An Eco-Spin on Today’s Top 10 Kitchen Trends

An Eco-Spin on Today’s Top 10 Kitchen Trends

According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, one in ten households will undergo a kitchen remodel in 2017. It’s supposed to be one of the smartest places to invest! Are you planning a renovation? Be sure to consider the top trends according to NKBA’s 2017 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends report based on a survey taken by 562 NKBA members. They aren’t specifically sustainability-oriented, but – like any home renovation – they certainly can be “greenified.” Here’s an eco-spin on today’s top 10 kitchen trends.

#1 Clean lines, built-ins and simple door styles dominate kitchen designs.

Contemporary- styled kitchens overtake Traditional to be the second most popular design after Transitional. Emerging: Industrial and Mid-Century Modern. Mountain Modern and Coastal are variations on Contemporary.

According to the experts at HouseLogic, “More than 60% of NKBA designers say contemporary, with its sleek simplicity, is the fastest-growing kitchen style. Fussy doodads and decorative and distressed glazes are out. Contemporary looks sleek and clean, but can also come across as cold. The design encourages a non-cluttered look, which can be hard to maintain in a busy home. So it’s better to hedge your bets with transitional design, which combines contemporary and traditional to exploit the best parts of each.”

ECO-SPIN: Choose sleek, sustainable cabinetry.

Composit Recycled Wood Kitchen Cabinets

Composit uses the Idroleb panel, the only panel made of 100% recycled wood and with nearly undetectable formaldehyde emissions. Idroleb is a revolutionary material, a perfect synthesis of environmental safeguarding and customer care.

Composit also takes special care in the finishing division of its factory. Only top-of-the-line, non-toxic paints and finishes are used, ensuring that Composit products are as healthy and safe as possible while still being stunning and superior quality.

#2 White and gray painted cabinets dominate kitchen color schemes and show no signs of slowing down, especially gray.

Blue painted and high gloss cabinets are emerging. For overall color schemes, blue as well as black are emerging.

According to HGTV, “The kitchen industry’s leading manufacturers say that while white cabinets continue to be tops, gray is the shade they’re betting on to break white’s top spot.”

ECO-SPIN: Choose cabinets that have safe finishes.

Crystal Custom Cabinets

Crystal Cabinet Works, Inc. is chain of custody certified, Certificate RA-COC-006651, and may sell FSC® certified cabinetry in select wood species. Chain of custody certification tracks FSC® certified material from the forest to the consumer, allowing consumers to have confidence their wood comes from well-managed forests.

Also, they use no-added formaldehyde (NAF) boxwork, recycled materials, and rapidly-renewable materials. Crystal Custom Cabinets can earn available points for many green building ratings systems, including LEED and the National Green Building Standard as well as local programs.

#3 Two-toned kitchens are gaining in popularity.

Also mixing it up: materials and metals, across surfaces and as accents.

Love white and black? Torn between gray paint and pale pine? Now, you don’t have to choose just one finish for your cabinetry,” write the experts at Divine Design and Build. “2017 will be all about the two-tone, layered look, whether you paint the upper cabinetry one shade and the lower set another, or simply choose a kitchen island in a different finish.”

ECO-Spin: Whatever materials you choose to use, look for eco-friendly options.


Daltile specializes in wall & floor tiling for any style and any room. Their products include a huge selection of wood, metallic, fabric, ceramic, glass, marble, slate, granite, quartz, natural stone, and mosaic materials.

More than 98% of Daltile’s manufactured products contain pre-consumer (post-industrial) recycled materials. This minimizes the use of virgin raw materials to the greatest extent possible. They take water conservation and energy efficiency into consideration in their manufacturing processes. And they divert much of their waste into reuse programs for roads or brick or cement manufacturing.

With so many finish options, you can mix and match finishes to create just the current look you are craving.


#4 While wood cabinets dominate kitchen designs, metal –currently a small segment of the cabinet market — appears to be emerging.

Metal cabinets are most frequently specified by younger and male designers.

