Kitchens trends for 2022 are more exciting than ever. Kitchens, you see, took a hard hit in 2021. They were suddenly used more than ever before, for endless cooking and tea making as well as transforming into a family meeting and social hub, a workspace and a school. This change in function has impacted kitchen design for 2022, with the room becoming more welcoming, practical and calming, and turning to natural materials and subtle design details to create beauty. The kitchen of 2022 is soothing to the eyes, hands and the soul.
"The kitchens of 2022 will feel like another extension of the home, in the sense that they will feel like a room, an additional living space within the house rather than a utilitarian place to prepare food in," says the interior designer Joy Moyler. "This will see more refined materials, art and antiques, move into the space as if becomes less focused on pure function."
As a key part of the house, kitchens are always of interest when we're looking at interior design trends and this latest crop of new ideas, new moods, new materials and new textures, is just as dynamic as ever.
Kitchen trends for 2022 explained
1. Rounded edges
Roundness in some form or other – squashy forms, arched shapes or oversized elements – having been coming to a home near you for quite a while, a trend that’s so far dominated furniture design, decorating and accessories. Now the heart of the home is getting involved, with the kitchen’s classical ‘hard’ surfaces taking a softer, curvier turn as the space’s design incorporates its new role as a place of calm, and a place to socialize. The contrast between a rounded kitchen surface and the traditional hard right angle is dramatic - it totally transforms your modern kitchen ideas. A curved edge invites you to run a hand along it, while a 90-degree angle hints at the potential to bump into it. There’s enough pressure in the kitchen without having to worry about the bruises you might have tomorrow.
‘Flowing forms and gentle curves in the kitchen draw you into the space,’ continues Gary Griffin, Manager at Rational UK. ‘Comfortable curves and gently rounded edges bring a soft calm to the room while adding a touch of sophistication. In the kitchen the curves help to create an almost mystical feel, with the organic shapes drawing inspiration from nature.’
2. Mint green
As interior design turns collectively towards natural materials, forms and colors as a way to bring the soothing, grounding character of the outdoors into the home, the kitchen takes up a classic, timeless tone picked straight from the garden as a key color for 2022. Mint is an uplifting, zingy, yet subtle green shade, one that continues the kitchen’s movement toward soft pastel shades while echoing our desire to be close to nature. It's a move on from sage green kitchen ideas which have dominated for a while, a slightly zestier approach.
‘In times of economic and social uncertainty it’s natural for us to cocoon at home in the company of loves ones, and thus a comforting palette of colors found in will continue to grow in popularity,’ explains Rob Whitaker, Creative Director of Claybrook. ‘2022 will be the year when shades such as fresh mint, olive and coriander find a natural home in the kitchen. As the room where food is prepped and cooked, wicker and wooden bowls filled with onions and garlic sit next to fresh herbs; so, it’s natural to replicate these colors in the space itself.’
3. Green cabinetry
And speaking of mint green, if you want to go a step further, then it's being used specifically for kitchen cabinet ideas. And there's a green for every style, from barely-there sage greens that almost act as a neutral to deep forest greens for a more dramatic and cocooning look. So whether you want to keep things subtle or have more fun with your kitchen colors it's time to switch up the greys and blues that have been ever-popular and play around with this versitile nature-inspired hue.
As Alex Main, Director of the The Main Company, notes, 'Consumers are definitely becoming more experimental with color and their use of raw materials within kitchen design, which is great to see. Green has continued to increase in popularity - whether used as an accent or across the cabinetry this bold colorway is becoming a key element in many industrial-inspired spaces.'
4. Subtly patterned white surfaces
Are white kitchen ideas going away? Short answer – no, they're still a big part of kitchen trends for 2022. But this time, they come with a twist. The 2022 white kitchen trend is a long way from the bright, sparkling surfaces you might be picturing, and are a lesson in how to make a white kitchen interesting with just a small tweak – the addition of texture and tactility.
‘Increasingly, homeowners and designers are finding different ways to add depth and dimension to white kitchens which are so often associated with being sleek and glossy,’ says Jonathan Stanley, VP of marketing at Caesarstone. ‘Options include drawing on pigments within the surface itself, or opting for surfaces with a matte, textured appearance. Now more than ever, white and neutral surfaces come in all shades and forms – they no longer always specifically refer to the gleaming appearance we’re more familiar with but carry a certain earthiness to them that reflects and conveys the beauty and appearance of natural, organic materials.’
