BHG Style Spotters

The Hottest Trends for You and Your Home

Posts by Kristina McGuirk

Trend: Kitchen Paneling

Have you seen BHG Editor Kelly’s trend video on paneling? She’s so right—paneling is really providing a lot of charm in homes lately, especially in kitchens.

Don’t get me wrong, paneling itself isn’t entirely new—beaded board has been a staple of cottage design forever, and we all remember the rather dated looks of the 70s. Thankfully, today is not about dark paneled rooms so much as accents that add texture, character, and often unexpected style elements. Here’s a look at five ways to use paneling in the kitchen.

Large format, horizontal panels on a grand scale

Covering the walls and range hood, the subdued paneling creates the perfect backdrop to the cottage-inspired flooring, fixtures, and color palette of this beachside kitchen.

Horizontal panels as accents


Running partially up the wall, the rustic grains of the paneling add texture and pattern in a fresh way that complements the wood-tone cabinetry and flooring. Like the tall windows, the paneling draws the eye up the wall, making the room appear larger.

Panels as a ceiling treatment


Ceiling treatments are a trend we’re seeing a lot more (look for a future Style Spotters post!). The paneling and wooden beams have a very natural feel that brings the outdoors in, accompanying the scenic views and sliding glass door to the outside, and create a cozy “nook” feel in the spacious off-kitchen dining area.

Thin, vertical panel accents


Paneling tends to be pretty flat, which is why I’m rather enthralled with this custom range hood. The color and texture match the island but in a surprising location that’s formed into a great shape.

Colorful panel accents


Color is in, and mixing accent panels—like these backing a custom, hutch-like section of cabinetry—with a pop of color produces a burst of personality with a traditional twist.


What do you think: Could it fit your style? How bold would you go? Are there other ways you’d use paneling? I’m totally on the mint green bandwagon (with no signs of departing), so this last kitchen seems right up my alley. Although… I’d like to switch those letter mugs to K’s and M’s. But now I’m just being picky.

-Kristina McGuirk, Kitchen and Bath Ideas 

TREND: Bling, Gray Surfaces, and Contemporary Fixtures!

Two weeks ago, a handful of your favorite kitchen and bath editors (including Style Spotters Maria Charbonneaux, Karman Hotchkiss, and Kelly Eagle) attended the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in New Orleans. KBIS is our opportunity to make new connections, catch up with people in the indsutry, and the best time to check out the newest products and trends.

The show started with a bang—literally—when a band lead the opening ceremony into the convention hall, playing “When the Saints Go Marching In” as convention attendees entered. (Our KBIS hosts, the National Kitchen and Bath Association, kept the fun New Orleans theme throughout the convention.)


From there our crew of five fearless editors hit the ground running—scribbling notes, Tweeting, snapping photos on Instagram and collecting lots of information to bring back to BHG. We saw more great products (and met more fantastic people) than we could possibly include in one blog post, but putting our resources together we identified three trends we saw throughout the show.


Yes, it’s exactly what you’re thinking—bright, shiny crystals. We first noticed them in the décor in Brizo’s stunning display,


but soon we were seeing them in products, too. It’s certainly not for everyone, but it’s fun to see how far a bit of glitz can go to enliven a bath.

Atlas ‘Legacy Crystal’ collection

ROHL Jörger ‘Palazzo’ Collection




Gray (it’s still in!)

Just before KBIS we discussed if gray is still popular. We decided yes then, but we were totally secure in that decision when we saw all the great use of gray at the show. Everything from cabinetry finishes to paint and surfaces–like this Grey Moss color from Eco by Cosentino.

Contemporary fixtures

This was the most surprising trend for us. Every booth seemed to celebrate modern design, from the stylish vignettes to the products they debuted. Many of the faucet and fixture manufacturers showed us sleek, clean-lined products with a definite contemporary aesthetic.

Moen’s new Sto faucet

Danze‘s new Logan Square bath fixtures


Simplistic modern style is growing in popularity—thanks, in part, to European design influences, but also the way the clean lines of these fixtures provide fuss-free solutions that work in anyone’s home. We’re excited to see where the trend goes from here!


In our whirlwind 1.5 days in New Orleans, we also managed to soak up a bit of the fun atmosphere, learn about the community, and enjoy some delicious local food.

Beautiful homes and architecture

A few editors at Margaret Gardens


Want to see more from the show? Check out the KBIS Facebook page, where they’re sharing the best of what’s on the web and gearing up for KBIS 2014.



My goal for the next KBIS? Find a tub even smaller than this petite model from Strom!


-Kristina McGuirk
Assistant Editor, Kitchen + Bath Ideas


I’d like to tell you that this is something everyone in the office is talking about–that juicy conversations about tile patterns are resonating within these walls where we’re busy pinning up the boldest and the brightest for inspiration.

In reality it’s just me. My voice carries, and I’m always pinning new things to my cube walls. And right now, it’s bold, large-scale, fairly traditional tile patterns.

My theory is that this is an emerging (or, actually, reemerging) trend. Most of us have seen these types of tiles before. Especially behind a range.


What’s different now is the approach. While these tiles are fine examples of traditional, Old-World style, they’re starting to pop up amongst clean-lined modern cabinetry, cozy cottage nooks, and eclectic, transitional decor. The mix of styles gives the look a fresh appeal. Plus, we’re seeing these tiles in new colors and graphic patterns, too.

I’m expecting these tiles to find a renaissance in the kitchen and bath–in the same way that wallpaper is back, creating accent walls and focal points, and bringing color, texture, and pattern to design. I wish I could show you the kitchen that inspired this post–a welcoming new space with a fun green island and fabulous bold tiles. But I just have to keep that to myself for now (you’ll find it in the Summer 2013 issue of Kitchen and Bath Ideas) and settle on sharing a few of the tile patterns I’m currently crushing on.


  1. Lascaux: Spanish patterns
  2. Exquisite Surfaces: La Terre and Medina Deco collections
  3. Ann Sacks: Tiempo and Sakura decorative tiles


Now I’m not the only one talking about big, bold, and beautiful tile!

-Kristina McGuirk, Kitchen and Bath Ideas 




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