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Times, they are a ‘changing, and those changing times can be seen in the kitchens being designed for new homes and remodels in 2012. The experts at the National Kitchen and Bath Association and the International Furnishings and Design Association noted some of the latest trends to look for in your remodel or new construction during 2012.

The Rise of the Large Kitchen

Homes in 2012 are trending smaller, with fewer rooms and more energy-efficient styles. The formal dining room, for example, has nearly disappeared from many house plans. However, the kitchens are becoming larger with more gathering spaces for families. An emphasis on healthier, home cooking and the recent emphasis on frugality both contribute to the trend. There is a trend toward living spaces that are conducive to having family experiences, entertaining, and keeping the food preparation connected to the rest of the family interactions, and designers often expand the kitchen to reach that goal.

The Pull-Out Faucet

While new kitchens sport a number of innovative, modern appliances and technology. One recent innovation that is now installed in 14 out of 15 new kitchens is a pull out faucet. This style of kitchen faucet takes the place of a separate faucet with a detached side sprayer, and instead incorporates both into a single unit. These versatile faucets may also be behind the recent decline in pot-filling faucets, since the pull-out faucet is so easy to use for that purpose.

Shaker is the new Cherry

Traditional cabinet styles are an increasingly popular trend in kitchen designs. For 2012, expect to see more traditional cabinet styles and shaker styles rather than contemporary designs. Many homeowners are looking for designs that will last for years before needing renovations, and traditional cabinets provide that design stability. However, the dark cherry cabinets that have been popular in the past are being replaced a variety of woods. Some designers see a renewed interest in oak, while others use birch, walnut or bamboo. Others note that white, painted cabinets are growing in popularity as well. Homeowners who want the contemporary feel without committing themselves to contemporary cabinet styles may choose to mix colors in the kitchen, with white cabinets in the center island and darker cabinets in the storage areas of the kitchen. Dark cabinet finishes are another 2012 kitchen design trend.