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If you're planning a new kitchen in the coming new year, you've come to the right place for inspiration. The latest kitchen trends are so much more than the standard white space of old. Bursting with practical, yet beautiful materials in gorgeously rich colours, the breadth of choice available these days is almost endless ensuring that there's something to suit everyone.
The past two years have seen us use our homes so much more than usual, with our communal spaces working all the harder 24-7. Considered the heart of the home, kitchens have had to adapt even more than before to become multifunctional spaces, From a space to prep and cook food, to a dining area and living room, and even a home office, our kitchen ideas are ever evolving.
What are the kitchen trends in 2022?
If you're setting out to find out how to plan a kitchen, there are so many design elements that need to be addressed. From choosing the right layout to work for your needs to researching the best appliances, splashbacks and worktops to create a space that you love. Kitchen trends, too, are important to keep in mind, especially when it comes to adding value for resale. It's a bit of a false economy to spend a fortune on an unusual kitchen that may not appeal to others, especially if you plan to sell up in a few years time. Choosing a look that has universal appeal and - dare we say it - bang on trend will attract rather than repel potential buyers.
We’ve asked the experts at leading retailers to share their thoughts and insights on the biggest kitchen trends that will dominate 2022. And for good measure, we've added a few hot trends of our own that we love and swear by.
In the words of Rod Gaskell, designer and owner of Kütchehaus (opens in new tab) in Rainham, Kent: ‘Kitchen design can be so much fun and really satisfying when you take the time to design… rather than just filling a space.’
So whether you know exactly what you want or if you're still undecided and need some inspiration, read on to discover all you need to help you create a kitchen that’s on-trend and right for you for many years to come.
1. Colourful cabinetry
Handle-less or classic Shaker remain the most popular kitchen trends, but it seems we are embracing more colour. ‘People want practical, with matt doors in an anti-fingerprint finish highly desirable,' says Rod from Kütchehaus. 'But the introduction of bolder colour is something that we're beginning to see lots more of lately.'
In line with other interior trends, blues and greens are hugely popular with the richer hues becoming the quickest growing trend. 'We’ve added a blue and green to our range for 2022,' Rod adds.
Interior designer and Director of Natalie Holden Interiors (opens in new tab) agrees: ‘Many of our clients are keen to introduce bolder and darker shades through their cabinetry, such as teal blue, forest green and anthracite grey.'
2. Smart storage
In a time when we strive to declutter for our overall wellbeing, with thanks to Marie Kondo, storage is key. Especially in kitchens where we need so many 'things', from the ingredients to the cooking equipment. Well-placed, concealed kitchen storage ideas are a saviour for the aesthetic of our kitchens.
When planning any successful layout factoring in ample space to keep clutter out of sight is always key to making the space work harder for you. ‘Storage seems to be focusing on the practical rather than clever gizmos,’ says Rod from Kütchehaus. ‘Customers want large easy-access storage, such as pan drawers in islands and big-opening larder units.’
Interior Designer Natalie Holden agrees. ‘We’re being asked to maximise storage. One project recently had a compact floor space, but really high ceilings, so we designed one tall wall of storage, with integrated fridge-freezer, butler’s pantry and pull-out larder.’
3. Practical yet stylish worksurfaces
As for worksurface material, Natalie says her clients tend to specify quartz. ‘It’s extremely durable and easy to clean and maintain. Our suppliers have an amazing selection of colours, some which look like real marble,’ she explains. 'Many clients enjoy cooking and want to ensure a worksurface doesn’t stain easily,’ she adds.
Of course, it depends on budget. ‘Discussing contrast is a great starting point, when planning a kitchen,’ says Rod from Kütchehaus, ‘such as light doors with a dark worksurface or vice versa. But worksurface choice is always about how hardwearing, heatproof and stain resistant it is. Those on a budget can look at combining a wood-effect laminate for the main kitchen with a stone for an island, although it's best not to introduce too many colours.
Mike Turley, Technical Director at Mereway Kitchens (opens in new tab) likes to see cabinetry, doors and worktops matching; ‘It gives a streamlined look,’ he explains.
Natalie says there are more sustainable options, too. ‘One of our suppliers makes worktops from recycled brick rubble and concrete, while another, Cosentino (opens in new tab), uses a new technology called HybriQ, which combines recycled glass content, 100% renewable energy and 98% recycled water in its factory.
4. Wood flooring for the win
For kitchen flooring ideas in 2022 wood, whether real or porcelain/vinyl, remains hugely popular. ‘Wood-effect is the easy-to-clean and easy-to-maintain option,’ says Mike from Mereway.
‘Wood-effect porcelain tiles laid in a herringbone pattern is great for open-plan kitchens extensions that have lots of natural light streaming in,’ says Interior Designer Natalie Holden, ‘as they bring a sense of warmth and texture to the space, yet don’t fade in the sunlight and are very easy to clean.’
