Kitchen Design Trends for 2020/21

Kitchen Design Trends

Harrogate Kitchen Refurbishment by Making Spaces

During this unusual time where we are all being forced to stay indoors, it gives us plenty of time to reflect on our own homes. Some of us will be very pleased with the sanctuary we have created, proud of all the hard work that has gone into building a home that fills us with joy.

Others, however, will inevitably be focussing on all those jobs around the house that still need doing. This extended period we are spending cooped up indoors is giving us the opportunity to assess the changes we need to make to our homes to turn them into a retreat that meets all our needs.

We’ve been using this time off to do odd jobs ourselves. We’ve replaced a few cracked tiles on the bathroom floor and done some extra tiling in the kitchen. It’s also given me plenty of time to ponder the latest home design trends. Kitchen design trends always fascinate me and in recent years, kitchens have got much braver and bolder. It’s been fascinating to watch.

So I decided to pull together this post with help from industry experts to take an in-depth look at some of the most prevalent kitchen design trends for 2020 and going into 2021.

Kitchen Design Trends

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Cabinetry

Kitchen design trends - green kitchen cabinet and marble backsplash. Design by Kia Designs

Notting Hill Town House by Kia Designs

One of the most obvious kitchen design trends, which I’ve written about before, is the trend for more adventurous use of colour when it comes to our kitchen cabinetry and this is a trend that has legs. Almost two years down the line and it shows no sign of abating.

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“People have definitely been leaning towards a more modern slant on the more traditional kitchen and with that has come beautiful colour combinations. People are starting to get much more daring when it comes to the colours they are looking for in a kitchen, they want it to be somewhere to make them smile.”

Kia Stanford, Creative Director, Kia Designs

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Kitchen design trends - grey lower cabinets and white upper cabinets. Design by Kia Designs

Belsize Grove Apartment by Kia Designs

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Karen Knox of Making Spaces has also witnessed a more adventurous approach when it comes to colour, and materials, in kitchen design trends. “The days of white gloss are coming to an end with bolder colours, more natural materials and tactile surfaces becoming more popular. I’m seeing a big resurgence of timber in kitchens with plywoods being very popular right now.”

See my previous article for more examples of the trend for colourful kitchen cabinetry.

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Kitchen design trends - Two-tone kitchen cabinets. Design by Darren Morgan

“Kitchen buyers are no longer prepared to accept the ordinary, and for many, it’s about navigating a fine line between wow factor and the type of design longevity that will deliver value for money and style reassurance into the future.

“For this reason, kitchens are losing their uniformity. Kitchen doors can vary in style, colour and finish, multiple worktop and handle styles can be introduced, and you can actively pursue an eclectic fusion of styles that is unique to your individual style preferences.

“In 2020, we’ll need to rip up the rule book to create hybrid designs that capture the essence of lifestyle and encourage a sense of wellbeing when spending time at home.”

Darren Morgan, Principle Designer, Designer Kitchen

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“Our clients are been more adventurous with their cabinetry – the notion that cupboards all have to match is history. For one kitchen in Islington we combined three shades of grey on the cabinets, for another we combined matt white with a very warm walnut finish. The finished kitchens have more depth of interest than if you use just one cabinet style. Don’t be afraid to experiment, dark on some, light on others – the results are often unexpected but so much more interesting.”

Andrew Dunning, Design Director, London Contemporary

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Kitchens by London Contemporary | Photography by Paul Craig

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Kitchen Appliances

Valentina Bertazzoni

Luxury appliance manufacturer, Bertazzoni, has seen demand for built-in appliances increase during the first quarter of the year and believes that this kitchen design trend will grow throughout 2020.

Valentina Bertazzoni, style and communications director at Bertazzoni, believes that people are now striving for stand-out, quality kitchens and they are looking for products with distinct characteristics and unique features.

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Renewed Focus on Aesthetics

With appliances combining style and modern technology being favoured amongst discerning consumers, there is a renewed focus on aesthetics, and the appearance of appliances is becoming more important.

Kitchen Design Trends - Built-in Appliances from Bertazzoni's Modern Series

Appliances from Bertazzoni’s Modern Series

“We’ve evolved beyond ‘traditional’ colours such as black and silver too, with people being more daring with their choice of appliance and opting for statement pieces. Colour in the kitchen is a major trend this year, with consumers now able to complement their space with built-in Bertazzoni.”

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Greater Functionality

Manufacturers have the challenge of choosing functionalities to help people achieve the best results in the kitchen. At Bertazzoni, both consumer needs and manufacturing capabilities are taken into account.

Healthier Options

“The demand for ‘healthier’ options, has led home cooks to turn to newer methods, including steam technology; something which we expect will become more commonplace from manufacturers in the months ahead,” explains Valentina.