“It’s no secret that the mid-century modern look has made a comeback in recent years. And now, it’s making its way into the kitchen with metal cabinets,” writes Jaclyn Crawford for Improvenet. “Coming in varieties of steel, these kitchen cabinets are easy to clean and maintain. Metal kitchen cabinets never need to be refaced and are easy to install. For a low maintenance kitchen upgrade, it might be time to give metal kitchen cabinets a try.”


ECO-Spin: Stainless steel is eco-awesome.

Steel Kitchen Cabinets

What makes steel so sustainable? It’s recyclable, durable, and, compared to other materials, requires relatively low amounts of energy to produce. Steel is actually North America’s top recycled material – more steel is recycled in the U.S. than paper, plastic, aluminum and glass combined, according to the Steel Recycling Institute. Around 90% of water used in the steel industry is cleaned, cooled, and returned to the source, according to the World Steel Association. Even better, water returned to rivers and other sources is often cleaner than before. Steel is also VOC-free, hypoallergenic, and non-toxic.

#5 Furniture-look pieces, rollouts and pullouts and under cabinet lighting (LED) are among the most popular kitchen cabinet features.

Use of crown molding is declining. Rustic and reclaimed woods were frequently mentioned.

“Built-in conveniences have seen a surge in popularity recently,” writes Kim Heinzelmann for Key Residential. “And in the kitchen this often equates to things like pull out drawers for trash and recycling, specialty drawers or cabinets for spice and knife storage, and built in storage for small appliances like mixers or coffee makers so that they aren’t cluttering the counter when not in use but are still easy to access when needed.”

ECO-Spin: The reclaimed wood trend is eco-fantastic.


Old growth trees cut over a hundred years ago offer superior stability, rich patinas, intense grain, even intriguing signs of its previous life including ferrous staining, bolt holes and insect tracks. By recycling wood it’s possible to reduce our dependence on freshly sawn wood and prevent the filling of landfills. In some cases, it’s only through salvaging old wood that species like Chestnut and Elm (both wiped out by blights in the early parts of the 20th century) are still available for use in building projects.


#6 Quartz is the most popular kitchen countertop material, and trending up.

Granite, the second most popular countertop material, is trending down.

Interior designer Amanda Gates says, “GRANITE IS OUT! If you’re about to start a project with any countertops you’ll want to consider using quartz. It’s the number one product on the market right now. It’s durable, has incredible finish options and it’s fresh. Trust me those of us who have been doing projects since the late nineties are so bored of granite.”

ECO-Spin: Find a manufacturer that leans green.

Cambria Quartz Countertops

Quartz is actually significantly stronger than granite and nearly indestructible. Durability = sustainability. Specifying Cambria products in green building projects can also contribute to LEED certification points. All of the surfaces are low-VOC in accordance with GREENGUARD’s Indoor Air Quality standards and cleans easily with no need for chemical detergents.

Among many other eco-initiatives in their manufacturing processes, the company uses Declare to provide transparency, is Living Building Challenge compliant and is certified by Mindful Materials.

But what is even more astonishing is the gorgeous designs at Cambria. Some of them look so much like natural stone that your friends may not believe it is quartz.

#7 Induction cooktops and convection ovens are trending higher, and microwave drawers are outpacing freestanding or built-in microwaves.

Steam ovens still represent a small segment of the market, but are also trending higher.

Induction cooktops offer many advantages to the modern kitchen. They are more energy efficient than other electric cooktops, and even more efficient and faster than gas. Only the pan heats, the burners stay cool to the touch. They only catch there is that your pans must be an inductive metal. You are able to control the temperature very precisely – from extra fast to slow simmer. And cleanup is a breeze with the flat cool top.

ECO-Spin: Once again, choose a manufacturer that leans green.


Induction cooktops are inherently more energy-efficient than gas or electric, so finding a manufacturer that goes above and beyond is your best bet. Electrolux has a company-wide sustainability initiative with a comprehensive set of goals like raising the bar on energy and water efficiency, replacing virgin materials with recycled materials, eliminating harmful chemicals, reducing their eco-footprint by relying on renewable energy, improving sustainability in the supply chain, and more.

#8 Use of technology in the kitchen is increasing.

About one-third of NKBA professionals included wiring and pathways for future tech integration. Also trending upwards: more Internet-connected appliances and docking stations.

