From black cabinets to hidden extractors and storage, the multipurpose kitchen is driving the latest design innovations
We asked top kitchen retailers for their thoughts on the biggest trends for the busiest room in your home.
Slim work surfaces
The latest ceramic and porcelain slim worksurfaces combine durability with the look of natural stone. ‘The trend has moved away from chunky surfaces and towards slimmer profiles,’ reveals Simon Bodsworth, MD at Daval. Manufacturing advances have also given rise to shallow depth and bevelled edge options in cost-effective laminates.
New materials such as highpressure laminate and the latest composites provide durable concrete and metallic effects that can be easier to install than the real thing. ‘Modern surfaces replicate the look of expensive specialist materials at an affordable price,’ explains Bruce Thomas, designer at Mereway Kitchens.
Matt cabinet finishes
Image: Rotpunkt UK
Matt cabinet finishes are superseding high-gloss options. They reflect less light to give a more understated look and, on a practical level, are not as likely to show fingerprints. ‘Powder-coated lacquer delivers a contemporary textured look,’ says Matt Phillips, head of UK operations at Rotpunkt UK. Create contrast with rustic wood or stone surfaces and metallic fittings.
Multi functional appliances
Image: Masterclass Kitchens
Thanks to the increasing availability of multifunctional appliances, the traditional working triangle has become less important. Consider arranging compact workstation areas including a collection of countertop foodpreparation gadgets, and a bank of built-in appliances with user-friendly fridge drawers. ‘Create a feature of these areas by mixing up different cabinet styles, including inset units,’ says Steve Fury, design director at Trend Transformations.
Hidden extractor fans
The desire to avoid visual and physical obstructions in an open-plan space has made the hidden extractor a must-have. ‘There has been a demand for flush-fitted ceiling-mounted, worktop-based and wire-hung extractors,’ explains Fiona Barker-Scott, brand manager at Falmec. ‘An extractor with a front panel that can be replaced with the same material as the worksurface and/or splashback is another popular innovation.’
Space saving storage
Clever space-saving, streamlined storage options are ever more important for concealing practical essentials in an open-plan or broken-plan scheme. Choosing the same finish for the living area will create a seamless look. ‘Rather than seeing the kitchen as simply a working room, demand the same level of design as the rest of your home,’ says Vincent Glue, senior designer at Smallbone of Devizes.
Luxury details such as smoked glass, warm metallics and deep colours are key to creating focal points. Heavily grained wood and dark veneers are also making a comeback. ‘Oak and elm in graphite grey and black offer an on-trend look that moves away from pale woods,’ explains Neil Lerner, founder of Neil Lerner Kitchen Design.