Cabinets are among the first things clients notice when they walk into a kitchen or bath. And rightly so. Cabinets do take up a lot of visual real estate in these spaces—small or large. And they do help set a certain tone for the room they occupy. As such, smart remodelers are always up on what’s in and what’s out for cabinets.
 
So then, what’s in this year? Painted cabinetry and flat panel door designs. That’s according to Sarah Reep, director of designer relations and education for Masco Cabinetry. She also says black and extreme wood stains in dark browns and grays are the hot hues. These cabinet-specific trends are already hugely popular across North America and fall right in line with the overarching shift within the design industry away from traditional style toward transitional and contemporary. Modern, clean lines are in. Traditional looks are on their way out. For now anyway.
 
Style is not the only thing experiencing tectonic movement. Reep, who has been in the industry for over a decade, says cabinets used to be the first thing remodelers and their clients decided on when designing a room. Now people first fall in love with tile and plumbing elements before looking to cabinets as a means of pulling the room together.
 
“Ten years ago it was all about heavy cabinetry and framed mirrors, and tile was used to help blend the room’s plumbing and furniture. Today it’s just the opposite,” she said.
 
What’s more, Reep expects designers will see less nuances in regional preferences. “No matter what market I travel to, design preferences are more alike than they’ve ever been, and they are changing faster. I believe it’s due to the Internet and sites like Pinterest and Houzz,” she said.
 
In the end, she says it’s all going to change again because the market is always honed in on what’s next. Her advice? “Don’t get hung up on what others are doing. Design in a style you and your clients love. Help your clients find their colors, their own styles and then make them their own.”