Ask Emily: Q&A on 2018 Kitchen and Bath Trends from JBDB Home Designer Emily Thull

February 9, 2018 | Blog

Home design company, interior designerSpringtime isn’t too far away, and with it comes the urge to make some changes to kitchens and bathrooms. We recently asked our own Minneapolis-based kitchen designer Emily Thull to weigh in on some of the kitchen and bathroom trends we’ll see this year.

What kitchen trend from 2017 is still going strong this year?

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Mixing and matching materials and finishes. No longer is the “one-finish only” rule being enforced. Marble countertops combined with wood. Champagne brass with matte black. Dark charcoal base cabinets and white enameled uppers. A collected feel is key to a comfortable environment and making it still jive with spaces that have not been remodeled. 

What seems to be the biggest design requests you get from clients when they’re remodeling a kitchen?

Storage, storage, storage! And incorporating it in clever ways to minimize clutter. Deep drawers, unique pullouts. Appliance and prep stations can be camouflaged behind cabinet doors or mix it up with a cool, metal tambour door. Thinking through how you would LIKE to use your kitchen helps during the space planning phase of design.

Is there any trend or design theme that you’re starting to see fade out?

The use of granite has been declining in the last couple years. We’ve gotten a lot more requests for quartz as it is such a great, durable surface in a range of colors and looks. You can get the visual interest and beauty of marble without the maintenance!

Bathrooms have been all about unique tiling and standalone tubs. What else is going to be popular in 2018?

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Black fixtures are continuing to gain in popularity. Whether it be plumbing fixtures, hardware or lighting, black is classic in the fact that it works with just about every style and color palette. It is simple and adds a visual POP – it also is great at camouflaging water spots!

What colors/color schemes do you expect to see a lot of this year?

White has always been a classic element in home design and I don’t see that going anywhere, but I also see the use of black coming more into play. White and black provide a nice contrast to an unusually wide palette of color tones I am seeing in new product introductions: blush pink, deep teal, rich green, and gold. The 2018 Pantone Color of the Year is Ultra Violet…I don’t see that catching on anytime soon in the typically conservative Midwest but who knows, maybe a fun pop of color on the back of a bookshelf?! 

What are some unique materials homeowners should consider incorporating into their renovations?

How does the saying go – everything old is new again? Believe it or not, terrazzo is making a comeback in residential use. Yes, that terrazzo; the same material used in the floor of your elementary school’s cafeteria. It is an extremely durable surface that is made up of chips of marble, granite, quartz, and/or glass and then bonded together by cement. It can come in a multitude of colors but what I am most excited for is the popularity of more neutral tones. Terrazzo is a great option for flooring, countertops and backsplashes.

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Which home design trend are you most excited for this year? Is there a trend you can’t wait to incorporate into your own home?

I love the appreciation for vintage elements that has become more widespread. Classic light fixtures, either inspired reproductions or antiques, add visual interest and really finish off a room and make a statement. Patterned tile can create an unexpected surprise either on a backsplash or floor. I definitely have a more modern, simplistic approach to my own home but I love that juxtaposition of “old” and “new”!


If you’re looking to start updating your home, contact Emily and the JBDB team of Minneapolis remodelers to get your kitchen and bathroom renovations underway today!

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We look forward to hearing your ideas, sharing our expertise, and collaborating together!

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