What's hot in the world of kitchen trends? From exposed kitchen storage, smart extractors and patterned flooring to raw surfaces, cool colours and fluted glass, there's certainly no shortage of modern kitchen ideas for the decade ahead.
So, whether your current kitchen needs renovating or you simply want to refresh a tired scheme, take inspiration from the latest modern kitchen trends...
Sage green kitchens are fast becoming one of the biggest kitchen trends. Whether its paint, cabinetry or tiles, the hue is popping up everywhere. Instagram is awash with sage advice, including from cult designer Matilda Goad, who chose the green hue as the backdrop for her kitchen cupboards.
If you're planning a new kitchen, it's worth heading to Used Kitchen Exchange, where you'll find ex-display and pre-owned kitchens and appliances from the likes of Smallbone, Harvey Jones and Sub-Zero at a fraction of the retail price.
You can trade your existing kitchen in too, not only does this generate cash towards your new one, it recycles precious resources, too, saving up to eight tonnes of carbon (the equivalent of making a family of four carbon neutral for a year).
Melissa Klink, Head of Design at Harvey Jones says, 'There is a big demand amongst our clients for their kitchens to make a statement. Slab splashbacks are a great trend, as it opens up a variety of options like specialised marble and other porous stone that you couldn't use for a kitchen worktop.'
Instagram has been awash with the #cottagecore trend as many seek to capture the nostalgia and comfort of country life in perilous times - and while we wouldn't advocate basing a long term design decision such as a new kitchen on such fleeting fads, there's no denying that country and vintage influences are going strong.
Particularly popular in kitchens are aged brass and bronze finishes. In fact, Perrin & Rowe report that 6 out of 10 customers choose a non chrome finish for their kitchen tap. This Armstrong mixer in the Aged Brass finish can be complemented matching brass sockets and switches, pendant lights, cabinet handles and even small appliances and kitchen utensils.
Ok, so that might sound more like a reference to a new car than a kitchen, but there's no denying Covid-19 is shaping design trends.
Hayley Robson, Creative Director at Day True, says. 'We will all be cooking more at home; therefore the functionality of appliances will become more important and considered. Fridge and freezer capacity will 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.
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.'
Daniela Condo, Designer at Life Kitchens, says "Originally used in industrial kitchens, metal framing is growing in popularity. It's an eye-catching design element, the framing works well for open shelving and the dark metal finish can be carried through to features such as taps and table or chair legs."
PANTRIES AND LARDERS
There can't be many home cooks who haven't lusted after a Nigella-style pantry but few homes have an old-school walk-in larder. Step forward the larder unit, a modern alternative, with drawers to store vegetables, shelves for tins, jars and more.
This beautiful larder from Plain English is painted in the brand's own, aptly named 'Sauce' hue.
"A walk-in pantry doesn’t require as much space as you may think," says Katie Fontana, Creative Director of Plan English. "Even a small area of about 1000x1000mm, with an outward-opening door, can be useful with enough room for you to stand inside. In a confined space, floor-to-ceiling shelves with a 200mm to 300mm depth allow every item to be on show.
A former cloakroom can be adapted to have a small undercounter 600mm-wide fridge and a worktop at one end, with shelves on one or more walls. We avoid pocket doors on our cupboards as they involve fragile hardware, but traditional hinged bifold doors work in tight spaces."
As we become aware of our consumption habits, many are choosing longevity over novelty and wasting less. "People will remain more adventurous in their choices of colour, pattern and material. Tones that reflect nature, including greens and blues, will remain popular as they provide a rich contrast when combined with a more neutral palette. 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,: says Hayley Robson, Creative Director, Day True.
Last year’s supremely popular fluted glass trend is moving into non-transparent materials for 2021 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, such as this stunning Corian island in Rowson Kitchens’ showroom, 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.
COLOUR TONED TIMBER
Charlie Smallbone, Founder, Ledbury Studio, says 'I’ve started applying beautiful coloured 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 colour they want. This chimes with increasing consumer demand for personalisation in the kitchen; creating something that is unique to the individual. Personalisation has been gathering momentum for the past three years and I can only see this strengthening in 2021.'
TONGUE & GROOVE
The long established love for tongue and groove panelling is more popular than ever, according to Merlin Wright, Design Director at Plain English. "Tongue and groove started as a practical way to cover rough walls in the less formal parts of an early Georgian house. These more humble 'below stairs' areas have an enduring appeal," says Merlin.
Move over globe pendants, the conical light is jostling for position above our kitchen islands and tables. The new creamware pendant light by deVOL is handmade with earthenware clay and hand-painted a glossy cream so no piece looks the same. Perfect for that touch-of-vintage feel.
One of the strongest style trends that has come through in modern kitchen design is the colour blue, and this can be traced from classic Shaker-style kitchens right through to chic and minimal modern spaces.
