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Latest trends published

25th November 2019

One of the strongest trends for kitchens and bathrooms in the months ahead is ‘personalisation’.  Everything from mixing and matching different finishes, materials and colours for appliances, cabinetry and fixtures, to one-off, completely individual custom commissions of, for example, large tile artworks.  This is a great opportunity for kitchen and bathroom designers to really showcase their skills, but it underlines more than ever the need for a powerful, easy to use, flexible CAD system – and increasingly VR functionality – to ensure that the customer’s personal dream is being correctly interpreted and accurately visualised – and that it will work in their everyday real world.

Kitchens: 

The trend towards strong, dark colours continues, encompassing black, deep greys, greens and navy blues.  It’s interesting to see how, if used correctly, these colours can make the kitchen look inviting, warm and oh so luxurious – when we have all lived with the ‘ideal’ of light, white and neutrals for what seems forever.

The luxe feeling is continued with marble, marble and yet more marble.  But now it has to be as strongly veined and ‘busy’ as possible – regardless of whether it is the real thing or one of the many brilliant man-made alternatives.  For those who like red wine, engineered quartz is highly recommended as it doesn’t stain!

Handleless is good, but if you must have handles, then now is the time to make them as individual or colourful as possible.

Islands – although it may seem impossible – are becoming even larger, and when space allows, the double island is the way to go.  Marble is making its presence felt here as a worksurface for these massive structures, with the option for a ‘waterfall’ at the end to hide cabinetry.

For some designers, wood seems to be making a comeback with pale ash tones, and the richer tone of walnut, although it is being used selectively and not usually across all cabinetry.  Engineered wood floors come in a vast range of colours and styles for classic beauty.  Eco friendly materials are likely to become more desirable for some consumers – bamboo, and even recycled plastic bottles are being used.

Larders are, quite simply, loved.  And on the theme of storage, plate racks are making a comeback, along with open shelving.

The use of different metals marches on.  Anything goes, along as it doesn’t match – so mixing brass, nickel and anything else – across the kitchen is right on trend.  Brass – particularly the unlacquered option which ages over time – looks great in many different settings, and works particularly well with marble.

Metal sinks (beyond the faithful stainless-steel ones) are also being advocated by some designers, including those finished in gold and copper.  But regardless of whether you fancy these or not, having a statement sink is definitely the direction you need to take.  Big is better, and standout is essential – for example combining soapstone with brass hardware.  The sink is becoming a focal point:  an essential element in food preparation is taking on a whole new look.

Splashbacks provide another opportunity for adding unique, highly personalised touches to a kitchen space.  Now they should be taller – right up the (statement) extractor hood or the ceiling, and the choice of materials including glass, metals and tiles is huge.

Looking skywards, the ceiling – or fifth wall – is hoping to take centre stage.  Painting the ceiling a different colour, rather than being wedded to white, can dramatically change the appearance of a room.  For those anxious about embracing dark colours on walls or cabinetry, the ceiling may be somewhere to try out this look.  There are some fabulous wallpapers around – and these can be used on the ceiling (as long as you have an amenable decorator).

Defining the different zones in rooms which not only house the kitchen, but also encompass living and dining space, calls for innovative lighting, which creates the right mood in the right space.  However, the lines should not be drawn too rigidly, with striking artwork and tall wall mirrors being used to make the whole space individual and, in some cases, quirky.

Trends now firmly encompass technology – and those for the kitchen are no exception.  New nanotechnological materials, which are extra matt, are anti-fingerprint, no matter where they are touched.  Pyrolytic ovens clean themselves by removing all the oxygen and then heating up to 500 degrees centigrade.

And finally, how about the Bluetooth enabled cutlery, which alerts you when you are eating too quickly – and thus in danger of perhaps eating too much and gaining weight!

Bathrooms:  Yet more marble and metal

Many of the design trends forecast for kitchens, not surprisingly are also true for bathrooms.

PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) will enable bathroom manufacturers, especially those with showering systems, to offer a wide range of different colour finishes and personalisation.

Metal fittings in brass, gold and copper are everywhere.  These can gain even more attention with the move, even in a small space, for the standout sinks which are forecast for kitchens.  Supersize sinks are definitely in, with natural materials such as stone, concrete – and obviously marble – being the most favoured.  If possible, they should be complemented by statement tiles – which need to be as eye-catching as possible.  Three-dimensional ones can certainly be dramatic and can simulate fabrics, weaving and industrial finishes, amongst others.

Whilst tiles have been dominated by shades of grey in recent years, colours, patterns and textures are now firmly in play.  And sizes vary from a resurgence of the smaller format (think Moroccan mosaics) to the huge artwork-style tiles, which incorporate patterns more familiar to wallpaper.

And on the subject of wallpaper, perhaps for a less permanent fixture than tiles – or for just one wall – some designers are advocating wallpaper to create different moods and atmospheres.

For those looking for a more ‘zen’ like atmosphere, wood can also be used in the bathroom for flooring, furniture and even baths.

Technology, of course, is present in the bathroom, already delivering digitally controlled showers and shower toilets.  The promise (threat?) of smart mirrors is on the horizon, which analyse face shapes, skin types and advise on make-up.  And those which with hand gestures or voice control, can deliver calendar alerts, email functionality and weather reports – directly to the mirror in front of you.

Bedrooms:   

The design of a bedroom is a very personal affair.  Unlike other rooms, it is less likely to be on show to friends, family and neighbours, which allows the householder to personalise the space, if they wish, to a much greater extent.

Rather than the single palette of colour which has tended to dominate, there is now a move towards different colours, sometimes using wallpaper to achieve this.  Wallpaper can be truly fabulous – or a dreadful mistake:  it is notoriously difficult to visualise how the chosen small sample of paper will look when it covers a whole wall or a whole room.  Thank goodness for the designer, armed with their CAD system and increasingly frequently, its integral VR application.  This is the only way to accurately visualise all the details of the new design and provide the ability to experience and ‘live in it’ – before the first strip of paper is stuck to the wall.

The predominance of shades of grey as the colour of choice for bedrooms seems to be waning.  Although dark colours are making their presence felt in kitchens and bathrooms, the need for a lighter touch seems to remain in the bedroom.  Taking over from grey – or being used to complement it – is pale mint green, shades of grey green, the ever-popular blues and the warmer tones of ochre and yellow.

Colour can be introduced not only with paint but also drawing on the huge choice of wallpapers, which can give a bedroom a more cosy, intimate feel, and add greater depth.   For some designers, minimalism is a word to be banned from the bedroom – with ‘maximalism’ taking its place, and allowing free rein to the desire to use luxurious or glamorous fabrics, and incorporate personal decorative items which add to that aura of wellness.

Natural and eco-friendly materials are definitely on trend, helping to continue a feeling of wellbeing, and there is a move towards wooden flooring with rugs providing splashes of colour and softness underfoot.

Shine is good, with lots of glazed and mirrored surfaces, combining metals and glass which can be frosted, coloured or smoke.  Not only can this help add to the feeling of luxury and glamour, but it also brings light into the room.

For furniture, winged and sleigh beds continue to be popular, as well, increasingly, as ‘container’ or storage beds which can be extremely useful in smaller rooms.  And traditional bedside cabinets are being moved aside in the search for more multifunctional or individual pieces.

Sources: Houzz, Kitchens & Bathrooms News, Egger, Cosentino, Essential Kitchen & Bathroom business, Designer Kitchens & Bathrooms, Homes & Gardens, Country Living, Milan Design Week, Décor Trends