2022 Style Forecast: Nature Steps Up In A Big Way – NKBA


2022 Style Forecast: Nature Steps Up In A Big Way

Key Takeaways

  • Organic/Natural styles for kitchens and baths shoot up in popularity
  • Greens and blue as well as metal tones will be top bathroom choices
  • Wood tones are also on the rise and expected to be popular  

By Robert Isler

The biggest takeaway from the NKBA 2022 Design Trends study is the continued strength of the Organic/Natural trend, which has risen to a close second in kitchen styles after Transitional. Among those surveyed, 57 percent said Organic/Natural was most popular and 59 percent chose Transitional. Two years ago, Organic/Natural placed ninth in popularity. 

Among millennials, the influence of nature was even more pronounced, with 44 percent saying Organic/Natural is the top style compared with 37 percent for Contemporary, and 27 percent for Transitional. Organic/Natural also placed first with millennials for bathroom style, followed by Contemporary. 

Rarely, if ever, has a style experienced such a rapid rise in popularity. Months of pandemic restrictions where people were sequestered in their homes likely helped jump start the need to bring an outdoor feel to inside spaces.

Organic/Natural has emerged from relative obscurity to become top style preference for both kitchens and baths.

Although color trends are not expected to change as dramatically, the current study shows that a pattern is clearly developing. Whites and off-whites are still the most popular kitchen neutral, but greens and blues are being frequently added (boldly, in some cases) to backsplashes, cabinets, wall paint and wall coverings. Wood tones are also on the rise and expected to be popular over the next two to three years. 

“I think more natural colors will become the new trend. I am seeing an increase of people asking for a painted cabinet that shows the grain of the wood and lighter stains,” said one survey respondent. Another forecasted a comeback of bold, muted colors, while a third talked of the trend towards more monochromatic color schemes in the kitchen.

Similar to kitchens, whites and off-whites dominated bathroom neutrals, followed by beige and bone. The top color choices for baths were blues, followed by greens — both colors being used mostly for wall paint and wall coverings, but also for artwork and cabinets/vanities. Metals such as gold, sepia, bronze and silver were also popular. 

Many surveyed agreed that the growing popularity of natural colors would bring warmer tones into the bathroom, including soft blue-based grays, pale blues and greens, as well as the darker blues. Still, one survey respondent said: “I think whites will continue to be big for bathrooms because it signifies cleanliness and purity.” 

Click here to download the full report.