Whether it's on walls, floors, cabinetry or splashbacks, blue has been replacing grey as the go-to - and it's navy blue kitchens that are turning heads at Livingetc HQ.
Helen Shaw, Benjamin Moore UK Director comments; “Kitchens can be costly investments and aren’t easily interchangeable, so using paint to add a splash of colour to walls, cabinet fronts, tiles, or shelving unit is not only cost effective, but also allows for a unique burst of creativity and personality to be injected with ease.
We’ve seen a significant rise in sales of paint for these types of jobs and interestingly the darker hues have been most popular, especially deep blues and greens.”
Neptune’s ever-popular Suffolk collection – made from timber and renowned for its less-is-more aesthetic – has a new look for 2021. It now comes hand-painted in Ink, a deliciously dark shade that injects instant sophistication and is the perfect backdrop for crockery and glassware.
When is a kitchen not a kitchen? When it is concealed with chameleon-like prowess to obscure the functional and put the focus squarely on form. This trend for un-kitchen-y kitchens, creeping up on us in tandem with the open-plan movement has reached peak refined beauty.
The trick is to select a considered palette of materials and finishes that are more typically associated with living room furniture. Luxurious timbers and exotic stones score highly, plus use fully integrated appliances wherever possible.
These cupboard doors in this kitchen from Eggersmann Design are a new composite wood called Maro Ebony, which has an embossed, grain-like texture that changes with the light in the most incredible way. Manmade using sustainably grown timber, it has a three-dimensional grain effect that emulates rare, exotic wood. Like the marble, it has subtle flecks of orange that add extra warmth and interest
Terrazzo is cranking up its lust factor this summer thanks to the bold colour options in Balineum’s new Siren tile collection. Handcrafted in Italy, it offers six saturated pigments in three square sizes – 10cm, 20cm and 60cm. Stick to a single palette or mix them for extra sass.
Bring some East Coast style to your kitchen or bathroom with the limited edition Miami Colour Pop collection from Dowsing & Reynolds. It features striking taps in pastel pink, soft white and neo mint, which have a matt finish and work with a variety of surfaces.
A bulky extractor fan can ruin the look of a super-sleek, minimalist kitchen. Hurrah then for Falmec’s barely there Alba design. Its glass frame sits almost flush to the ceiling and is LED backlit.
HOBS WITH HIDDEN EXTRACTORS
Choosing the right extractor for an island hob can be tricky, but the Nikola Tesla Switch from Elica certainly makes it easier. The four-zone induction hob has a built-in extractor, concealed by a glass and cast-iron ring, offering a powerful extraction rate of 5.1m per second.
Our love for brass is showing no sign of abating, and it’s not surprising with on-point designs like this tap from Abode. The monobloc mixer’s hexagonal detailing will add industrial style. It’s all about the antique brass finish with a patina that will only get better over time.
Nkuku’s hand-embossed straps in black and brown leather are just the ticket for tired-looking kitchen cupboards or perhaps that charming but scruffy antique dresser in need of some TLC. ‘Add to basket’ immediately.
Following the introduction of FoodView in its pyrolytic ovens – a feature that allows you to check on the cooking status of food from your smartphone thanks to an internal camera (one for the keen soufflé chef) – Miele has introduced a cooker hood capable of communicating with its induction hobs via Con@ctivity 3.0 technology to automatically operate at optimum settings and switch off when the hob is no longer in use. Impressive stuff, yes, but that’s not to disregard its elegant doesn’t-look-like-an-extractor-hood design in a sleek white gloss finish.
Known for infusing his brand with a rock’n’roll aesthetic, Massimo Buster Minale of Buster + Punch has drawn on his love of motorbikes to create a new Burnt Steel finish that mimics the rainbow effect of oxidised exhaust pipes.
Check out this striking look on Precious Bar – a nifty cabinet handle with padlock and chain you can trust to keep tots well away from your whisky collection.
Embrace your tile imperfections with Patch Decor, part of Iris Ceramica’s striking new BeLike collection. The design is inspired by the Japanese restoration technique kintsugi, which repairs fragments of broken pottery with gold. The wall tile comes in blue and brown, with the glittering lines creating fractured geometric patterns.
Imagine asking your tap to dispense 150ml of warm water. Controlled by Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant, the U by Moen provides any volume of water up to 20 litres and at precise temperatures. It also works manually.
DITCH THE PLASTIC
Thought your Quooker boiling water tap was a feat of modern day engineering? Then get a load of this; install the new CUBE extension (attached to the existing tank with a CO2 cylinder) and the tap will stream not just filtered, chilled and boiling but a sparkling option too.