Energy Efficiency

“As the younger generation becomes more eco- and health-conscious, we expect to see more manufacturers offering energy-efficient appliances that can be easily integrated into the home as people become increasingly aware of their carbon footprint,” Valentina concludes.

Multi-purpose Appliances

Kitchen design trends - induction hob with integrated ventilation by Bertazzoni

Bertazzoni P9041BHNE 90cm induction hob with integrated ventilation

“Induction hobs with integrated ventilation systems, combining two appliances, offer the ultimate in functionality, as well as being ideal for island installations,” says Valentina. “They provide ultra-efficient ventilation for areas of the kitchen where it is not possible to install an overhead unit.”

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Karen Knox of Making Spaces has also noticed distinct trends when it comes to kitchen appliances.

“Downdraft extractors are on everyone’s current wish list with bulky overhead extractors losing favour. Dishwasher drawers are another favourite but for those with enough space, the double dishwasher is one to consider, one actively washing and another loading. The leaning tower of dirty dishes by the sink will be a thing of the past, a great investment for those that have gone fully open plan.”

Karen Knox, Making Spaces

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Sinks & Taps

German kitchen fittings company Grohe notes that as the trend for personalisation in the home has continued to grow, products have become available in exciting new colourways, materials, finishes and designs. This has given homeowners the opportunity to put their unique stamp on their home interiors.

Composite sinks

Composite sinks are certainly proving popular with consumers right now. Their composition of 80% quartz mixed with acrylic resin creates a super-hardwearing and durable material. The pore-free surface is not only hygienic and easy to clean, but it is also resistant to heat, dents, scratches and stains, and UV light.

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“In the kitchen, composite style sinks are a growing trend that offer a completely different look and feel compared to more traditional stainless steel or butler style sinks. The industrial trend and the embracing of dark colour schemes in the kitchen is still booming and composite sinks are a great match for these styles of kitchen. Not only can they create a statement centrepiece but they are practical too.”

Tony Wilson, Head of Kitchen Channel at GROHE UK

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Kitchen design trends - composite sinks by Grohe

GROHE K500 composite sink and Essence kitchen mixer in Brushed Hard Graphite

Water Systems

High-tech, multi-functional kitchen taps are an ideal solution for any home, and particularly for those who are time-poor or want to implement a more sustainable lifestyle.

Kitchen design trends - filtered and sparling water tap by Grohe

Grohe Blue dispenses filtered and chilled still, medium or sparkling water.

Filtered water taps, like the premium model GROHE Blue Home, are proving to be particularly popular. The additional features such as the chilled and carbonated options are great for busy households or when entertaining guests. There is also the added benefit of reducing the plastic waste that comes with buying bottled water, making this a highly attractive option for anyone concerned with their environmental impact.

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“The latest technical innovations to grace the kitchen industry are really shaking up traditions, with iconic appliances like the kettle now being exchanged for sleek, space-saving, multi-functional gadgets. Products such as hot water taps and filtered tap systems are the perfect accompaniment for the 21st century kitchen, providing many benefits to the modern-day homeowner who is often time-poor and looking for smart fittings that can help make everyday life easier and quicker.”

Tony Wilson, Head of Kitchen Channel at GROHE UK

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Kitchen design trends - Kettle hot water tap by Grohe

Grohe Red dispenses kettle hot water on demand

The GROHE Red is a kettle hot water tap that dispenses water at 99°C. It has been created with the family home in mind and is designed to save time, energy and space in the kitchen. It offers additional features such as pot-filling functions and is built with a two-step ChildLock giving total peace of mind to users and eliminating the risk of scalding.

Tiling

Tiling trends are some of my favourite home design trends to follow and in recent years, things have got extremely exciting, as you can see from my Tiling Inspiration Pinterest Board. I love observing all the new product releases that come out of international design fairs each year, even though they may be a little too adventurous for your average home.

When it comes to kitchen design trends, Original Style, a leading manufacturer and supplier of bathroom and kitchen tiles, has identified two main tiling trends at opposite ends of the scale.

Minimalism

Nano Atom tiles from the Living range by Original Style

There is an increasing desire to showcase fewer appliances, keep worktops clear of clutter and reduce the number of accessories within a kitchen space. We are seeing a similar approach when it comes to tiling.

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“To achieve the minimalist look, think large-format tiles with minimal grout lines to enhance that sleek and almost seamless appearance. Nano, from our Living collection, is a great tile range for integrating this style. Measuring 600 x 300mm and featuring small delicate patterns in soft grey tones; these tiles provide a chic contemporary finish whilst adding interest with urban prints.”

