Kitchens for a new era


Tim Spann of Keller Kitchens takes a look at how kitchen designs might change in the wake of the pandemic.

Every year brings a new set of trends, whether it’s fashion, cars, exercise or kitchens! However, after the tumultuous year that was 2020, people are looking at their homes differently and figuring out ways in which they can utilise the space and create multi-functional spaces for the family. Choice and flexibility are needed when a homeowner is considering a new kitchen now.

The customer is looking for interesting colour and material combinations more than ever; so the kitchen specialist should be letting them know that the options are now not just black or white! There are endless possibilities in terms of design, space and technology in today’s heart of the home.

The ‘norm’ is now not desirable – homeowners want their kitchen to stand out among the rest. Having the standard cabinet size is not enough for some clients, as they need that extra space – and they can choose to have an XXL cabinet to facilitate the larger family.

Not everyone wants to have closed doors on their cabinets either, and the option is there to have open display units or add a smoked glass door. Ultra-matt kitchens, with different coloured cabinets, rose in popularity in 2020, and they are here to stay. The material looks sleek, and it’s easy to clean.

Choosing a material for a kitchen door is the first step depending on the budget – after that, the colour can be considered as most colours come in most finishes with today’s flexible manufacturers.

The cabinet front colours are obviously the most striking points in a kitchen scheme, so making sure the right colour, or colours, is chosen for the room is essential. This all depends on the room itself – is it small and naturally dark without a lot of daylight? If so, you would choose a brighter shade to give the illusion that the room is larger than it actually is. Larger rooms can get away with a deep navy, or even a striking black shade.

Wood Finishes
Natural wood is another classic trend that will never disappear. Wood look finishes are very popular right now, especially when used with contrasting colours and materials.

To get the full effect, contrast a warm oak finish with a dark shade for the handleless rail profiles, sink and tap, for example. Wood effects for kitchens are enduring, offering reassuring warmth and charm standing the test of time. The new generation of faux wood finishes are stunning. The 3D depth of grain with shade, light and detail is so close to the real thing, it really is hard for the untrained eye to tell the difference. Even the feel is so close these days. However, the wood effect finish offers the distinct advantages of price and durability. With a smaller budget, you can emulate the natural look with a considerable reduction in price; and with a product that will take the knocks and bumps of family kitchen life without the damage that may occur to softer natural materials.

We cannot sweep over the fact that our homes are used completely differently now compared to a year ago. We now sleep, eat, work, home-school and exercise under the one roof. Creating a multi-functional hub to accommodate for all of those things is essential.

Choose a large island for your kitchen that can be used for the children doing schoolwork, or simply as a home office for those that don’t have the luxury of a spare room they can convert.

Lighting is a factor that has to be considered too. It can be added almost anywhere in the kitchen – inside cabinets, drawers or underneath the overhead cabinets or shelves. People also choose kitchen lighting for the aesthetic appeal as well as functionality – choosing different colours and settings.

Making sure the kitchen has the latest high-tech gadgets and appliances is also key. Installing a hot tap so cooking dinner or even making a cup of tea is easier, or install charging pads for mobile phones and smart devices. The kitchen is now a meeting hub for all members of the family and somewhere where everyone wants to be – even if there’s no cooking happening!

Most consumers are now more aware of sustainable products when purchasing items for their home and the kitchen is no exception. New builds and contracts lead the way in terms of their needs and drive towards sustainability by choice and as required.

Consumer demand and forward thinking retailers are striving for differentiation and planet friendly solutions, and questions about sustainability are being asked of manufacturers more than ever before.

Tim Spann is national sales manager UK at Keller Kitchens