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NKBA Living Impacts Design Study

NEWS – JUNE 2021

NKBA Living Impacts Design Study

Insights on the most popular kitchen and bathroom design themes throughout North America.


THE NATIONAL KITCHEN + BATH ASSOCIATION’S LIVING IMPACTS STUDY provides designers, showrooms, dealers and manufactures insights on the most popular kitchen and bathroom design themes throughout North America. Here are some of the highlights from the Executive Summary:

Changes in homeowner lifestyles, life stages, and habits will be changing design for kitchens and bathrooms in coming years. Influential changes include exposure to design ideas on social media, online recipe usage, planning for aging in place, less desire for formal dining areas, homeowners needing an escape from a chaotic world, a desire to live with less and more people working from home.

Future kitchens will promote interaction. An open space with room for all to gather, yet one that feels cozy and calming. Kitchens will need to work for various types of cooks those who feel time crunched and have little time for meal prep, those who love to experiment with recipes, and those who are health conscious with the desire to eat more fresh foods. The need for seamless digital interaction is a given for many.

Many homeowners are looking for more than a refresh in their master bathrooms.

They desire bathrooms that minimize clutter, require less maintenance, provide them with an escape to wind down from stress, allow them to age in place, and/or heal the body and promote wellness.

modern kitchen

Four overarching themes which emerged from the research, and which pertain to both kitchen and bath design, are homeowners’ needs for Connected Living, Simplified Living, Healthy Living and Living in Place. Here are the relevant touchpoints:

Connected Living
Human Interaction
Information Access
Connection with nature

Simplified Living
Better organization
Less maintenance
Less stress

Healthy Living
Fueling the body
Healing the body

Living in Place
Aging homeowners
Multi-generational families

And finally, smart technology and integrated services impacted the study as one might expect:

“People want to be connected, whether via technology, or face to face. That desire to be connected is one of the greatest impacts on future kitchen and bath design. They want to connect via their smartphones or other form of technology with their kitchen while they are away from home. Or, they want to feel more connected to their home while actually sitting in their kitchen or bath. For example, even though they might be just 20 feet away from their oven, they want the option to check on the temperature or look in on their dish without having to get up.”

sink and mirror

About the National Kitchen + Bath Association
The National Kitchen + Bath Association (NKBA) is the not-for-profit trade association that owns the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show® (KBIS), as part of Design & Construction Week® (DCW). With nearly 50,000 members in all segments of the kitchen and bath industry, the NKBA has educated and led the industry since the association’s founding in 1963. The NKBA envisions a world where everyone enjoys safe, beautiful and functional kitchen and bath spaces. The mission of the NKBA is to inspire, lead and empower the kitchen and bath industry through the creation of certifications, marketplaces and networks. For more information, visit NKBA.org or call 1-800-THE-NKBA (843-6522).