That eating area now has to be able to perform as a family space, an entertaining zone, and maybe a home office for many of us too. So it needs to not only look the business, but to function well to facilitate our busy and multi-layered home lives.
Looking to give your kitchen an update? Follow our recipe for creating the perfect kitchen in your home, whatever your budget…
1. Island story
An island is still the most coveted design feature in a kitchen – and it’s easy to see why. It’s invaluable as a preparation area, and means you can flex your culinary skills without turning your back on the party.
“Kitchen islands and breakfast bars offer a versatile and adaptable space that can be used in so many ways,” says Joanne Emery, marketing manager at Burbidge.
“They can create zones in your area, giving the illusion of two separate functional rooms, whilst keeping the room clutter-free by providing additional storage. Consider incorporating open shelving for items you use frequently.”
2. Dark matters
Black is a design classic, whether for clothes or kitchen units, and paired with a metallic it’s a recipe for sophistication.
Choose handles, taps and kitchen accessories in brass, copper or bronze – the finishes which have taken over from last year’s polished chrome.
3. Cooking with colour
Our growing desire for colourful spaces is reflected in more vivid kitchen cabinetry and ‘colour pops’, which allow for a more playful, individual look.
If you’re worried you may tire of units or tiles in a vibrant shade, or they’ll look dated as fashions move on, simply shake up the space with colourful accessories instead.
Paintings, storage canisters, or worktop appliances in funky shades could be just the colour ‘pop’ you need, and they can be easily moved or updated in the future.
4. Double identity
There’s a real trend for kitchens to feel like extensions of living rooms now too. Our home-based lifestyle means we want spaces where it’s easy to cook for the family during the day, but have the ‘wow’ factor to transform into striking evening entertainment spaces at night, or just somewhere to relax and unwind.
Ensure your colour scheme in both areas – the kitchen and the lounge area – harmonises, which will make the space look bigger and blend together.
5. Savvy switch up
If a full-scale revamp isout of the question, don’t underestimate the power of replacing cabinet door fronts, which can transform your kitchen at a fraction of the cost of a refit.
If you’re into DIY, repainting kitchen units is fairly straightforward – but ensure you prepare the surface well beforehand, by lightly sanding, cleaning with white spirit, and applying two coats of paint.
For a final flourish, invest in new handles and light switches to give the room an extra lift.
6. Ace the space
If you haven’t got acres of space to work with, you need to make the most of every corner. A cook’s trolley, a hanging rack for utensils, and ceiling-height cupboards can all be a boon – and the plus point is everything will be within easy reach.
7. Pendant power
Move over spotlights and track lighting – pendant lights currently rule in kitchens. One statement light, or a group of three, will brilliantly define a selected space, such as a kitchen island or dining area.
8. Make a splash
Swapping a tiled splashback for a striking mural will take a kitchen from functional to fabulous.
“Murals never fail in adding impact and are brilliant for adding drama and depth, giving an illusion of looking out onto a different scene, view or landscape. They can have a magical effect on a room,” says Michael Ayerst, managing director of Surface View, who recreate images on made-to-measure wall murals, canvasses, blinds and ceramic tiles.
9. Modern mix
“The enduring trend for kitchens is about mixing it up, whether that’s with contrasting materials such as wood and metallics, or textured and smooth finishes,” says Gary Griffin, UK sales manager UK at Rational.
“Cabinets incorporating the grain and beauty of timber are one of the keynote features of 2020. It’s hardly surprising, as natural materials such as wood suit both contemporary and classic homes and this is a great way to ensure that, no matter what your design choice, your home has a warm, relaxed feel.”
10. Take to the floor
A feature wall, a stunning chandelier, and a ‘look at me’ choice of flooring in a punchy shade could be the perfect ingredients for a glamorous space.
11. Worktop wizardry
The worktop is the workhorse of any kitchen, and so it needs to be tough, practical and good-looking. View this feature as a way of demonstrating your taste and bringing individuality to the kitchen design.
As it will have a big visual impact, don’t leave your worktop choice ’til last – instead start with the surfaces and match other key pieces, like the cabinets, to them.
Decor tip: Veined marble is in vogue, as it’s more interesting than a plain top but won’t dominate. If you’re after a contrasting look, choose white marble and pick up on the veining colour for the paint shade on the cabinetry.
12. Rose-tinted touches
Pink is having a moment in kitchens. This soft shade can bring warmth to a cool space and works particularly well in an open-plan area, where you don’t want a harsh contrast between the living and cooking area.