We already know that the kitchen is one of the most important spaces in our home. So naturally we pay attention when we see shifts in design preferences in the kitchen. We’re a bit reluctant to call them trends, when we’ve seen the rise in some of these elements over the last few years. Many have also come about as a result of functional lifestyle changes, or a new perspective on how we nurture connections with family and friends.
For many people, simply ‘enjoying their life’ has become a driving force behind prioritising the design of their homes. As part of the ongoing rise in upgrading this process, these are kitchen elements that are being requested more and more during the design process – and we love them!
The Breakfast Nook
The kitchen has become the centre of the home and is no longer considered a space just for cooking. As such the need for the kitchen to become a multi-functional space to serve the needs of for the immediate family has become even more important. This started with bigger kitchen islands and counter stools, and has now progressed to a dedicated breakfast nook.
We’ve seen the popularity of this notion develop over the last six years, starting with the desire for built-in banquette seat and a small dining table, progressing to the very popular breakfast nook. The very popular breakfast nook comes with built in seating, a table large enough for the whole family, and even wall panelling and / or wallpaper to complete the design. Statement lighting is a must. The end result is a family centric kitchen inviting parents and children to sit and stay for awhile.
Strip neon lights are old kitchen horror stories. Sophisticated and subtle lighting solutions is the way forward. Clients are shying are from very bright overhead lights and we are even seeing a shift away from big pendant lights over kitchen island. Instead we receive more requests for contemporary track lights or external downlights offering dimmable and adjustable lighting options. We love softer, more diffused lighting options such as wall lights and sconces, to highlight key areas of design, such as beautiful splash backs and wall art.
There is also a definite uptick in requests for smart lighting solutions, such as lighting integrated into kitchen cabinets, where it offers both a functional and aesthetic solution. Ultimately it is the layering of lighting that helps you achieve the best restyle.
The Wet Bar + Appliance Hatch
The wet bar trend in kitchens is a reflection of the evolving role of kitchens as social hubs within homes. It involves incorporating a compact bar area into the kitchen layout, typically featuring a small countertop or dedicated nook equipped with essential barware, a mini fridge, and storage for liquor and/ or mixers. This design trend caters to the growing desire for entertaining at home and encourages a more relaxed and sociable atmosphere during meal preparation or gatherings.
With a focus on convenience and style, these integrated beverage preparation areas seamlessly integrate into the overall design scheme. Some clients choose to leave them open as as showpiece within the design, while others like the option to be able to close the area off at the end of the day. The inclusion of drinks area in your kitchen is of course dependent on your lifestyle and personal beliefs, but for many it enhances the functionality of the kitchen space.
In the same vein, we are seeing dedicated coffee preparation areas. Depending on the intensity of the morning routine and the number of gadgets required, appliance hatches are just as requested in ktichen designs to keep counter space open and to hide ‘the mess’. At the end of the day, it is all about smart storage solutions that suit your needs.
Warm, Muted Colours
While there will always be a case for the classic white kitchen, there is definitely a resurgence in colour in kitchens. Saturated shades of green have been popular for years, however we have recently seen a move towards deeper earthy shades. Rich browns, deep reds and dark sand colours are all being balanced against warm wood elements in the kitchen. Colour provides the space with personality and charm, while the wood brings warmth and depth.
The Outdoor Kitchen
As people try to deepen their connection to nature, we are seeing more kitchens open to outdoor entertaining areas, from the inclusion of seamless stacking doors and the continuation of materials to the outside, allowing families and friends to be outside while the cooking is happening.
Similarly we are seeing more functional outdoor kitchens created. No longer satisfied with just a braai, clients are asking for mini versions of kitchens in outdoor spaces, transforming a space into a multifunctional area that caters to both culinary and social needs.