Whole home wellness

Personalized touches, nature-inspired design and physical and mental well-being inspire bath and kitchen trends for 2023.

By Carolyn Cooper

 

The renovation frenzy that began during the pandemic has continued, although at a slower pace, as consumers look for ways to add value and enjoyment to their time spent indoors. While we’re no longer confined to our homes, consumers still view their residence as their refuge from the world, and are investing in personal and practical upgrades that improve their lifestyle and mental wellbeing.

 

PERSONALIZATION

A key design trend still going strong is personalization. Past years have seen maximalism taking the lead, with bold patterns, dramatic colours and statement fixtures in kitchen and bathrooms. Now consumers are also embracing the clean lines, neutral colours and simple shapes of minimalism. Bright accents of colour and backsplashes can successfully combine the two design trends.

Boutique renovation company Black Walnut Kitchen and Bath in Ottawa, ON, notes on its website that “Homeowners are now more conscientious of striking a harmony between streamlined minimalism and luxurious comfort in their interior design choices. The minimalist kitchen makes use of the positive energy created by a simple, uncluttered environment with only a handful of treasured, high-functioning items. Sustainable, functional, and efficient living are at the heart of this design ethos.”

Homeowners also want to know that their choices can be customized to suit their personal tastes, so are looking for fixtures with unique handles or colours. Companies are responding with products featuring smooth and sleek lines, in popular finishes like matte black and brushed metals. “We’re seeing that today’s consumers truly value how their personal expression is manifested and reflected within their homes, looking for customization options to express their own unique aesthetics including a desire for innovations that offer versatility to personalize experiences in the kitchen and bath as well as meet the needs of multigenerational homes,” says Danielle DeBoe Harper, senior creative style manager for Moen. “We’re also seeing a trend of biophilic design, with impactful design solutions that connect and preserve our relationship with nature, above and beyond bringing plants into the interior space.”

 

BIOPHILIA

Kitchen and bath design is increasingly being inspired by nature, or biophilia – the desire to commune with nature. Designers are bringing the outside into homes with organic and natural materials such as wood and stone, and a range of colours found in the natural environment – rusty red and burnt orange, light to deep brown and terracotta, and muted golds, greens and blues. Shades and shapes that give the impression of ocean waves are reflected in rounded baths and faucets.

Eco-friendliness is also being prioritized, and customers want to know that products are sustainably made without plastic waste. They’re also looking for ways to save money and decrease their own carbon footprint, so want products designed to use less water and energy.

 

HOLISTIC WELLNESS

Hygiene is still a concern for consumers, but they’re also placing increased importance on their mental health and wellness. Using nature inspired colours and design elements helps create a calming environment, and designers are bringing in natural light and transparent features like glass and acrylic to make our private retreats more calming. The National Kitchen & Bathroom Association’s (NKBA) Luxury Bath Report, released this June, reveals that consumers are leaning into luxury fixtures to help transform their primary bathrooms into spacious wellness spas. The report notes that “luxury baths are reclaiming priority and even square footage from bedrooms and closets,” as bathrooms become one of the most valued rooms in the house.

Consumers are also turning to technology to add convenience and simplicity to their lives, including smart appliances, app-controlled faucets in both the kitchen and bathroom to control water temperature and fill level, touchless faucets, and whole home systems that can be adjusted to create a personalized environment. According to the NKBA’s 2023 Design Trends report, bathroom technology on the rise includes heated flooring, thermostat smart controls, humidity/ venting detector, water conservation tech, and mobile-apps to start the shower and/or heat the bathroom.

“Consumers continue to gravitate towards innovations that simplify their daily routines, including smart technology,” says Anny Ang, marketing manager for Moen. “Whether it’s a touchless kitchen faucet or smart shower, homeowners are seeking options that integrate seamlessly into their space and provide more control and customization.”

 

IN KITCHEN DESIGN

NKBA’s 2023 Design Trends report shows interest in sustainable kitchen design has increased substantially, including for:

  • Electric radiant flooring (up 32 per cent)
  • EPA Energy-Star certified appliances and ventilation (up 57 per cent)
  • Alternative energy efficient water heaters (up 48 per cent)
  • 100 per cent LED lighting (up 82 per cent)
  • Increased natural light though low-E windows and doors (up 62 per cent)
X