With 18 years of experience at Cambria, Summer Kath, the quartz manufacturer’s executive vice president and head of design, shares her thoughts on upcoming trends in kitchen and bath design
SW: What did we see in 2020 with color trends and what do you think we will see in 2021?
SK: I think in 2019, we were saying the white out is out. In 2020, we were hopeful for no more grays. Here is what I am seeing, and if I can take it back to 2016, the first time I ever ventured to Milan for the Salone show, I was blown away. In 2016, the white out was in and it was all white kitchens. I walked into the most massive design show I had ever stepped foot in and I saw color. I saw opulence. I saw bold, and I was blown away. And as we know, trends really start over in Europe. You see them start to express themselves in the U.S. five to 10 years later. I think in 2020, we are really starting to see that come to the U.S. I don’t think white is going away, and I would say that gray is not going away either. It’s more about accent. We are in the stone world here, and I would say white is not going away in the beautiful marbled countertops, but what we are starting to see is people want something more interesting. Something a bit more bold, but not over the top opulence. As for some of the designs we have launched this year, we are still staying with the white marble, but we are adding in navy blue and some of the deep greens. Just a little bit of glimmer, just a little bit of shimmer, but not too much. In kitchens, we are seeing pops of color. We are seeing black cabinets, navy cabinets — even that emerald green. I don’t think gray is ever going to go away, I think it accents everything really well and bridges the gaps because it is so neutral. It’s just going to be used differently.
SW: Are you seeing the pops of color in one area in the house or is it happening throughout?
SK: It’s happening everywhere in the house. In 2020, we have been spending a lot of time in our house and we want to personalize them and make them happy. So you can also look at textures and layering. It’s happening everywhere. So yes, in the kitchen, but in a modern and sophisticated way. I don’t think yellow refrigerators are coming back anytime soon. In the bathroom, the wall paper with all the huge patterning and huge color continues to be strong and the bathroom is kind of a sanctuary spot where you can have fun with colors. Probably not in your stone countertops, but you can in other areas. When you put something in that’s permanent, it’s harder to change out. But you can refresh a bathroom with all the things around it. But the stone I see as still being something that is neutral, with maybe a little bit of color that can evolve overtime.
SW: What application trends are you seeing out there?
SK: The large island isn’t going away. I think the island is going to be more functional. Having a workspace in your kitchen so that you can work at home or so your kids can do their homework or their Zoom calls. I think we are seeing that getting designed into kitchens. Also, full-height backsplashes are really coming onto the scene, not only is it beautiful but it is safe. This year we care about safety, health and wellness like we never had before. That’s where quartz has really been the safest countertop for your kitchen. You can clean it with bleach and water. At Cambria you can, so I think the safety aspect of applications and using Cambria in more spaces because of that. Maybe your office desktop is done in Cambria because it’s safe and you’re sitting there. You may be eating lunch at your desk while you are Zooming or trying not to be on camera during your meetings. People’s lives are changing that way in the home.
Another application we are starting to see is different cladding on the hood over the cooktop. There have been a lot of beautiful hoods that have come on the scene. But we recently launched a 6mm product where you can wrap up on a hood so you can match your hood to your countertop or complement it in a different Cambria design.