Trend Bending: Kitchen and Bathroom Design

This feature was written by Studio MSP writers. While some of our advertisers were sourced, no advertiser paid to be included.

Black is the New Black

Splash bottom cabinets with green, black, or navy for a high-contrast look against white counters, walls, and uppers. Get a bigger dose of dark with a full rack of inky cabinets, like in this kitchen by Hendel Homes. “White kitchens will always be in style, but I believe consumers are tired of the all-white look and wanting to do something different,” says Amy Hendel of Hendel Homes.


Baby Got Brass

“Seeing warm metallic accents in homes is not anything new,” says Emily Hagstrom of Hagstrom Builder, “but we see more and more people selecting those beautiful brass accents. Not only are they stunning all on their own; they bring a bright yet warm feel to a space.”


Be a Little Shelf-ish

While open shelving isn’t a new trend, elimination of upper cabinets has taken off at “an insane rate,” Hagstrom says. “They would traditionally be mounted on the walls, but people are now choosing more unique approaches, such as ceiling mounts or even hanging them in front of a window for a backlit look.”


Patterns At Play

From starbursts to two-tone stripes to checkerboard patterns, geometric tile is gaining ground. “Many clients seek a design that is unique to them,” Hagstrom says. White-on-white will always have a place, but Hagstrom sees the surge in geometric designs continuing with “more unique, distinctive colored tiles.”

Sheree Vincent of Fusion Designed attributes the pattern explosion to an increasingly global society and the worldwide exchange via social media. “We get to see how [people of other cultures] live and the colors and patterns they use,” she says. A recent remodel of her own home’s bathroom incorporated tile patterns echoing those of Mexico or Morocco. “It’s so much fun walking in and pretending I’m in one of those places.”

Hendel says her clients crave texture and depth: “This type of design gives both; it is a different approach to just the grout lines being the lines.”

“This type of design gives both [texture and depth]; it is a different approach to just the grout lines being the lines.” —Amy Hendel, Hendel Homes


Paper + Toilet

Thanks to wallpaper, punchy patterns add pizzazz to a room that can lean utilitarian. “I feel like clients are willing to take a leap with bolder colors and patterns with a small amount of wallpaper,” says Becca Hall, interior designer at Ispiri. “Adding wallpaper to an accent wall can add lots of personality to a space.” And with the ease of peel-and-stick papers, it’s not a huge commitment. Let the seasonal style switches begin.


Soak It In

Who hasn’t locked themselves in the bathroom for a bit of me time? “Bathing has been elevated from a necessity to a ritual experience,” Vincent says. Add in essential R&R ingredients: bath salts, essential oils, candles, music, and a bevvy.

“A spa-like bathroom starts with the tub,” Hagstrom says. And a soaking tub can create a luxurious focal point to ground a relaxing space. Plus, “you don’t need space for the decking that a traditional drop-in soaking tub needs,” says Barb Cross, interior design manager of Ron Clark Construction and Design—meaning you can get more soak for your square footage.

“I see black as luxe, green as the new neutral—after all, what doesn’t work with green?” —Sheree Vincent, Fusion Designed


Emerald Envy

For a forest shade, try Sherwin-Williams’s Greenblack, Vincent says. “I love the depth and interest that deep colors … provide,” she says. “I see black as luxe, green as the new neutral—after all, what doesn’t work with green? And blue will always be a favorite here in the Midwest.”


Powder Room Powerhouse

With wear and tear from the whole family at home, isn’t it time we gave our toilets the upgrades we deserve? (It is called the porcelain throne, after all.) “Toilets are the new appliance,” Hendel says. “All the gizmos and gadgets you can think of.” From bidets that clean and dry to heated seats, toilet tech is the new frontier of the bathroom.

Bonus: No toilet paper shortages here. Not only do bidet toilets sidestep the TP, they are also more sanitary and better for the environment, Vincent says.

In the sanitization game, touchless faucets are taking off for their role in preventing the spread of germs—meaning your whole family won’t get the same bug just by sharing a bathroom.


This article originally appeared in the October 2021 issue of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine

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