5. Textured surfaces
Texture may have been something we're used to in living room trends and bedrooms for years, but it's only recently we've seen it seep into kitchens. 'Visible grain on timbers, especially on crown cut oak and ash veneers, brushed metals, honed, leathered or textured stone finishes & concrete' are all being used more often as kitchen materials explains Oana Sandu, Lead designer, Blakes London.
The look is all about giving a kitchen depth, making it less about clean lines and hard surfaces and more about creating a layered look with plenty of tactile materials. 'Textures and materials are constantly evolving in kitchens, and with homeowners growing in confidence with their design choices, the finishes are becoming bolder.' says Graeme Smith, Head of Design at Life Kitchens.
'2022 will see more expressive tactile materials such as metallics, concrete and textured doors featuring heavy wood grains as well as marble-effect and stone finishes. Adding sophistication to a kitchen layout, these striking finishes will help to tie a look together through character and individuality.'
6. Frame fronted cupboards
Frame fronted kitchens, in-frame kitchens, graph paper kitchens – whatever you call kitchen cabinet fronts defined by a rim of slim, raised edging, there’s really only one thing you need to know – they’re where we’re heading for 2022 kitchen cabinet design, on the rise to give a bit of 3D interest to wood kitchen ideas.
'The rising kitchen trend I am particularly drawn to is the geometry of framed cabinet fronts,' says Joy Moyler. 'The framework creates an opportunity to add to the story, creating interest – I would take them even further by placing decorative metal mesh in the inserts to add a bit of sparkle and panache.'
‘What draws us to this detail is that it adds so much richness to a kitchen design,’ explains Hugh Miller, Co-Founder and Designer at H. Miller Bros. ‘It allows for a variance of depth, so drawers and cabinet fronts can be recessed from the cabinet walls which adds light and shade, and avoids the monotony of an entirely flush and flat expanse of cabinetry.’
7. Wood grain
Nothing could exemplify nature’s ever-growing role in the kitchen than the return of the wood grain. For 2022, put down the paint brush, forget about glossy finishes and embrace instead slices of organic, naturally occurring beauty. In the kitchen, wood grain will come to be admired as much as the veining in marble, as a one-of-a-kind demonstration of the wonder of nature a big nod to sustainable living. Get involved with cabinetry, surfaces and on walls and floors.
‘Woodgrain is aesthetically beautifully, but it also adds soothing depth to a home,’ says Rachel Carroll, Director at Custom Fronts. ‘Many people reconnected with nature during the pandemic and they want to bring it home. The sustainability of wood as a natural material also appeals hugely to those who have been reminded how important preserving the environment is. The era of mass consumption is coming to an end and there is a growing desire for classic, long-lasting products with a light footprint.’
8. Freestanding multifunctional storage
As the needs of the kitchen changes, and it becomes more of a living space than ever before, multifunctional, flexible, free-standing furniture becomes an essential part of the design. Plus, bringing in these pieces it's an easy way to adapt your space without having to start totally from scratch - no need to revamp your kitchen island ideas here.
'As the kitchen increasingly becomes a living space in its own right, kitchen furniture design is changing to follow suit. Multi-functional furniture that blends the kitchen with the rest of the house will be more prominent in our kitchens going forwards.' explains Graeme Smith. 'Stylish stand-alone pieces such as dressers, glass cabinetry and wooden shelving will be key, rather than the standard, built-in concepts. Offering a practical yet decorative element, they offer the homeowner a chance to create a unique look through an accent color, or a mix of materials – and display their treasured items for a soft, homely feel.'
This is also a nice way to mix and blend styles in your kitchen, bringing in pieces that contrast your cabinetry. Shop second-hand for furniture that's going to add personality, texture, and interesting shapes to your kitchen.
9. Kitchens with personality
For kitchen trends in 2022, we have seen such a shift from sleek, streamlined kitchens – remember concealed kitchens and handless cabinetry were huge in 2020? – to kitchens that feel lived in. After spending so much time in them, we want them to reflect our lives as well as our styles. Curated clutter is what we are labelling it as, and a vibe that makes small kitchen storage ideas so much easier to manage.
