, chocolate is being replaced by gray or black and here, it's showing up as black furniture and cabinets. As a counter-trend, white-washed wood is prevalent in the Seaside Cottage style. Simple, flat-panel cabinets with clean doors are emerging as part of the Modern style.

Natural Stone and Solid Surfaces

In keeping with the refinement shown in wood finishes, we're choosing granites and other solid surfaces with less movement. We're also choosing stone and ceramic with a natural look, characterized by honed, flamed and burnished finishes.

While one side of the trend leans toward simple, clean lines, the counter-trend is toward sparkling luxury. Glass and stone have taken on frosted effects and many surfaces feature embedded metallics. In general, surfaces are more layered, with flat colors being paired with metallic, pearlescent or sparkling finishes in the same family to create a tone-on-tone scheme.

Metals

Silver is growing in popularity and overtaking gold. Metals continue to have a handcrafted, authentic feel. Look for burnished, hammered, oxidized and antique finishes. The oil-rubbed bronze that has been so popular recently is giving way to lighter bronze or copper.

Styles

Here are some of the most popular emerging styles:

Modern

In stressful times, it's natural to seek simplicity. The Modern style, with its clean lines and unfussy hardware, soothes minds troubled by a down-turned economy, upcoming election and ongoing war. It complements the earthy, simple lines of Zen, Craftsman and Scandinavian decors and pairs naturally with products from the growing eco-friendly movement. Experts say this look will be popular for several years.

European Mediterranean

The other side of Modern, this luxurious, ornate style draws from Spanish, Italian and French designs. It shows up in ornate cabinetry, faux plaster, earthy colors and scrolled ironwork. This trend will keep going strong for several years.

Seaside Cottage

In this laid-back style, comfort is essential. A natural outgrowth of both the shabby chic and burgeoning green movements, the Seaside Cottage look is perfect for families. Look for whitewashed cabinets, islands and vanities, paired with light fabrics and accessories. It can be accessorized in a variety of ways, from nautical to country.

Romantic

This feminine, opulent style harkens to earlier times, when cabbage roses, pink ribbon and antiques were the choice of women everywhere. It shows up in kitchens and bathrooms as crystal chandeliers, ruffled curtains and pink appliances or cabinets.

Resources

Emily Kiker Morrow, CMG
Director of Color, Style & Design, Shaw Industries
Website: www.shawfloors.com

Denise Turner, ASID, CID, CMG
Founder, Color Turners
Website: www.colorturners.com

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