Welcome to our regular look at kitchen design trends, this time for summer 2022. At this time of year, colour is appearing everywhere outside in the natural world, and designers are equally keen for us to bring it into our homes. Colours, patterns, exuberance. That’s the theme for this season.
Wood is really making a comeback – even if it ever really went away. At the ‘budget’ end is plywood, which is durable, hard-wearing and naturally water-resistant – and is manufactured in a far more sustainable way than MDF or chipboard. Lots of different plywoods are available for kitchen designers – birch, oak, walnut, Douglas fir and bamboo.
Last year walnut looked as though it was going to be the wood of choice, but already it has faded away and been replaced by paler, more textured timbers. Opt for worktops in a different material – composites, granite, quartz and so on – to avoid drifting into log cabin mode!
Rough sawn-oak timber cabinetry, with exposed brickwork, provides a different slant on the ‘industrial’ look, paired with leather and statement pendant lighting.
For those who love the industrial option, some cabinet doors now look as though they are made of textured concrete or rough stone (but without the weight!). This look is probably best with fittings in strong metallics, and a feature wall to introduce some colour – and thus steer clear of an overly factory-feel. As well as textured concrete, distressed timber and rough-hewn surfaces are on the upward trend. Vertical graining can help to add height as well as depth to cabinetry. A number of worktops focus on their recycled credentials, being made from brick rubble and concrete, and recycled glass.
Wallpaper can really make a statement in a kitchen as well as being used, for example, as an alternative to tiles above a cooker or sink. It just needs to be covered with glass to protect it.
Whilst islands retain their long-lasting appeal there are signs that the more humble kitchen table is returning. Known as the table island, it is flexible (some are on wheels) and can have drawers and shelving at the bottom for storage. It can be less bulky and dominant than an island and also convey a classic, vintage look (think Downton Abbey below stairs – but don’t bother to see the film). If the island is still the choice of your customer, the front of it could be used for banquette seating, which also provides additional storage.
If natural wood for cabinetry is not for your client, then make sure it is colourful with the trend for dark, bold colours being unabated – now being paired with beige tones (instead of grey) for a slightly warmer feel.
Larders, pantries, walk-in cupboards. No matter the name, everybody wants one. Choice definitely is dictated by the space available from a huge number of integrated larders, to freestanding ones, and dedicated full-size pantries with sinks.
Looking at detail, handles – or rather handleless – is something the designer needs to factor into their work. Handleless tends to work well in sleek, contemporary kitchens, ideally with subtle texturing on the cabinetry or a fingerprint-resistant surface to avoid smudges. The ultra-thin composite worktops which are now available, work really well with the handleless kitchen.
Watch out for copper taps with exposed pipework and brushed brass – which can age beautifully – and those taps that deliver varying amounts of carbonation in the water.
Concrete flooring has a lot to offer – being hardwearing, easy to clean and brilliant with underfloor heating. It can be left in its natural colour, or colours can be added, followed by polishing and sealing to give a non-porous surface. And as sustainability and eco-friendliness becomes ever more important, some concretes use a high proportion of recycled materials.
Technology is ever – and increasingly – present in the home. There’s no need to stop at apps for smart lighting, when so much else can be connected if this is your client’s wish – such as blinds, home security, heating and an alert if the dog starts to bark. The list is endless – although if the WIFI fails (surely not?!), there may be trouble ahead. Some research indicates that with the delay in obtaining appliances caused by the pandemic and shortage of materials, some customers are willing to wait even long to get the very latest models with the absolute latest technology.
If you run out of surfaces to texture or paint in dark colours, then now is the time to move to the fridge door. A large rectangle in the centre can be marked off, painted with black chalkboard paint – and then used for shopping lists, menus and to do lists.
Sources: bhg.com; idealhome.co.uk; homebuilding.co.uk; thespruce.com; kbbmagazine.co.uk; livingetc.com; housebeautiful.com
Image sources: Image source: Mereway Kitchens, Second Nature Kitchens, Wayfair, Samsung, Zoodmall, Beliani UK, Howdens, Black by Design and Homes Direct