With the global pandemic taking over every aspect of our lives, it comes as no surprise that it’s greatly affected what we look for in the kitchen – especially when it comes to our interior design choices.
From changing attitudes to increasing practicality, our Store Development & Design Director, Darren Watts, has outlined his favourite kitchen design trends that have risen in popularity directly because of the government lockdown, and how you can incorporate each style in your home.
Work towards a multipurpose space
In a year that’s seen our perception of the home change entirely, the needs of the kitchen have also evolved. No longer is it a space simply for swift evening meal prep and weekend entertaining; it has become a wholly multipurpose family hub, with family time at its heart. This is demonstrated by analysing Google search volume data for the last twelve months, with searches for ‘double ovens’ increasing by 30% as the nation has developed a new love affair with cooking and baking at home.
As families have spent more time together amid the pandemic, there’s also been a growing emphasis on improving kitchen worktop space, to accommodate room for eager children. With a 75% and 70% rise in Google searches for ‘kitchen island ideas’ and ‘kitchen island lighting ideas’, respectively, we’re seeing more families fitting bold benches that offer practical multifunctionality, whether this be for home schooling, as a preparation zone ahead of a family night in, or as a comfortable breakfast bar now we’ve more time in the morning.
Creating a welcoming environment is also at the top of many families’ agendas, with sleek and efficient integrated appliances and handle-less designs styled to offer fluidity and neutrality during working hours. The pandemic has enhanced the desire for a dynamic workspace, with attitudes towards presentation of personal surroundings fast progressing. As habits continue to evolve, there’s a growing necessity for contemporary kitchen areas to be built upon the foundations of flexibility, which stems from styling space around practicality.
Design choices that suit your style
As we battle the pandemic from the comfort of our homes, many of us have started to take stock of our kitchen and the style it follows; there’s a growing importance attached to ensuring the kitchen is reflective of our own personality. This shines through in our creative design choices.
Choose tones that reflect your personality
A trend that’s certainly not slowing down is the notion of minimalism, with sleek darks elegantly combined with crisp lights. Similarly, we’re noticing a shift towards homeowners injecting character into their kitchens through vibrant accents and subtle touches that effortlessly pierce through a silky two-tone backdrop. After all, soft, white furnishings provide the perfect canvas for an expressive palette.
More delicately, there’s a developing focus on kitchen features that prioritise light and grace. While this can often come from bright and colourful accessories, it is also achieved by installing broad and expansive windowing, with the natural glow offering a welcome sense of wellbeing as we endure the strains of lockdown.
Pick features that make a statement
Our design choices are inspired by the desire to spend time in a positive kitchen environment, heightened by months spent at home during the pandemic. As we spend more time in the kitchen, we’re starting to pay more attention to the details and how they’re presented.
We’re noticing a rise in interest in statement pieces, designed to sit powerfully against a clean layout. This can come through bold tiling, full wall splashbacks, or stunning marble surfaces. Likewise, rustic metallic features are continuing to find their way into our kitchens, with such appliances and accessories offering vintage undertones in an otherwise contemporary space.
A growing appreciation for an evolving kitchen
Over the course of the pandemic, we’ve all spent more time in our homes than, likely, any other period of our lives. With this comes a change in approach to the way we orientate our kitchen and social space. For many, this means investing more in enhancing the kitchen experience.
Notably, a trend worth following is the increased desire to style an improved array of smart appliances in the home, with ‘smart kitchens’ gathering particular momentum with almost 50% more Google searches at the end of 2020 compared to 2019. Following a turbulent year where the kitchen has remained as a constant, we, as a nation, have begun to better recognise the value of various smart accessories and appliances and how they can enhance the practical functionality of our space.
Additionally, we’re also expecting a boom in bolder kitchen arrangements and a surge in demand for layouts that offer stronger storage choices, with the pandemic influencing our desire to both get more organised in the kitchen and maintain a healthy supply of ingredients in case of lockdown.
Supporting this, expansive ‘American fridge freezers’ saw 70% more searches in 2020 than the year before, while searches around ‘kitchen larder ideas’ and ‘kitchen pantry ideas’ shot up by 150% in the last twelve months. ‘Pantry shelving ideas’ saw over twice as many searches in 2020 too, demonstrating a heightened desire for practical storage solutions. In a final example of Brits clearly preparing ahead of time for a sudden lockdown, searches for ‘wine cooler’ and ‘wine storage’ have also increased by 60% each since the end of 2019!
The kitchen is an ever-evolving landscape, and mentalities are shifting due to the circumstances of the pandemic. Driven by our response to the amount of time we’ve spent at home in the last twelve months, 2021 is set to mark the beginning of a series of positive attitude changes. For even more expert advice and guidance around the latest home-styling trends, enjoy exploring our collection of helpful design tips and ideas or book an appointment with our team of designers.