What's hot in the world of kitchen trends? It's that time of year where we look into our glass ball of interior design trends and predict what's coming for the future. And by that we mean we ask the experts, kitchen designers, and stylists what they've seen coming through for the year ahead. Plus, we've seen a few interior design trends ourselves that we'll definitely be trying out in the new year. So if you're looking to update your kitchen or planning a totally new design for 2022, this is a good place to start.
What are the kitchen trends for 2022?
We're pretty sure we said something similar last year, but in these last 18 months our kitchens really have never worked hard. We ask so much of them now. No longer just places to cook, they've become even more of a social hub of the home, plus we now potentially work and on the occasion teach from them too. And that of course has dictated the kitchen trends of the last two years. Multifunctionality and practicality are still up there with the top kitchen priorities – we want flexible spaces with open plan layouts and the ability to turn from cooking space to workspace in an instant.
But that's not to say there aren't some really fun and uplifting kitchen ideas for 2022 too. Without getting too deep into the psychologies of color, after the grimness we've been through it's no surprise we are being braver with color and pattern than ever before. And the materials and shapes are getting more interesting too, moving away from clean lines and the obvious choice of materials to interesting shapes and textures.
So, whether your current kitchen needs renovating or you simply want to refresh a tired scheme, take inspiration from our top kitchen trends for 2022...
1. Green cabinetry
Calming and uplifting green kitchens have overtaken navy as the most popular hue to paint our kitchen cabinetry. 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.'
2. Texture Texture Texture
Texture may have been a trend in living rooms and bedrooms for years, but it's only recently we've seen 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.'
3. 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.
'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.
4. Kitchens with personality
Speaking of personality, we've seen such a shift this year 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 labeling it as.
'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.'
5. 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. The trend for wallpaper in the kitchen has 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.
6. Two toned kitchens
We remember writing about two-toned kitchens back in 2019, and they are still a strong kitchen trend for 2022. But rather than being all about color, mixing materials and different textures is becoming increasingly popular. It's a nice way to add interest to a kitchen and still keep to a neutral color scheme. Note how in this kitchen, classic navy blue cabinetry has been used for the wall cabinets, and the floor cabinets are beautiful raw wood. It's still two-tone, just in a more muted way.
7. Slab splashbacks
Is there anything more stunning in a kitchen than a slab splashback? A wall of interrupted stone or marble adds an instant focal point to a kitchen adding beautiful natural textures and shapes.
'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.'
8. Baby blue in 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.
9. Coloured 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.
10. 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.'
11. Go bigger with houseplants in the kitchen
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.'
12. Pantries and larders
Once reserved for more traditional kitchens, pantries 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.'
13. 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. 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.'
14. 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.'
15. 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. 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.
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