When people shop for homes, they inquire about things like foundational stability, energy efficiency, and the presence of natural light. But as any seasoned realtor will tell you, the answers to those intelligent questions are easily trumped by how appealing the kitchen and bathroom are to prospective buyers. That fact is proven every year by the throngs of people that attend shows made to highlight the hottest trends in kitchen and bathroom décor and design. With technology advancing at warp speed, it’s safe to say that 2019’s innovations and styles are more groundbreaking than ever before.

Body Bobbing

Young woman relaxing as she drifts in a flotation tub.

For years, athletes and eccentrics have raved about the benefits of sensory deprivation tanks, claiming that immersion in water not only heals muscles and tendons but also creates a sea of relaxation that is both mentally and physically transformative. Thanks to the wonder of flotation tubs, you can now experience this phenomenon from the comfort of your own bathroom. These oversized rectangular vessels are riddled with massaging jets that put your body in a state of weightlessness comparable to floating in outer space. Elle H-Millard, the Industry Relations Manager for the National Kitchen & Bath Association, said, “floating has incredible health benefits, providing a true sense of relaxation, rest, and comfort.”

Influential Voices

Man uses voice commands to communicate with his Microsoft smart mirror.

In 2017, Star Trek fans gained control of the Bridge Crew through a set of voice commands integrated into video game software. Now you can use voice activation at home to control everything from bathroom and kitchen fixtures to appliances and mirrors. Kudos to Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant for thrusting voice control into everyday life and encouraging the exponential growth of this technology. Thanks to those devices, you can now do things like turn on your shower well ahead of time, telling it exactly what spray setting and temperature you prefer. Alternatively, you can use a voice assistant to fill up a pot with a specific amount of water or preheat the oven while you’re getting home from work. Yes, this innovation seems to offer unlimited possibilities.

3D Printing Goes Metal

A 3D Printed bathroom faucet.

We’ve all marveled at the plastic prototypes created by 3D printing in the past couple years. The seemingly magical process has already been used to create common household goods and medical implants, and it only continues to amaze in the manufacturing world. Now, LIXIL Americas has 3D printed a set of fantastically-designed metal faucets for the public. Jean-Jacques L’Henaff, the company’s Vice President of Design, explains: “3D printing allows manufacturers to push the boundaries with material options, processes, cost, and quality of goods.” A kitchen and bath trend that will surely be heard around the world.

Rolling In The Deep

For decades, cooks have appreciated that deep drawer under the oven that easily accommodates broiler pans and pot lids. Finally, kitchen cabinet designs are starting to incorporate extra deep drawers to easily store Dutch ovens and other hefty pots that there never seems to be enough space for.

Sinks With Built-In Lids

A modern kitchen sink with a built-in sliding lid.

Not only can you hide dirty dishes in kitchen sinks with covers, but you can also use the extra counter space for whatever you want. Sliding lids can also transform bathroom sinks into flat surfaces to hold makeup bags and protect precious jewelry from falling down the drain.

Treasure Islands

Kitchen islands with ample storage space in their lower regions are ideal for storing small appliances and other counter clutterers. Many new models also feature expandable tabletops to provide a couple extra seating spots for dinner guests.

Bringing Home the Banquette

A small kitchen banquette.

So many people like the cushy comfort of banquette seating in coffee shops and diners that they are now available in a wide range of styles for home kitchens. Plus, they still leave one or more sides of their tables open for conventional chairs, allowing everyone to use their preferred seating type.