(BPT) - After a year full of unpredictability, many of us gained a newfound appreciation for our kitchens and the many purposes they serve. The heart of the home is getting the attention it deserves as homeowners realize the importance of having a multi-faceted kitchen and are ready to invest in new solutions for the way we now live. According to a recent U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, homeowners are likely to focus on upgrades such as countertops, backsplashes and other surface refreshes like island bases and cabinet fronts. These relatively easy updates can be transformative and deliver a dramatic new look in days.
If you're ready to set out on a kitchen surface overhaul, here are four design elements expected to dominate kitchen surface trends in 2022:
1. Nature-Inspired Designs
As we all continue to spend more time at home, there has been a renewed sense of wanting to bring the outdoors in through nature-inspired design elements. We've never needed the healing powers of nature more than we do now, so it's no surprise that biophilic design - the practice of creating a closer connection to nature through building, design and landscaping considerations - is set to be one of the top design trends this year.
For kitchen surfaces, homeowners are seeking natural-looking materials that are also durable and easy to maintain. Stone-inspired looks, like marbles and granites, are highly sought after for countertops, backsplashes and islands, and can be found in new colors and patterns in engineered quartz, solid surface and even in high pressure laminate (HPL) for more budget-conscious consumers. Natural textures are also in high demand. From the continued love of stones to the growing popularity of natural woven materials and exotic woodgrain looks, a textured finish can provide a whole new look and feel to a space.
Wilsonart® Home can help homeowners achieve these looks with designs inspired by the world around us. The collection of engineered surfaces keeps the whole design space in mind and is versatile enough to be used anywhere - on countertops, cabinets, walls and everything in between.
Fueled by the decline in travel during the pandemic, homeowners are looking to replicate the sophisticated style and comforts of an upscale hotel or luxury resort in their homes - further blurring the lines between residential and commercial design.
White marbles, especially Carrara marble, continue to be one of the most sought-after looks to achieve this sophisticated, resi-mercial style and looks beautiful when incorporating a waterfall edge. Thanks to engineered materials like ultra-durable acrylic solid surface, homeowners can achieve the luxurious look of marble without the price tag and maintenance of natural stone.
Industrial design is another staple in this trend that continues to evolve as a modern standard. Evoking a minimalist style, this look is softer and more delicate in direction and illustrated through sleek and sometimes darker surface selections perfect for modern spaces.
3. Sustainable and Sanitary
More and more homeowners are showing interest in sustainable alternatives to natural products; alternative materials like laminate, solid surface and quartz mimic the best of Mother Nature without impacting the environment, offering appealing options for eco-conscious consumers.
The pandemic has also led to a focus on cleanliness and regular sanitation of high-touch surfaces like drawers and cabinets, yet not all surfaces are built to handle this challenge. Homeowners prioritizing this are seeking specific features like non-porous, high-performance materials. HPL is a great choice for homeowners looking for a sustainable and sanitary surface option - plus, Wilsonart® HD® Laminate is also available with antimicrobial protection that inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew to keep the surface looking and smelling better, longer.
4. Multi-Functional Formats
Our new hybrid schedules have created the need for 'zoning' and creating spaces within our homes for each activity. More than any other space, the kitchen has taken on a multi-purpose role and the need for flexible design has become essential for today's homeowners.
From cooking and homework to Zoom calls and entertaining, having a countertop material with an on-trend look that can withstand the wear and tear from near-constant use and cleaning is a high priority. Wilsonart® Home offers beautiful, on-trend options for virtually every surface in the home with performance features and price points to suit any lifestyle and budget.
But multi-functionality isn't the only element in high demand. Homeowners are also seeking more elbow room, requesting larger islands and even double islands for added space to accommodate the range of activities.
5. High-Style, Low Maintenance
Our new home-centric lifestyles mean our homes need to perform as never before. Homeowners are increasingly seeking high-style surfaces that will live up to the rigors of everyday life, but which don't require a lot of work to maintain. While granite, marble and other natural stones typically top homeowners' wish lists for their aesthetics, not everyone desires the cost and ongoing maintenance that comes with such materials.
Also emerging from this low maintenance trend, traditional tile is out, and large-format slab backsplashes are in, made from countertop slabs that wrap around the back wall for a bold, grout-free statement. Besides being easy to clean, this look creates a natural design flow from countertop to wall for a clean, modern look that ties the entire room together.
For those looking for kitchen design inspiration to give their homes a fresh look for the new year, visit www.wilsonart.com.