The events of 2020 will shape our everyday life for years to come, and this is even the case when it comes to kitchen design. Last year forced everyone to use their homes in ways they may have never previously considered. Whether it was for home-schooling, working from home, or catering for every mealtime, the kitchen has been working harder than ever before.
Traditionally, interior design trends tend to focus on the new colours and textures that are in fashion for the new season. However, the extraordinary year that we’ve just experienced will have a lasting effect not only on aesthetic choices but on the physical layout and configuration of the kitchen.
1. A place for the whole family
In a busy household, the opportunity for the whole family to eat together isn’t always a regular event and was often limited to a Sunday roast or special occasions. However, with families spending more time together over the past 12 months, family mealtimes have become a regular occurrence. As a result, ample seating and space to dine together is a priority and a key kitchen design trend for 2021.
Integrated seating solutions are becoming ever more popular as they provide plenty of space for everyone, without dominating the whole kitchen. Some of our favourite examples of this include banquette seating or a breakfast bar incorporated into an island.
2. Broken plan layouts
Over the past decade, open plan kitchens have evolved, however, with the whole family at home over the past year, the need for privacy and personal space has never been higher. As a result, broken plan layouts have increased in popularity. By incorporating walls or screens, homeowners can create dedicated zones within their kitchen to accommodate activities such as working from home or create a quiet space for relaxing.
When designing an extension to accommodate a kitchen it can be easier to go for a ‘bigger is better’ approach, however, there has been a recent shift towards homeowners designing a more interesting and practical floor plan.
3. Super-sized storage
The past 12 months have changed families' food shopping habits dramatically with many households having to plan for every mealtime and snack for the whole family, for the entire week. Naturally, this has led to a need for more storage for both fresh food and cupboard items, as well as bulky cleaning and household products.
Over the year, the trend for increased storage and larger capacity kitchen appliances continued. This is a trend that we are expecting to last the test of time with walk-in pantries and larder-style units becoming commonplace in the kitchen.
4. Hot water taps
In 2020 we saw many homeowners make the decision to replace the humble kettle with a hot water tap, and this is a trend that is expected to continue throughout 2021. With a large percentage of the UK population forced to work from home, many realised the benefits of a hot water tap; making a hot drink quickly between video calls, and a lack of noise, meaning they won’t distract other family members. As a result, they have become a must-have addition to the modern kitchen.
5. Going for green
Although the past 12 months have caused homeowners to rethink the layout of their kitchen, there have still been the same design trends we would expect to see each year. For hand-painted kitchens, different shades of green became extremely popular in 2020, a trend that looks to continue throughout 2021. Instagram feeds were dominated by bold, dark shades that have been paired with brass or gold accessories. That being said, we have noticed the trend moving towards the softer tones that are accompanied by natural textures and materials.
It is believed that these softer natural tones and materials are reminiscent of nature and reflect the fact that we are seeking a connection with the outdoors. After being forced to spend more time within the same four walls than ever before, homeowners are looking for ways to bring the outside inside and embrace nature in their kitchens.
Ultimately, most of these trends point towards one larger, overriding trend that has dominated the world of kitchens over the last year. Designing a multifunctional kitchen space that meets the needs of the whole family is now absolutely critical. Whether it’s a makeshift office or classroom, the setting for a romantic ‘night-out’, a temporary coffee shop, or more traditionally, a place for the whole family to get together at mealtimes, our kitchens are much more than they used to be. As a result, when designing a bespoke kitchen it’s important that as much thought goes into making the most of the available space as it does the cabinetry design and colour.
Richard Davonport is the founder and managing director of Davonport and has been designing and manufacturing bespoke kitchens and interiors for over 20 years at the company’s showroom and workshop in Essex. From the initial consultation through to installation Richard and the team at Davonport manage the entire process to ensure the room and furniture can be enjoyed and admired for years to come.