the National Kitchen & Bathroom Association in the USA have just released their annual report for 2013 – in which they have included their top 10 trends for 2013 according to their members.

obviously tastes and trends can differ quite a lot across the atlantic – but there is a good deal of crossover as well.

here are the top ten trends along with our comments and observations

1. Gray color schemes

cannot argue with this – grey is a great colour as it is so neutral and flexible. in the last year there has been a marked increase in interest in neutral colours including grey – probably due to the large amount of renovations taking place

2. Quartz finishes for counter surfaces

quartz has been growing and growing over the last 5 years – however in the last year we have found a greater uptake in Corian and also for high quality german laminates

3. Transitional styles — a blend of traditional and contemporary

hard for us to comment on this as all our traditional kitchens would have a contemporary twist however it does make sense that traditional designs take on board many of the practical features of contemporary kitchens

4. White painted cabinetry in the kitchen

again – not really our thing but white gloss has certainly grown in popularity in the last year

5. Glass blacksplashes

this is certainly a growing trend in Ireland as glass offers a wealth of practical and aesthetic benefits – a great way to bring a splash of reflective colour into the kitchen as well as easy to clean

6. LED lighting

no arguing with this as energy consumption is high on the list of most homeowners in Ireland and in the last couple of years LED lighting has improved greatly in quality of light and choice

7. Touch-activated faucets

thats a new one for me – will have to do a little research on this!!! thats why we keep an eye on kitchens across the pond

8. Satin-nickel finishes in kitchens

i think high gloss has held its own – probably because it is a much easier material to keep and clean

9. Ceramic or porcelain tile flooring

afraid I am not qualified to answer this – try cutting edge tiles next door to us here in our Galway showroom : )

10. Undermount sinks in bathrooms

if anything there has actually been a reverse trend here in Ireland with a move back to inset sinks probably down to the increase in popularity in laminate worktops

so there you go – take from it what you will.

of course the one thing i would advise anyone is to take trends with a pinch of salt – if you spend time working with a good kitchen designer and invest in quality you will then have a kitchen which will stand the test of time