Four leading magazines -- Better Home and Gardens, Kitchen and Bath Ideas, Traditional Home, and Midwest Living -- present kitchen and bath spaces that cater to consumers' ever-changing lifestyles.
Better Homes and Gardens designed this super-organized, eco-friendly kitchen, pantry, and mudroom. The idea is to make getting dinner on the table, organizing everyday clutter, and spending time together a breeze. At the center of the action is the banquette that turns the kitchen into a makeshift living room perfect for helping kids with homework.
The kitchen takes advantage of natural light by including a window wall with see-through glass and wood-and-steel upper cabinets. The lower cabinets include a built-in Wolf convection oven. Notice how the island is a different finish than the wall cabinets? Contrasting wood finishes keep things interesting in large spaces.
Living an eco-friendly life is easy for this family. Recycled glass makes up the countertops and tiles on the cooking backsplash. Armstrong provided the natural linoleum floor made from linseed oil and other renewable materials. If this wasn't enough to turn this family green, the super-organized recycling center carries on their mission to save the planet.
The functionality behind this kitchen comes from clutter-control. The pantry includes a small-appliance area to store items such as the bread machine and stand mixer. "You know what you have because it's right there, totally organized," says Oma Blaise Ford, BHG senior deputy editor. "The cabinets are even organized by food eaten at certain times of the day."
Designed for a family with teenagers, the Kitchen and Bath Ideas space transforms from a teen hangout to a grown-up gathering place. Sporting work zones with different cabinet finishes and door styles, the kitchen, butler's pantry, laundry, and mudroom are functional and visually interesting. Here the island provides the central spot for the cooktop and pot-filler faucet.
Ideal for multifunctional spaces, banquettes are becoming a hot trend in kitchen design. Thanks to the wireless access and TV within view, this banquette easily moves from breakfast nook to homework station to dinner table to entertainment central. The peninsula behind the banquette provides extra seating and serves as a catch-all for keys, mail, or grocery bags.
Everyone can get involved in this kitchen. The two Kohler double-bowl sinks with wall-mount faucets let two people work at once. They even have separate dishwashers. "Kitchens today are designed so people can be together but stay out of each others' hair if they're working on different tasks," says Linda Eggerss, Kitchen and Bath Ideas editor.
The family foyer/mudroom is the home's most-used entrance. Not only does the laminate flooring wear well in heavy traffic, it's economical and the stone-look keeps the area attractive. This area also keeps the rest of the house clean. The DuPont Corian-lined shower gives the family a place to hose off muddy boots and wash the family pet.
What's Mine Is Yours
The key to a successful relationship is a good balance of intimacy and personal freedom. This idea inspired Traditional Home's his-and-her bath suite. Designed for young professionals, this bathroom blends traditional design with modern accents. The common area (shown) features a roomy tub for two.
The common area makes together time enjoyable with a spa bar that includes a black DuPont Corian countertop, a marble vessel sink, a Jacuzzi towel-warming drawer, and enough storage for the couple to share. Furniture-like cabinetry from KraftMaid gives the suite a modern edge.
Her private space is distinguished by a "to-the-nines" mirror-clad dressing table, according to Robert Young, Traditional Home senior design and projects editor. The wall cabinet's mirrored panels swing in to create a three-way view. Plus, the dressing table includes drawers with dividers for manicure/pedicure supplies, cosmetics, hair accessories, and more. Her area also includes a separate bathtub where she can bathe privately.
His area features "a tricked-out steam shower with all the bells and whistles a guy likes," Young says. The DTVII Custom Showering Experience in Brushed Nickel and Polished Nickel features a shower-control system, a 54-nozzle showerhead, mood-enhancing chromatherapy, and massaging body sprays. This area also includes a vanity and custom cabinetry.
Style and Grace
Midwest Living's kitchen and master bath space lets an empty-nester couple age in place. According to a study by the American Society of Interior Designers, 82 percent of baby boomers say they're likely to remain in their current home as they age into retirement. This area features practical and stylish elements, such as faux stone, rustic beams, and DuPont Zodiaq quartz-surfacing countertops in Ocean Blue and Bianco Carrara.
Smart choices are the key to this functional space. The foot faucet controls hot and cold water flow and the garbage disposal with a touch of a toe. Other smart features include the low-slip weathered floors from Armstrong, long-handled cabinet hardware instead of knobs, lowered upper cabinets, and raised countertops that place the oven and microwave at more comfortable heights.
The low step-over height tub is designed with a 15-inch deck that makes it easy to sit, lift legs, and pivot into the tub. Once in the tub, the Kohler lever faucet handles boast easy operation. "All the comfort features are subtle -- this isn't nursing home style. It's all very chic, high-end, and sophisticated," says Carol Schalla, Midwest Living's senior home and projects editor/designer.