In terms of colour, blue continues to be extremely popular with deeper tones working well in almost any style of kitchen to provide a sophisticated atmosphere. Colour accents can also be introduced in upholstery (such as bar stools at an island) or on a sofa. But despite the emphasis on colour, wood is coming back into fashion with its ability to evoke a more natural environment.
The good news is that although white has been firmly banished as the ubiquitous colour, for those customers who are loathe to adopt the new stronger colour palettes, shades of earthy tan and golden dunes (seen across the fashion catwalks) are the season’s new neutrals.
As ever storage plays a very important part in kitchen design – and the cleverer the better. Fluted glass for cupboards complements open shelving. And whenever possible, room should be allowed for a wine cabinet – an increasingly must-have appliance. If there is not space for a walk- in larder, then tall cupboards are the next best thing.
Contrasting textures are important with interesting materials for handles and knobs. As elsewhere in the house, chrome is being pushed out – even for kitchen drawer knobs – in favour of (in one case) leather handles.
Splashbacks are a feature – with glass, metal and mirror amongst other materials providing alternatives to more traditional tiling.
Extractor fans and hoods should now be virtually invisible as they are concealed in the ceiling.
And talking of the ceiling, pendant lights go from strength to strength with their supreme ability to help define different areas or zones in large kitchens. Zoning is also helped by the use of clever tiling and flooring options to accent the different uses for the room, without physical barriers.
Obviously a tap is no longer just a tap out of which comes water. The demand for taps with specific purposes continues to grow, whether they are delivering boiling water or precisely the amount you have programmed it to deliver using intuitive touch sensors. And if the tap can be in be in pewter or gunmetal, all the better.
There’s lots of focus now on utility rooms – which can no longer just be regarded as an annex to the kitchen. Now they demand the same level of design and attention to detail as the kitchen itself. If space allows, an island is being suggested as not only providing a really useful surface for sorting things out, but also having excellent storage facilities underneath. Less space needs to be allowed around the island in a utility room (compared with a kitchen) as it is unlikely to have more than one person in it at a time.
A large sink in a utility room will always be useful – whether it is for laundry, washing boots or filling up watering cans. And there can just never be too much storage in this most useful of rooms.
As was seen at the beginning of the year, fixtures and fittings should ideally be in brass, other coloured metals, matt-black – but most certainly not chrome.
Natural finishes continue to thrive in bathrooms, with exposed brickwork if possible and luxuriant green plants. However at the same time, if the design approach tends towards glamour rather than nature, two sinks with double vanity units, matching mirrors and statement tiles are the way to go.
Rather than boxing in pipework (or leaving it exposed), hiding the whole lot behind a wall can look very slick – which can then allow lots of ‘floating’ sanitary ware – toilets, basins and vanity units, all hanging off the wall rather than relying on pedestals.
Sticking with the clean, sleek look, storage should be as tall as possible – to deliver the maximum amount of space.
Some designers are continuing to install statement headboards whilst others are doing away with them altogether.
Wallpaper is particularly popular in bedrooms with truly fabulous designs being available, which can be used just on one wall as a statement.
At the other end of the scale, those looking for a more industrial bedroom are going for concrete walls.
So, essentially, it would probably be true to say that anything goes as long as it reflects the customer’s own personal preferences.
Sources: Houzz, Emily Henderson, Bathroom Review, Elle Decor, Country Homes & Interiors, Ideal Home, English Home, House Beautiful, Kbbark.com, Country Living, Period Living, Living.com, House & Home.