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Sink and Urinal Combo a 19th Century Bathroom Curiosity

Kitchens and Baths Are Getting Bigger

The size of the kitchen and the size and number of bathrooms in the American home are on an upswing, according to the American Institute of Architect's Home Design Survey for the final quarter of last year.

More than 40% of the architectural firms participating in the survey noted the trend, and a quarter of them also indicated that the number of kitchens — defined as separate facilities or secondary food storage or preparation areas — was also increasing.

“Both the square feet devoted to kitchens and the number of separate cooking facilities throughout the home are increasing, including the additions of outdoor kitchens in many areas of the country,” said Kermit Baker, the institute’s chief economist.

“As far as specific trends in kitchen design, granite countertops, natural wood cabinets and drinking water filtration systems are especially popular,” he said. “Upscale products and features are going into bathroom design as well, shown by heated floors and towel racks, and even fireplaces becoming more common in homes, while heat lamps and whirlpools aren’t nearly as prevalent.”

Residential architects reported adding more pantry space and more upper-end appliances in the kitchen and increasingly integrating kitchen space with family space for younger children and other family members. New features are also being piled on in roomier bathrooms, including such upscale products as multi-head showers, hand showers and even steam showers.

The survey identified rising popularity for a number of kitchen products and features:

  • Larger pantry space (reported by 56% of the firms)
  • High-end appliances (55%)
  • Integration with family space (53%)
  • Natural stone counters (53%)
  • Island work areas (35%)
  • Natural wood cabinets (32%)


Thirty-seven percent reported that synthetic solid surface countertops were declining in popularity.

Bathroom products and features with growing demand, according to the firms that were surveyed, include:

  • Multi-head shower (63%)
  • Steam shower (35%)
  • Multiple vanities (29%)
  • Separate showers (28%)


Forty-one percent reported a downturn in the popularity of heat lamps and 31% said that whirlpools were losing ground.

 
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