10 Home Design Trends to Ditch in 2015

Ilyce Glink, writing for CBS Money Watch, was kind enough to ask for my opinion on trends that are on their way out in 2015.  Along with two other contributors, Kerrie Kelly and Amy Yin, Ilyce came up with a top-ten list in her article, 10 Home Design Trends to Ditch in 2015.  My contributions to the article include:

  • Desks in kitchens
  • Microwaves above the kitchen range
  • Whirlpool tubs

Ten years ago over half of the kitchens in our Central Pennsylvania market would have desks integrated into the design.  From a functional perspective, having a desk where your tethered phone sat made total sense.  It removed the phone from precious countertop workspace while also providing an area to pay bills and store cookbooks.

Now that cell phones are the primary communication tool, phones anchored by wires are the exception, rather than the rule.  And cookbooks have been replaced by the iPad, minimizing the need to dedicate precious space to bulky books that are infrequently used.  Eliminating a kitchen desk from the design opens up opportunities to increase cabinet storage and countertop space, making for a more efficient kitchen and seamless look.

Microwaves have been placed above the range for so many years that I sometimes have to convince my clients that there are better solutions.  I have never been a fan of over-the-range microwaves because they can be hard to reach and eliminate the opportunity for an effective vent hood.

For example, microwaves are so safe and easy-to-use today that most parents don’t mind their children using the appliance to heat an after-school snack.  If you place the microwave in the base cabinetry where it’s easy to reach, school-age children can use it safely.  However, if a child has to climb up on a chair and reach over the stove to use the microwave, accidents can happen.

Finally, it won’t come as a surprise that I think whirlpools will continue their decline in popularity.  Whirlpools can use up to 100 gallons of water, they require regular cleaning and maintenance, and often consume precious real estate in the bathroom.  I see my clients opting for larger showers or his-and-her vanities rather than whirlpool tubs.  If you simply must have that spa-like bathing experience, a soaker tub might be a better solution.

2015 is going to be an exciting year in kitchen design with some surprises that I’m excited to share.  Stay tuned!

John Petrie