Kitchens and bathrooms remain two key selling features when it comes to real estate. And where experts still suggest a homeowner is wise to invest their renovation dollars. Even so, how does one stay on trend without being trendy?

The key is to incorporate elements that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also highly functional. These days, people want to be able to use every part of their kitchens and baths, enjoying all the features on a regular basis. Gone are appliances that are pretty but not highly functional, back are attractive appliances that are workhorses and won’t let you down.

Not sure what may be worth your hard-earned renovation dollars? Here are 10 current trends in kitchens and bathrooms that should help keep you on the right path.


1. Lacquer cabinets. Believe it or not, lacquer is more popular than wood when it comes to kitchen cabinetry. Sleek and minimal, a lot of homeowners love its low maintenance and modern edge.

2.Two-tone cabinets. From mixing materials to mixing finishes and colors, cabinets that don’t necessarily match are en vogue. The application is typically executed with an upper cabinet in one finish or treatment contrasted by a different finish or material on lower cabinets.

3.Highly functioning kitchens, with niche items such as steam ovens and pot fillers. Not too long ago, kitchens that were attractive to look at but not necessarily functional were on the forefront of design. Now, post-recession, homeowners demand the most for their money, and this includes spending money on sturdy, long-lasting appliances.

4.Paneled appliances. These days it still remains a trend to have appliances that are unseen. Paneled appliances, from dishwashers to refrigerators, remain the desired choice, especially for home buyers.

5. Dark floors. Roughly a decade ago, when it came to flooring, the lighter the better. These days the current trend is more towards darker, deeper tones.


1.Wallpaper. It was insanely popular in bathrooms in the ’70s, so much so that you typically saw it on walls and even ceilings. While wallpaper made a comeback years ago, it still remains red hot and on trend. The bolder the better!

2. Deep soaking tubs. With people wanting to enjoy their homes as much as possible, spa features remain highly desirable and attractive to both potential buyers and homeowners.

3.Separate showers and bathtubs. If the space is available, creating a separate shower, preferably with rain shower features, is definitely the way to go to get the most bang for your buck.

4.Walk-in showers. These days both homeowners and potential buyers are looking for an experience. The luxuriousness of being in a walk-in shower provides the ideal feeling of serenity, calm and luxury.

5. Sculptural faucets and fixtures. These days, utilitarian is out and sculptural statement pieces are in. When it comes time to purchase new fixtures, consider both beauty and function.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at or visit her website at

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