Rod’s been taking the craze for wood further; ‘I’ve been matching wood-effect panelling to wood-effect laminate worktops to great success. Porcelain worktops are also available in a much thinner profile, which allows you to take the same material up the wall as splashbacks.’
Flooring trends are not always visible. Sustainable options are also a big consideration with today's consumers with eco-friendly flooring like FSC certified wood, cork and lino, becoming more widely available. If presented with two similar choices, people tend to always choose the one that has less impact on the environment.
5. Contemporary handles
It seems we are paying lots of attention to handles, too. ‘The Shaker door with a contemporary knurled black or brass handle is always popular,' explains Rod from Kütchehaus, 'but we’ve recently designed a few kitchens with a slab door and contrasting gold or brass recessed profile detail, which gives a much more contemporary look.’
These warmer metallics are great for teaming with blue or green units, but stone-effect doors are also sought, as Rod explains, ‘We might see more new sandstone or earthier finishes coming through, reflecting our concentration on nature and the environment.’
6. Squeeze in a utility room or pantry
Another practicality in today’s kitchen is the utility room. ‘Utility rooms are a sign that today’s kitchen has become much more of a living space,’ say Mike from Mereway. Wherever possible, it's always advisable to eke out a little space for either a utility room as you can store all of your laundry out of sight making your kitchen a much more liveable space.
‘Most of our projects have a utility room,’ says Interior Designer Natalie Holden, ‘especially open-plan kitchens. A utility space provides somewhere you can shut things away, such as washing and coats.’
Don't have a space for a utility room? A pantry is the next on the top trend hit list. ‘A kitchen pantry idea is also a lovely addition, especially if you have the space for open shelving floor-to-ceiling,’ says Rod from Kütchehaus. ‘They allow you to make great use of multi-buy deals on non-perishables.’ Mike agrees; ‘If space allows, go for a modern take on the pantries of post-war years.’
7. Supersize your sink
‘When it comes to sinks, large bowls are high on people’s lists,’ says Rod from Kütchehaus. ‘We’re so used to dishwashers being part of our daily routines now, but we still need to wash up those larger items. For colour and finish, granite and steel sinks are in demand – even copper and gold-effects. We’re often asked how a sink will wear – customers will always look for scratch-resistant and easy-clean sinks, especially where limescale is an annoyance. That’s why ceramic sinks are always in the mix, with undermounted sinks helping to keep things tidy.’
‘Brass taps seem to be all the rage,’ says Interior Designer Natalie Holden, ‘yet other appliances and fittings haven’t quite caught up with this trend, so it can be a challenge to source matching fittings throughout a scheme.’ Rod agrees; ‘While black taps are a favourite, and gold a contender, we find they are always chosen to match other items that are decided upon first, like handles.’
8. Sleek marble surfaces
'Marble is such a versatile material,' explains Natalie Holden, Interior Designer and Director at Natalie Holden Interiors. 'It suits both traditional and contemporary kitchens. Due to it being natural, every slab will have a unique veining, so hand-select from a stonemason if you can. You’ll be surprised how much pattern and colour can vary between each piece.'
'It's expensive, but you can get the look with composites that also have the benefit of being non-porous. Think about using a lower-priced worksurface in your utility room or area, leaving more budget to splash out on marble in the main kitchen. To really work a marble look,' adds Natalie, 'take it from the worksurface and use up the walls as a splashback, or go down to the floor on the sides of an island.'
9. Broken plan vs open plan
‘Open-plan spaces are still desired in larger properties,’ says Natalie, ‘however in smaller homes, we are seeing more broken-plan solutions, where each space can function for a variety of different purposes throughout the day. Think of two or three rooms that have the option to be opened up with sliding doors when you want to entertain but exist as a kitchen or a separate workspace when needed.’
Rod from Kütchehaus thinks bigger is better. ‘I think the kitchen is becoming larger than ever before,' he says. 'We’re seeing double island units allowing ease of movement around the kitchen, with different-height worktop levels and seating areas introduced to keep all the family and visitors happy.’
10. Clever lighting plans
Understandably, a well-thought-through kitchen lighting plan that incorporates plenty of task lighting is essential, but that doesn't mean it has to be dull. Natalie’s seeing more organic shapes and sculptural pendant designs; ‘I love layering up wall lights, recessed strip lighting and statement pendants into a space to add drama and a cosy atmosphere.’
Rod says it’s all about increased connectivity, too. ‘A connected home, such as mood-controlled lighting like Philips Hue (opens in new tab) smart lighting, will soon be everywhere, not just the kitchen.’
Lighting has more freedom within the modern kitchen, with statement pendants being used to dress the aesthetic more and more. While the use of spotlights or down-lights are still key, there's a trend for making the kitchen feel more like our living rooms – smart kitchen lighting ideas play a key role in this.
11. Integrated appliances
The desire for streamlined, clutter-free kitchens sees the trend for integrated, concealed appliances remaining a firm favourite. While there has been an abundance of tech and new gadgets for our kitchens, we don't want to necessarily see them.
