Trend Spotting: Look for Neutral Undertones, Minimalist Cabinets in 2016
December 15, 2015 | 9:33 am CST

A rebounding housing market and a presidential election are just some of the highlights on tap for the U.S. economy in 2016.  When it comes to kitchen cabinetry, experts point to neutral undertones, pronounced woodgrains, and frameless cabinets as top trends to expect next year, according to the recent Woodworking Network webinar sponsored by Timber Products Company.

“Kitchen Cabinetry Trends: Finishes and Colors for 2016” paired Timber Products Company National Accounts Sales Manager Doug Clark with Sherwin-Williams’ Director of Global Color Marketing, Angela Simone, for a discussion on design, style, and color highlights that are expected to permeate the market in the year ahead. Nearly 200 participants heard insight into where the market is headed, and how to prepare for customers looking for the latest design trends.

Minimalist Cabinets

“Frameless cabinets, particularly in urban areas of the country, will be popular in 2016 as consumers feel the influence of the European trends,” said Clark, who works with national manufacturers. “In addition, homeowners are opting for real wood interiors, like maple and other light colors, in a departure from laminate.”

When it comes to finishes, Clark shared that durable, scratch-resistant options and prefinished panels are on the upswing as cabinet shops look for efficiency and increased quality.

On the commercial side, laminates in all color options will remain popular for cabinetry and kitchen environments as companies look for long-lasting, upbeat materials for new work spaces.

“Commercial spaces are very much defined by regions,” said Clark. “The Midwest is much different from the coastal regions and the big urban areas. But, the bottom line is that colored laminate remains popular.”

Color Splash

Top colors for 2016 will be influenced by society, technology, economy, environment and politics, said Simone, and rally around four key themes:

  • Pura Vida: Elements that remind us to live well, be well and stay well are vital in creating spaces to unplug. This means ancient alabaster, marble, warmer grays, and khaki and blushed neutrals will be trending next year.
  • Mas Amor Por Favor: We’re coming together to rediscover the pleasures of intimate gatherings, garden parties, and personalized outdoor weddings. Look for dashing greens and cheeky pinks to resonate.
  • Nouveau Narrative: Authentic 20th century machinery is being dusted off and reconditioned as North American manufacturing re-emerges in the form of the Maker Movement. Olive, denim and brass play well here.
  • Trajectory: Technology’s pace has us living in a constant state of wonder. Augmented reality, 3-D printers, drones and interiors that adapt to our bodies translate to icy blues, shimmering pewter, sophisticated plums and stunning gloss.

Wood Finishing

Both Clark and Simone agreed that clean, contemporary cabinets will be top of mind for consumers in 2016. This means more grays and neutrals in color stains and less red undertones and stain on glaze, according to Sherwin-Williams.

Clark and Simone encouraged cabinet designers and manufacturers to prepare for 2016 by:

  • Becoming familiar with color trends
  • Understanding what’s hot and what’s not, and working with color experts to enhance your product sales
  • Not letting color be an afterthought – engage an expert early in the design process
  • Determining the level of color consistency you require and planning accordingly with your coatings supplier

Hear the on-demand version of the webinar and learn more about 2016 cabinet trends

Contact a Timber Products Company expert to find out more about securing the right materials for your jobs in 2016. 

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