Hydroponics is one of the fastest growing (excuse the pun) horticultural trends, and Ikea has a complete hydroponics collection for cultivating plants indoors all year round. The Växer range includes LED lights, nursery and sprout boxes, cultivation insert sets and growing media, including starter plugs, pumice and fertiliser, all mounted in a stylish cultivating unit.
Danish company Vipp has unveiled a grey version of its modular kitchen. The design is made from powder-coated aluminium and has a stainless steel worktop. Think of the kitchen as building blocks – there are four modules, including the Island, which gives versatility in an open-plan space, and the Tall for maximum storage. Kitchen Lego for grown-ups – we’re ready to play!
While an all-out timber treatment might be hard to get right without treading perilously close to traditional lines, we're all over the restrained injection of woody warmth.
As with most natural materials, the joy of embracing timber in the kitchen lies in its inherent uniqueness. With real wood it's impossible to achieve an exact copy - and therein lies the richness and personality that will ensure your new kitchen stands out.
Ideal for creating a distinction between two zones without the harshness of a straight line, these jagged connections are set to bring kitchen floors to life this year.
Champion shaped tiles, but choose wisely. The key to a smart connection is exactitude - untidy joints won't cut it. Hexagonal tiles are your six-sided friends, particularly when paired with wood flooring that can be cut with millimetre precision.
ON THE GRID
Crittall converts will fall for this dynamic approach to fine framework, as it moves from architecture to kitchen fittings. We're seeing it used for grid-like shelving, often suspended from the ceiling for maximum impact, or cuboid cubby-style storage in lieu of wall units. As well as within vertical surfaces, such as doors and splashbacks, with contrasting materials recessed in geometric patterns with striking effect.
Favoured at various points throughout history – from Greek columns and pilasters to reeded glass in Art Deco, and then mid-century, furniture – the latest fluted revival is firmly kitchen bound.On cabinetry, fluted patterns can be used to provide 3D interest – just enough to bounce the light and add character while staying within the simplicity of modern design – offering privacy and depth.
IN THE RAW
Bert & May’s passion for raw materials runs through to its kitchen designs which reference the past but feel contemporary. We love the reclaimed look of Yard (below). Kitchens start from £25,000, and the new ranges are on display at the showroom in East London.
Otto Tiles has quickly earned itself a reputation as a go-to for gorgeous handmade tiles with irregular finishes, and its creamy Ecru Zellige tiles alongside the subtle pattern of Pera tiles are perfect for that lived-in look. Ecru Zellige tiles; Pera encaustic cement tiles, both ottotiles.co.uk.
Five new colours have been addedto the Metropolitan collection by Caesarstone. With industrial shades inspired by concrete and burnished metals, highlights include 4046 Excava, with rusty copper tones, and the terrazzo-led 4601 Frozen Terra.
DeVOL’s Carrara marble butler sinks bring a slice of cool Italia to its English-country aesthetic. Choose the Milano Penthouse or Tuscan Farmhouse design, with each sink cut from a single block of honed, smooth stone, which ages beautifully over time.
The much admired Air kitchen by deVol has had a timely design update. Inspired by the timber work of old gentlemen’s haberdasheries, it now features dark interior cupboards, aged copper end panels and natural stained oak finishes.
If you long for a bit of peace and quiet while rustling up dinner, a Navy cooker hood could well be your new best friend. The 7840 Vision model has the sleek, good looks the design conscious love, but still boasts a noise-reduction system to keep that whirring noise at bay.
Dinner party like a pro with Miele’s sleek wine conditioning unit. Not only does it hold up to 83 bottles – which should be more than enough for a riotous evening – but it features a Sommelier set, complete with a glass holder and decanting racks. Independent temperature zones mean you can store reds, whites and champagnes all at their optimum condition inside the same unit.
LOOKS LIKE STONE
We're all for colourful, mosaic-style ceramics, yet the Cube collection of floor and wall tiles from Iris Ceramica is something altogether more effortlessly chic. Spanning a palette of cool neutrals, each porcelain tile interprets a stone finish with faithfully reproduced details like veins. Fast-track to a classic-meets-cool kitchen with a square design, or introduce a hexagon or lozenge shape for a quirky twist.
Love Le Creuset's casserole dish colours? Go one step further and deck out your appliances in one of its shades. A collab with Italian manufacturer Steel Cucine means cooker hoods, cookers and fridges from its Ascot, Genesi and Oxford ranges are now available in this pretty purple hue and many more Le Creuset colours.
Flat surfaces are a thing of the past, thanks to the rising trend of 3D tiles. And Iris Ceramica’s new collection, Bowl, has gone straight onto our shopping list. With an artisanal feel, Bowl is available in 10 x 20cm tiles and comes in 10 shades, including Old Rose and Grey. The tiles will give clever depth to walls, whether you’re after elegant modernity or vintage chic.
See Also: The Latest Bathroom Trends.