Today’s bathroom and kitchen remodeling trends provide many opportunities to incorporate fresh looks into your unique decor. Gaining popularity again this year, transitional-style kitchens, which blend traditional and contemporary designs, work for homeowners wanting to balance a classic look with modern accents. Nature-inspired themes that integrate an earthy palette with today’s energy-efficient fixtures have also set the tone recently. Read on to see what else is trending this year in bathroom and kitchen remodels.

Gray color schemes. As part of the return to natural tones, gray color schemes have found their way into bathrooms and kitchens everywhere. Grays are part of the earth palette but still strike a modern, chic tone. According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s (NKBA) 2013 Style Report, 55 percent of kitchens and 56 percent of bathrooms utilize gray color schemes.

Quartz. While granite remains king in the countertop world, quartz has been closing the gap in recent years. This nonporous, tough stone resists stains, chips, and scratches but remains malleable enough for decorative finishes like rounded or crown molding edges. Quartz also offers more color and pattern choices than the traditional granite look.

Touch-activated and pot-filler faucets. Tired of transferring bacteria and gunk from your hands to the sink handles every time you wash your hands? Touch-activated faucets, great for families or for cooks with their hands full, turn on with the touch of an elbow or wrist. Pot-filler faucets have also added convenience to the kitchen. Mounted into a backsplash, they eliminate the need to lug unwieldy pots of water from the sink to the stove.

LED lighting. Continuing the trend of energy efficiency, homeowners have increasingly opted for LED lighting as opposed to traditional compact fluorescent lights and incandescent bulbs. According to the NKBA’s 2013 Style Report, LED lighting has made its way into 77 percent of kitchens, up from 50 percent in 2010. Typically placed under cabinets to shine down onto countertops or even under low cabinets to illuminate the floor, LED lights add a touch of drama to a kitchen lighting scheme.

Dual-flush toilets. Along with other efficient fixtures like water-saving showerheads, dual-flush toilets cut down on waste while reducing monthly water bills. The average outdated toilet uses anywhere from three to seven gallons per flush. According to the EPA’s WaterSense program, switching to a high-efficiency toilet that uses only 1.28 gallons per flush can save hundreds of gallons—and dollars—every year. A dual-flush toilet typically uses 1.6 gallons or less for the main flush and less than 1 gallon for a partial flush.

With so many great trends in bathroom and kitchen remodeling, you’ll be sure to find fixtures and features that suit your tastes and add convenience to your daily life. A quality bathroom and kitchen remodeling professional can help assess your needs and explore popular designs with you.

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Sources: EPA; Kitchen Bath Trends Magazine; National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA).

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