Melissa Gunstone, PR & Digital Communications Co-ordinator, Original Style

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Kitchen design trends - large format tiles by Original Style - Nera Venato

Nero Venato from the Tileworks range by Original Style

Taking minimalism that step further, Melissa suggests thinking bigger. She recommends the Tileworks collection which contains an array of large-format tiles that surpass a metre in length and make a real design statement. Available in a variety of effects including marble, metal and stone, these tiles provide a luxury feel but with all the practicalities of porcelain.

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New Heritage

Left: Sedge from the Arcadian collection by Original Style | Right: Oyster from the Classic Field Tiles & Mouldings range in Original Style‘s Winchester Tile Collection

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At the other end of the spectrum is The New Heritage trend which is all about putting a modern take on a classic. Field Tiles are a perfect illustration of this trend and we are now seeing small format square tiles take the lead from metro-style brick tiles.

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“Typically associated with country-style kitchens, the humble field tile has historically been limited to this type of property. However, with more people appreciating artisanal, organic materials and seeking to incorporate texture; the interest in field tiles for more modern settings has soared.”

Sylwia Jacob, PR & Social Media Manager, Original Style

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Left: Honey from the Classic Field Tiles & Mouldings range in Original Style‘s Winchester Tile Collection | Right: Flint from the Residence Cosmopolitan range in Original Style‘s Winchester Tile Collection

The Field Tiles feature soft undulating glazes and can be used in a variety of formats from brick-bond and stack-bond through to diamond depending on the look or style you want to create.

Lighting

Effective kitchen lighting design needs to flexible in order to reflect the wide range of functions that kitchens are now used for. From bright general light for the day, right through to soft, atmospheric lighting for the evenings, we demand a lot from our kitchen lighting. But are there any specific kitchen design trends when it comes to lighting? I asked Sally Storey, Creative Director at John Cullen Lighting to share her expert insights with us.

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Layered Lighting

Kitchen design trends - Layered lighting in a kitchen/dining room. Lighting by John Cullen Lighting

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“One of the first trends is to introduce layered lighting into your kitchen lighting scheme. Try to separate the kitchen working lights (such as downlights) from the dining table, and keep these separate to the more task-like under cupboard lighting. Always ensure a mid-level light source is used, such as wall lights or lamps for a softer evening glow, and make sure all lighting circuits are on dimmers so the mood can be brightened or softened as required.”

Sally Storey, Creative Director, John Cullen Lighting

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Decorative Light Fittings

Kitchen design trends - Decorative lighting in a kitchen/dining room. Lighting by John Cullen Lighting

According to Sally, the main trend in kitchen lighting has been the introduction of more decorative light fittings which play a key role in adding a softer dimension to the hard lines in kitchen spaces.

“More usually found in living and dining rooms, lamps and pendants that create a softer lighting effect are increasingly being found alongside the more usual task lighting elements found in kitchens. There is a wealth of different styles now available to the consumer, which helps link these items to the overall decorative scheme of the space,” says Sally.

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Zoning

Kitchen design trends zoned kitchen  lighting by John Cullen Lighting

Sally explains that open plan living has led to changes in the way kitchen lighting is designed.

“In a space used for evening relaxation, it is essential to create a softer light in the kitchen to be left on when that space isn’t being used,” says Sally. “Dimming under cupboard lighting, or illuminating open shelving or glass-fronted units is a great way to achieve this, as well as considering low-level floor washing. Pendants over an island can also create an intermediate warmth to the kitchen zone, whilst brighter lighting illuminates the living area. Zoning (circuiting) the different lighting layers will give you maximum flexibility.”

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Minimal Use of Ceiling Recessed Downlights

Kitchen design trends - Minimal use of ceiling recessed downlights in a kitchen. Lighting by John Cullen Lighting

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“Rather than grids of downlights providing an even, and mostly flat, lighting effect, the trend is to use downlights only where they are required to achieve a specific effect. In a kitchen, this is usually for task lighting and for washing light down the front of your cabinets.”

Sally Storey, Creative Director, John Cullen Lighting

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Linear LEDs

Kitchen design trends - Linear LED lighting in a kitchen/dining room. Lighting by John Cullen Lighting

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Finally, Sally has identified the emerging trend for using linear LEDs as one of her top kitchen design trends.

“Linear LEDs can be incorporated into open shelving, set on top of tall/wall units for a boost of light or at low level to create a floor wash effect. The miniature size of these strips helps their integration into joinery, and as a low maintenance option with very little heat, they are a joy to design with and can add a real wow factor to your room.”


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So lots to think about when it comes to the latest kitchen design trends. You’ve heard from the experts who have kindly shared their insights into what we can expect to see from kitchen design in 2020 and through to 2021. Is there anything here that surprised you? Anything you have already adopted in your own kitchen or are planning to incorporate?

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