Beyond selecting colours that bring you joy, or creating thoughtful pockets for family life, the kitchen takes a great deal of practical planning driven by function and purpose. The considered details and clever finishing touches in a kitchen can improve flow, maximise space and storage, and transform decorative features into something useful.
“Often overlooked, it’s the kitchen details like handles, storage solutions, hardware and cabinetry, that can truly transform a design,” says Lizzie Beesley, Head of Design at Magnet. “They form the final touches that can either make or break the look and feel of your space – and they’re great for injecting personality.’’
These details are largely unique to a family or home, and adaptable to personal taste and the demands of each kitchen. “There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to kitchen design other than that your kitchen should work for you and your lifestyle,” says Tom Howley, Design Director of the eponymous kitchen company.
Here we look at trending kitchen details, including splashbacks that are both functional and decorative, a more considered approach to kitchen lighting, clever storage details, and the materials we will be seeing a lot more of.
“Kitchen splashback ideas were once overlooked as a primarily functional feature,” says Lizzie. “But the surge in interest in kitchen trends and renovations over the past few years has led to homeowners recognising them as a crucial and often cost-effective design feature that can add fantastic aesthetic and practical design value to a space.”
Tiled splashbacks offer a great variety of colour, texture, and glaze, whilst glass splashbacks can be reinforced, and etched or printed with pattern.
“A new splashback is a great way to add personality to your kitchen. They can be used to complement an existing design, or even serve as a focal design point in your space by adding colour and textural interest. Equally, they’re an effective way to refresh your space without committing to a whole new decor renovation.”
Kitchen lighting is often designed with functionality in mind, and whilst it’s true that lighting needs to work hard in a kitchen, there is a trend towards layering functional lighting with accent lighting.
“Recessed spotlights or under cabinet lighting is a common solution, but also consider the space when it’s not being functional,” says Niki Wright, co-founder of lights&lamps. “Family and friends often congregate around an island, so consider low level or pendant lighting here. Don’t be afraid to use ‘living room’ lighting in the kitchen: a floor lamp in a corner or a table lamp at the end of a worktop.”
Adding decorative lighting gives you the option of switching between the brighter spotlights required for cooking, and a more ambient lighting scheme for eating or entertaining.
“Pull-out larders and slim pantries are just two of the ways to maximise storage and efficiency within a compact kitchen. With space at a premium, utilising the full height of the room and the depth of the cabinets means every inch serves a purpose,” says Tom.
Clever storage extends inside cabinets and drawers, with knife holders, recycling bins, and spice racks all seamlessly integrated.
“Bespoke inserts provide room to neatly store the things you use most often, like cutlery and cooking utensils. It means that you can reach for the things you need more easily as everything has its own compartment. Choose a contrasting wood to your cupboard exteriors, adding a real style statement.”
“Every nook and countertop is a chance to add practical value to the kitchen,” says Tom St Quintin, Furniture Buyer at Furniture Village. “There’s a growing demand for compact, minimalist pieces that provide places to eat and entertain that can be easily tucked away when not in use.”
Multi-functional spaces are one of many Covid-accelerated trends, and in the kitchen this has translated to an interest in breakfast nooks, combined kitchen-diners, and more comfortable seating to allow for a balance of work and relaxation.
“Combined kitchen and dining spaces are super versatile, and end up being the hub of the home where families, friends and partners can cook together, dine, relax and entertain,” says Kelly Collins, interior designer and head of creative at Swyft Home.
“Curved furniture is a trend that’s so far dominated interior design in 2022 – and it’s quickly taking over kitchen designs,” says Lizzie. “This emerging trend is now trading the classical ‘hard’ kitchen details like countertops and islands in, for softer and curvier designs. These soft edges and details offer a simple way to create a more fluid feel in your kitchen that draws you into the space while adding a touch of sophistication.”
“From rounded islands and countertop corners to integrated seating and curved cabinetry, there are multiple ways these organic shapes can be introduced into your kitchen to create an organic atmosphere. They’re also more ergonomic and a safer option for those with children in the kitchen.’’
Cork is a completely natural, biodegradable, and easily replenishable material, that can be used instead of wood from European or tropical rainforests.
“Cork is a really clever and versatile material that’s coming back in style,” says Bo Hellberg, CMO at String Furniture. “Cork is a material part of the “biophilia” trend, where we seek to connect with nature, organic materials and plant life in our homes. It is obviously inherently sustainable and brings warmth and texture to any surface or space, but it’s also ideal for insulating, which makes it great for kitchens.”
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