According to Bryan Sebring of Sebring Services:

Technology has entered the kitchen in full force and not just in the form of fancy gadgets and appliances. Today, you can have a kitchen with technology integrated into every function and appliance–from the faucets to the fridge to the lighting. This is what we call a smart kitchen.

Smart kitchens are a very modern aspect of design. In fact, a lot of kitchens today are built smart from the ground up. For older kitchens, sensors, smart gadgets and other devices can be added to make them smarter.

You can have sensor-equipped kitchen faucets that can sense the presence of hands underneath and will come on automatically. You could have a fridge that alerts you when your groceries items are running low or a coffee maker that has your coffee ready when you wake up. There is also a device that monitors your eggs, telling you which ones are almost going bad. Do not forget to smarten up your lighting system–allowing you to control different lights from your smartphone or tablet.

ECO-Spin: Choose smart technologies that help save energy and prevent food waste.


The ENERGY STAR® certified refrigerators in Dacor’s Heritage collection have received the prestigious 2017 E-Star Emerging Technology Award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for utilizing environmentally safer refrigerant, and each model showcases industry-leading features including best-in-class storage capacity and an exclusive auto-open door that requires only a light touch to operate.

The units include an elegantly styled, all-stainless steel interior with three-sided tunnel LED lighting. The refrigerators also offer View Inside technology that uses a built-in door camera to provide users with an interior snapshot every time the doors close, making it easy to see exactly which items are inside, simplify the grocery shopping experience, and reduce food waste.

#9 Interior barn and pocket doors in kitchens are trending up.

Abram Hecht of David Hecht Custom Kitchens and Baths writes, “Looking for a way to disguise your pantry or divide your kitchen from your dining room or living room? Interior barn doors, set on wheels to roll like a pocket door are also gaining in popularity, particularly with the rise in transitional designs.”

ECO-Spin: Choose reclaimed wood barn doors.

Reclaimed Lumber Products Sliding Wood Doors

Reclaimed wood is a snapshot of history. Each board is a page out of a storybook. Most of RLP’s material comes from barns in the Northwest that crews have salvaged. These barns have many tales to tell. It is not unusual to be using wood from a barn that is a 100 years old.

The wood we use is salvaged from turn of the century industrial buildings, barns, fences, and outbuildings that otherwise would have been destined to rot, burn, or go to the landfill. The following are some advantages of using reclaimed lumber: stable and dry material, beauty that cannot be manmade or duplicated, individual, unique, tight grain, responsible use of resources, saving materials from being wasted, points for LEED certification from USGBC, made local entirely in the USA with American employees and materials, species and grading that are not commercially available, and timeless beauty like an art piece.

#10 Accessible and/or universal design features continue to trend up for kitchens.

As the population ages, there has been increased focus on designs which allow a homeowner to age in place. HGTV highlights some attractive designs which encompass universal design features such as lower or staggered countertop height, appliances and storage positioned for wheelchair access, wide clearance around islands, and large hardware on cabinets and drawers.


ECO-Spin: Depends on the design feature.

DryHome Sun Solutions Skylights

Natural lighting is beautiful and beneficial to anyone, but a well-lit kitchen is also a part of universal design to accommodate aging eyes. As a matter of fact, we require two-to-three times more light to see by age 60 as we did in our twenties.

With skylights, you will save money through lower energy bills. You also may have potential tax advantages and credits by installing ENERGY STAR® qualified products.

High quality, energy efficient skylights are an important part of building today’s green homes. Skylights, roof windows and Sun Tunnels reduce lighting costs and energy consumptions. Venting skylights minimize the need for air conditions and fans during warmer months.



10 Eco Building Materials Revolutionizing Home Construction

Want to hear some good news? According to the World Green Building Trends 2018 report from Dodge Data and Analytics, green building is officially a “global trend” and energy conservation is a top priority for people all over the planet. There are many choices of new (and old) materials which are being used in revolutionary ways.

Eco Friendly Flooring Product Showcase

As a discerning green homeowner, every choice you make involves a variety of factors. And floors are no exception. You have to love how it looks, like how it feels on your feet, trust that it cleans up without too much effort and lasts a long time – and since you care about the planet that we live on….it needs to be healthy and eco-friendly, too.

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