2012 Kitchen Renovation Trends


Randy Glazer

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Planning on an Atlanta kitchen renovation? If so, it can help to understand where kitchen design is heading. The NKBA recently released their annual member design trend survey, and here we review several of their findings.

Remember that the most important consideration is what you like. Surveys like this are interesting but they should not drive your decision making, unless of course you are planning on selling your home in the near future.


Cherry and Maple have long been the kings of kitchen cabinetry. In 2012, though, the reign seems to be slipping. Per the study, usage of these two woods has slipped 7 points from 77% to 70%. While these two are dropping several other woods are being used more frequently including oak, walnut, birch and bamboo. From our perspective cherry and maple are still great selections, but you may want to at least investigate some of the alternatives.


Glass seems to be the rising star as far as backslashes. Usage of glass has increased 11 % from 20011, going from 41% to 52%. The primary materials for backslashes remains ceramic tile used by 74%, sown 14% from two years ago, and natural stone currently used by 60%. While we’re big fans of glass, one of our favorite backslashes remains the tried and true subway tile.


One of the best trends over the last couple of years has been the growth inLED lighting options. LED lighting, while more expensive, is more efficient which could lead to long term energy savings costs. In 2010 only 50% of members used LED lighting, but that number has now jumped to 70%. Compact Florescent lighting, due to the poor light they produce, has dropped 10% to only 26%.

Click on the photo to view before and after photos of a recent Buckhead renovation we completed.

Color Scheme

While whites and off-whites are the most popular color schemes, gray is starting to make its move. From 2010 to 2012 grey usage more than tripled from 9% to 33%. Grey presents a distinguished look without overpowering your design.

Kitchen Flooring

The NKTB report did not include any findings on flooring but we think its an integral part of any kitchen renovation. Two materials gaining traction are cork and concrete. Cork is an environmentally friendly option that is less expensive, but just as durable as hardwood flooring. As a natural insulator it provides great warmth underfoot and sound dampening. Cork does not hold up well under sunlight so if your kitchen is full of windows fading coulee be an issue.

Most people likely have not thought of concrete as a flooring alternative. Concrete is a durable material that is easy to clean up, and comes in a wide range of color and finish options. Polished concrete can give your floor a modern styling. Compared to cork its definitely not as soft or have the same sound dampening effects.

If your looking to do a kitchen renovation, contact Glazer Design and Construction by calling 404.683.9848 or email Randy@GlazerConstruction.com.

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