S.W. Collins Co. isn't just revamping its bath showroom these days to keep up with trends; the Caribou, Maine, dealer started the project to keep pace with customer interest.
A variety of manufacturers and dealers say two major trends are dominating bathroom cabinetry: a casual modern aesthetic and, on the other end, furniture-like designs.
The modern look features sparse details and doors in simple styles, such as Shaker. Not only does this style tend to cost less than more adorned products, but it makes cabinets easier to clean and keeps a bath looking fresh.
"They want something sleek and up-to-date," explains Connie Edwards, director of design for Timberlake Cabinetry.
However, cabinets that look like freestanding furniture are also popular. Vanities stand on decorative legs, and customers can personalize pieces with handpicked details.
"We're seeing a lot of things in furniture pieces," says Beth Pautsch, sales and design team leader at Campbellsport (Wis.) Building Supply. "Homeowners are making them a one-of-a-kind application."
Additionally, finishes trend toward two ends of the spectrum. Dealers and manufacturers say the most popular types are dark brown and distressed or painted white finishes. "Paints [finishes] are over 40% of our sales, particularly in whites, glazes, and off-whites," says Angela O'Neill, director of marketing for Wellborn Cabinet.
Not only are tastes changing, but consumers are starting to order more types of cabinetry. "Every bathroom [customer] now requests linen storage in the bathroom to match cabinetry," Dufour remarks.
Merillat offers tall, freestanding cabinetry to be used for linen storage, says Paul Radoy, manager of design services for the Masco builder cabinet group.
Framed mirrors, hampers, open- and closed-shelf storage, and other freestanding products provide consumers with more ways to continue their style in the bathroom.
Whether a client is aging and concerned with back problems or happens to be extremely tall or short, adjusting vanities to match height allows for a smoother experience. Floating vanities can be easily height-adjusted, but they also allow for undercabinet lighting, says Edwards. If someone wants to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, this can gently light his or her way.
"Aging-in-place is a big consideration now as it comes to remodels," says Kal Nanji, manager of new product development for Armstrong. "You want to make sure products allow [customers] to access the sink and other areas."
One need in bath cabinets remains constant: convenient storage options. "We've recently introduced various grooming organizers to keep everything nice and neat and in a small area," says Jeff Ptacek, product manager for Fieldstone and StarMark Cabinetry. Stainless steel pull-outs can hold hot hair dryers and curling irons, he adds.
Omega Cabinetry offers removable trays for hair bands and makeup and deep drawers for towels).
"People are looking for a sleek exterior and something that takes a backdrop to the overall style of the room," explains Sandra Luttchens-Van Allen, director of training and communication for MasterBrand Cabinets. "But, on the inside, it still needs to function."