'Overall, we see clients wanting their kitchen spaces to be personal. We have spent so much time in our homes during the past few months that we realize how essential it is to make sure each room is special.' explains Melissa Klink, Harvey Jones Creative Director. 'This has driven a lot of upcoming trends to focus on adding rather than paring back. As long as the elements are personal and meaningful, we can keep the spaces tailored instead of cluttered. In turn, the other development from the last year has been to clean out and remove anything that isn’t needed. This has been really critical for the organization and functional side of the kitchen - it has to be efficient to our everyday needs, without adding anything unnecessary.'
10. Kitchen wallpaper
Again, there really seems to be a theme here of kitchen trends that treat this once purely practical space more like a living room. Wallpaper trends in the kitchen have been slowly gaining traction this year and we are seeing it more and more. We've never been sure why wallpaper has been shunned in kitchens, paint and tiles have always been the go-to. But now we want our kitchens to feel more like an extension of our living rooms, hanging wallpaper makes sense, adding texture and depth amongst the clean lines.
It's such a simple update you could even DIY in just a weekend. Plus, it's a very low commitment way to experiment with color and pattern in the kitchen. Order some samples, stick them up in your space and live with them for a while and just see how much interest it can add to your room.
11. Slab backsplashes
Is there anything more stunning in a kitchen than a slab backsplash? A wall of interrupted stone or marble adds an instant focal point to a kitchen adding beautiful natural textures and shapes - modern kitchen backsplash ideas just keep getting more graphic.
'We still have a big demand for kitchens to make a statement. Slab splashbacks are a great trend to give an instant wow factor.' says Melissa Klink. 'Because the application isn’t being used as the main worktop, this opens up a variety of other options like specialized marble and other porous stone. Slab splashbacks are a great way to dictate the color palette of the room and reflect the light in a soft fashion.'
12. Baby blue is the new navy
We could not mention baby, sky blue. Both Dulux and Behr went for this soft pastel for their Color of the Year with Bright Skies and Breezeway and while we are sure navy blue will still stand strong as the blue for kitchens, it's definitely making room for its paler, cooler counterpart.
Tranquil and airy, it's a shade that can be adapted to suit any style from country farmhouse to uber-modern and it's a particularly good shade if you want to add color to a small kitchen.
'Opting for pale, pastel blue shades in the kitchen can help create a soothing and calming atmosphere in what is often the most hard-working and busiest room in the house,' shares designer Rebecca Hughes. 'This versatile color pairs well with marble, natural woods, and brass accessories to create a timeless and classic kitchen,' she adds.
13. Colored marble
Marble, in some form or another, makes into our kitchen trends round-up every year. And this year it's had a colorful glow up. We see a lot of marble kitchen countertops in the classic white and grey neutral tones, but marble can come in a beautiful array of shades, from pale pinks to deep emerald greens. These more unusual stones make for the perfect kitchen island material, creating a statement at the center of your space.
14. Unusual sinks
Taps have got a lot of attention in kitchen trends the past few years – black taps, brass taps, hot taps – and this year we have turned to give some thought to the humble sink. As Melissa Klink says 'To balance the stylized aesthetic of these beautiful taps, we are placing more attention on sink details. Going beyond just the obvious stainless or ceramic options, we are creating sinks from granite, marble, concrete, Corian, and adding edge detailing to make them more appealing. Within the kitchen, we spend a lot of time at the sink, so we certainly want it to be a spot of interest.'
15. Kitchen trees
We're constantly trying to find new ways to bring the outdoors in, and our love of houseplants has turned into something much... larger. House trees are becoming a more frequent feature on Pinterest and Instagram with homeowner's opting to grow full-sized trees within their kitchens. Olive trees have been the most popular, adding a very Med-vibe to any space and creating a very unique focal point.
But as Lucy St George, Co-founder of Rockett St George says 'Greenery is going nowhere. With so many of us spending more time at home, the need to connect with the natural world through our interiors is stronger than ever. In 2022, we expect the trend for bringing nature indoors to continue with a focus on botanical color palettes and prints, and green glassware, ceramics, and tables. As a more playful side to the trend, retro influences with fruit and vegetable-inspired pieces will also be making an appearance in the home, from tableware to decoration.'
16. Pantries and larders
Once reserved for more traditional kitchens, pantry ideas are becoming a key part of any kitchen design. 'Pantries and larders or larder cupboards which are hugely fashionable at the moment. It’s about organization and making the most of the space you have. If you haven’t got room for a pantry cupboard then it’s about having lovely storage jars and labelling them so they look pretty.' says designer Kate Watson-Smyth.
