Corner storage is always a hot topic, as well. Almost every kitchen has some sort of corner storage, whether a simple plastic Lazy Susan or a more upscale solution like Hafele’s Magic Corner, Tripp says.
McPeek notes, “People basically want to get the most out of their space and that is so true with corner storage.”
Blum combines the two with a drawer corner unit, according to Poteat, who comments, “If drawers are the best solution for storage in every other cabinet in the kitchen, why not the corner?”
STYLE & FUNCTION
Interior fittings and accessories come in as many configurations as there are personalities of designers and consumers. But regardless of the style or design, Tripp believes that space optimization is key. Designers want to get the most useful storage out of the space they have to work with, and do it in a way that blends seamlessly with the appearance of the kitchen, Tripp explains.
McPeek notes that designers and consumers are looking for electric options as well as soft-close mechanisms, and a variety of finishes from wood to chrome and glass. “They want items that can change and grow with them,” she notes.
Adjustability is also important, according to Poteat. “Storage items change due to a change in shopping habits (from shopping weekly to bulk shopping), people moving, family members returning to live at home, etc. That’s why it’s important to ‘pre-plan’ the kitchen by taking possibilities like these into consideration.”
When it comes to finishes for interior fittings, Fitzpatrick sees the champagne color making headway in the form of wire accessories and metal drawer systems. “This warmer color complements wood cabinetry, which makes it more appealing,” she says.
Hafele’s most popular finish is also a champagne finish. “It is an ‘Eco-Friendly’ powdercoat finish that has a very warm tone and is a great accent with stainless steel and matte nickel,” Tripp says.
Although visual appeal is top priority, convenience and efficiency are also important in the fitting and accessories market.
Stathis says, “Efficient kitchen organization offers a more enjoyable and more realistic way for busy people to spend their leisure time.”
McPeek mentions that people want the most out of everything, and accessories are no exception. “They want items that take up less space, free up valuable time (example: prep stations in the kitchen…by having everything in one place, you save time) and are convenient for everyone to use.”
While many items are becoming standard in a functional kitchen design, there are still some upscale kitchen accessories that offer an added “wow” factor. Radiant floor heat is one such accessory, as it adds both comfort and a sense of luxury. Trends in this category, while similar to the overall accessory market, have some market-specific elements.
Mark Hudoba, senior product manager for Uponor Residential Radiant Heating in Apple Valley, MN, mentions that the biggest trend in radiant floor heating is using renewable energy, such as geothermal and solar, to heat a home. “Radiant heating enables geothermal and solar systems to run more efficiently and maximize energy savings. In addition, rising energy costs and federal and local tax incentives have made these systems a more lucrative investment for the homeowner.”
New radiant controls, such as Uponor’s Climate Control Network System, that integrate the radiant heating with the rest of the HVAC system, are becoming more and more popular as well, says Hudoba. In addition to increasing system efficiency by integrating the heating, cooling, ventilation and humidification systems, these controls also can allow the homeowner to control the system remotely via the Internet.
Some topics arise over and over again, regardless of the product being discussed. No trend discussion seems complete without touching on elements of green design, Universal Design and the effects of the current economy. Each subject seems increasingly important to the consumer, and therefore to designers and manufacturers.