Top 2023 Kitchen and Bathroom Design Trends

For its 2023 report, NKBA surveyed almost 600 industry members about what their client homeowners want.
Split photo of man washing herbs in kitchen and woman washing hands in bathroom

While respondents say greens and blues will be the most prominent colors in kitchens and bathrooms, whites and off-whites will be the most prominent neutral colors in both spaces. Photo courtesy Pexels

Today’s homeowners crave larger, more tech-driven, and more vibrantly designed kitchens and bathrooms that also promote wellness and sustainability. That’s a top takeaway from the recently released 2023 Design Trends research report from the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA).

For this year’s report, NKBA surveyed almost 600 members of the kitchen and bath industry, including designers (60% of respondents) as well as dealers, manufacturers, contractors, and architects.

The report reveals some design continuations: “The last three years have been consistent with kitchen and bathroom designs emerging from nature-inspired themes,” says Tricia Zach, head of research, NKBA.

And the report indicates some changes: A significant portion of kitchen and bathroom projects have gotten bigger and more involved. More than one-third (38%) of designers say their kitchen projects were larger and more complex this year compared to the previous year. And almost one-third (32%) say that was true of their bathroom projects.

The research report also identified a generational shift among clients. Overall, designers say they work with Generation X (ages 42 to 57) more than any other age group. However, millennials (ages 26 to 41) now make up a larger share: 17% of designers say they work most with this cohort, up from 10% in 2020. Meanwhile, 35% of designers say they work most with boomers (ages 58 to 76), down from 40% in 2020.

The typical amount a customer spends on a medium-sized kitchen (150 to 350 square feet) is $66,000, while the typical spend for a primary bathroom is $38,000.

2023 KITCHEN AND BATHROOM DESIGN TRENDS

The report explores five areas of design trends:

1. Vibrant design

The combination of multiple design themes marks one of the biggest shifts from recent trends, according to Zach. “Designers are combining multiple design elements to create the perfect style for their clients,” she says.

Designers are blending a natural or organic feel with modern or contemporary design elements, as the farmhouse style evolves into the modern farmhouse. Veering away from whites and grays, designers are mixing richer colors, warmer earth and wood tones, and bold accents.


BSB Design modern farmhouse renders
The modern farmhouse style resonates with renters, homebuyers, through instant nostalgia, comfort, and a "sense of home". Photo courtesy BSB Design

In the kitchen, the top colors emerging over the next few years will be green (according to 45% of respondents) and blue (37%)—more so than white (35%) or gray (25%). That holds true for the bathroom, where the top emerging colors likewise will be blue (42%) and green (37%)—surpassing white (33%) and gray (21%). The tones in both the kitchen and bathroom will be earthy and muted. 

While respondents say greens and blues will be the most prominent colors in kitchens and bathrooms, whites and off-whites will be the most prominent neutral colors in both spaces.

2. Sustainability

Clients are looking for sustainable features such as energy-efficient appliances, 100% LED lighting, increased natural light via low-E windows, and VOC-free paints.

In both the kitchen and the bathroom, the top sustainability trend is 100% LED lighting—with 82% of designers expecting this feature to be prominent in both spaces in the next three years. In the kitchen, that trend is followed by separate storage for recycling (68%) and increased natural light via low-E windows (62%). And in the bathroom, LED lighting is followed by electric radiant flooring (57%) and EPA WaterSense faucets, shower heads, and toilets (56%).

More than three-fifths of designers say they at least sometimes consider a manufacturer’s sustainability practices when making kitchen and bath recommendations to their clients.

3. Expanded spaces

Homeowners want bigger kitchens and primary bathrooms. And they want these spaces to serve multiple functions.

The number-one kitchen trend? Large islands that also function as dining tables, with 76% of designers saying this will feature prominently in the next three years. Kitchen islands will serve other purposes as well, such as areas for charging devices and food prep. After islands, the top kitchen trends are taking down walls to open the kitchen to other areas of the home (74%) and a working pantry (72%).


Woman in modern clean kitchen reading on island
RELATED ARTICLE: 5 Kitchen Trends ‘Set To Explode’ in 2022

Similarly, the top bathroom trends involve opening space. The bathroom trend that will be most prominent over the next three years: removing bathtubs to increase shower size (say 77% of designers). That’s followed by removing walls to increase the primary bathroom footprint (63%) and connecting the bathroom to the closet or dressing area (58%).

4. Wellness

Residents want a sanctuary, especially in their primary bath, so designers are creating spa-like experiences. Earthy, muted colors and tones—with blues, greens, and wood tones combined with neutral whites—help create a natural, calming space. In the bathroom, a two-person shower will be much more attractive to clients than a one-person shower (82% versus 18%).

In addition, clients want easy-to-clean, sanitary surfaces with less grout. In both the kitchen and the bathroom, survey respondents predict quartz and quartzite will be the most popular countertop materials over the next few years. With reduced grout lines, slab/solid and long subway will be the most in-demand backsplash patterns in the kitchen, while large tiles and slab/solid will dominate bathroom showers. Also in the shower, designers say a no-door or open entrance will be the most popular door option, which will support aging in place.

Clients also want larger windows to increase the natural light and create a stronger indoor-outdoor connection. In the bathroom, respondents say windows above bathtubs will be the most sought-after window option.

RELATED: 5 Trends and Innovations in Exterior Design

5. Technology 

Clients are quickly embracing home tech, particularly when it creates a personalized environment through the use of app and voice controls.

Designers say the kitchen technology that most excites their clients is faucet controls, followed by app and voice controls, cooking appliances, and lighting/LED. Among kitchen faucet controls, lever just edges out touch/tap and motion control in popularity. Among kitchen lighting controls, dimmer switches will be most popular, followed by voice-activated controls and mobile device-enabled controls.

In the bathroom, the tech that most excites clients is temperature and humidity control, including heated floors. Next in the tech list: lighting controls/LED and shower/tub tech. Among bathroom lighting controls, dimmer switches will dominate, followed by motion-sensor lighting and voice-activated controls.


For more on design, sustainability, and technology, read it here on Utopia.

About The Author

Novid Parsi, Utopia Freelance Writer

Novid Parsi

Novid Parsi is a St. Louis-based freelance writer who covers a wide range of industries, including construction and technology.