It's kind of linked to the whole cottagecore trend everyone went mad for last year. That return to more old-fashioned ways, storing food on open shelving, all in one place does have a very wholesome feel to it. And Hayley Robson, Creative Director at Day True, links it to a growth in more self-sufficient living too and growing food and cooking from scratch. She says, 'Fridge and freezer capacity will only increase to allow for greater storage of food, with water and ice dispensers deemed essential in order to reduce our plastic consumption and encourage a healthier lifestyle. And the pantry space will continue to be an important part of any kitchen for food storage and preservation and people will grow their own fruit and vegetables in the desire for self-sufficient living.'
17. Sustainable design choices
Speaking of living more wholesome and sustainable lives, this is also having an impact on the materials we are now choosing to build our kitchens from, or decorate them with, like eco paints. Hayley Robson predicts that 'Materials will be purer and natural, rather than too polished or plastic. The concept of mixing materials will continue and we will see the trend for upcycling, reuse and hand-crafted pieces develop.'
'Much like fashion, we are conscious of our consumption; we will invest in craftsmanship, timeless and statement pieces - we’ll buy less stuff and make it last longer, with the clashing of styles resulting in a timeless aesthetic.'
And Melissa Klink, Harvey Jones Creative Director agrees, saying that 'Focusing on designing as green as possible and creating spaces that are eco-friendly has opened up a further appreciation for reclaimed wood. And beyond the economic and environmental benefits, using reclaimed wood adds an interesting story to the kitchen space. Any material that has an organic influence helps to ground the room and provide an instant sense of calm, and reclaimed wood is warm and full of rich detail. The look is beautifully unique and something you cannot recreate using new material.'
18. 3D surfaces
Last year’s supremely popular fluted glass trend is moving into non-transparent materials for 2022 as we seek out new ways to enjoy surfaces with fluidity and vigour. While three-dimensional tiles often follow architectural and geometric forms, on kitchen cabinetry the emerging shapes feel far more mellow.
Alongside fluted designs, we’re also seeing ribbed and scalloped surfaces coming through. 'The beauty of taking a three-dimensional approach', says Annika Rowson, director of Rowson Kitchens, 'lies in the way it provides depth and interest, without overpowering. As the light changes through the day, so the shadows move and shift across the surface to create new ever-moving patterns,’ she says. ‘I like to use a pared-back palette of materials in soothing, complementary tones, and let texture bring it all to life.'
19. Colorful wood stains
Because wood can come in more than just various shades of brown. You can get all those lovely natural textures that come from raw wooden kitchen cabinets but opt for a colored stain for a bolder look - this is the same approach we're seeing in the world of colored concrete. Charlie Smallbone, Founder, Ledbury Studio, says 'I’ve started applying beautiful colored stains on wood. Stains allow you to celebrate the beauty of the wood grain while pushing it beyond its raw, natural state to enhance the overall beauty of the kitchen by adding rich texture.'
'So far, we’ve worked with greys, purples, violets, and pinks, but clients can have any color they want. This chimes with increasing consumer demand for personalization in the kitchen; creating something that is unique to the individual.' Color and texture? Ticks two of the biggest kitchen trends for 2022 at once.
20. Colored concrete
Colored concrete is being used all over the house and it's practical, durable material for kitchens. Ben Allen, the architect who pigmented it with copper for his green kitchen countertop ideas, above, says that it actually gets better with age, and doesn't chip distressingly in the same way that man-made materials can.
Are grey kitchens still in style?
Grey kitchens are never going out of style - they are easy to live with, soothing, calming, and allow for you to experiment with brighter shades on accessories or tiles. For 2022, try a deeper grey, one with brown pigments in it, for a look that feels really on trend.
Hebe is the Digital Editor of Livingetc; she has a background in lifestyle and interior journalism and a passion for renovating small spaces. You'll usually find her attempting DIY, whether it's spray painting her whole kitchen, don't try that at home, or ever changing the wallpaper in her hallway. Livingetc has been such a huge inspiration and has influenced Hebe's style since she moved into her first rental and finally had a small amount of control over the decor and now loves being able to help others make decisions when decorating their own homes. Last year she moved from renting to owning her first teeny tiny Edwardian flat in London with her whippet Willow (who yes she chose to match her interiors...) and is already on the lookout for her next project.
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