‘The appetite for discreet storage is expected to grow,’ says Ben Burbidge from Kitchen Makers. ‘Homeowners are scrutinising the aesthetic of the appliances they are integrating into their kitchens. And so concealment solutions, that create a streamlined finish without impacting the style, are a key consideration.’
So how can we have the latest appliances without them taking over our kitchens?
Ben advises, ‘Concealing these appliances can take the form of simple cabinetry to hide a fridge or dishwasher. Or a storage design that minimises small counter top appliances. A hidden station, which keeps the kettle and toaster from cluttering the worktop. And helps to create a dedicated area to sit and enjoy breakfast will be popular.’
Continuing trends from kitchens 2021
12. Clever compact design
Whether narrow, square or broken plan, where space is at a premium compact kitchens come to the rescue. More and more, kitchen design looks to benefit from minimal clutter and maximum efficiency. This is especially important if you have a small kitchen.
‘When presented with a smaller space it is essential that the kitchen layout is carefully considered to make sure every inch of the kitchen is utilised,’ says Ben Burbidge, managing director at Kitchen Makers (opens in new tab).
‘Creating a bank of cabinetry along one wall is a great way of streamlining and opening up the space. Tall wall units are particularly suited to narrow, galley kitchen ideas. This is because using this space ensures the area feels less cramped than if filled with larder style dressers.'
Ben goes on to advise, 'Don’t be afraid to include an island or breakfast bar. But try not to make the overall dimensions too big, as it may restrict movement around the kitchen. Opting for an open or floating island will keep all areas accessible and provide additional seating opportunities. The area under the island’s worktop can offer ample space for kitchen storage.'
13. Boiling water on demand
We've become so accustomed to everything in an instant that even boiling the kettle is a wait we would rather do without. ‘Hot water taps are a sought-after item for the kitchen of 2022, going by recent sales of the Abode Pronteau range,’ suggests Mark Staweczny, designer for Abode.
Sales of the best boiling water taps increased hugely over the course of this year, spurred by more of us working from home and therefore wanting hot water on demand for making tea and coffee in between Zoom calls etc.'
14. Downdraft extractors
Extractor fans are being reimagined for modern kitchen ideas. ‘There is a shift towards downdraft extraction systems which remove odours and vapours at their source, i.e. directly from the hob. And draw them downwards before they have a chance to permeate the air,’ explains Willi Bruckbauer, founder of BORA.
‘This is particularly important in open-plan kitchens and living spaces. This is because a head-height extractor hood above an island can create a visual barrier and conflict with the open-plan ambience. A downdraft extractor integrated into the hob gives greater creativity of design and taps into the trend for minimal, professional styling.’
15. Structured simplicity
The trend for streamline kitchens is set to reach new heights of popularity. This less-is-more minimalist approach creates a calming space with clean sweeping lines.
This contemporary look is easy to achieve, with practicality being key. 'It's all about choosing high-quality materials and items that put strong lines and functionality at the forefront,' explains Darren Watts, Wren Kitchens (opens in new tab). 'It's essential to have integrated appliances and hidden storage to ensure the smooth look isn't disrupted.'
You can update your existing kitchen with clever storage solutions to clear worktops.
16. Two-toned kitchens
Kitchens are set to become more and more blended in this new decade, as we have seen a lot in 2021. ‘The trend for combining two colours throughout kitchen cabinetry is soaring,’ says Andy Briggs, interior designer for Optiplan Kitchens (opens in new tab).
‘It’s a great approach to adding an interesting twist to your aesthetic and it can change the whole feel of the room. Opt for deep, dark units and contrast with brighter shades elsewhere in order to add depth and character to the space.'
The trend extends beyond just a contrasting paint colour on the walls. From the cabinets to the worktops, it gives you the freedom to explore different painted kitchen ideas and design elements. Andy goes on to say, 'You can play around with rich textures, such as wood grains, matte finishes or sleek laminate'.
Using them together creates a juxtaposition of instant interest.
17. Green cabinetry and accessories
In recent years it's all been about navy kitchen ideas, but expect to see more green in kitchens going forward. Most likely to take the form of tiles and cabinetry, in tones of emerald, forest green and more subtly, sage.
'The trend for bold, dark hues was prominent throughout 2021' says Hayley Simmons, Head of Merchandising for Magnet. And therefore in 2022, it's predicted green kitchen cabinetry is a key style to follow.
'Green can be equally dramatic and luxurious when used in the kitchen. Magnet has launched two debut Magnet Create finishes in varying hues of the contemporary colour: Green Olives and Forest Walk.'
'Deep forest greens can be balanced out with latte shades, smoky glass and soft metallics to bring opulence to the kitchen. The addition of white marble and brass through design aspects like lighting and worktops, or even accessories, help to bounce the light around the space and offset the heavier hues.'
18. Brooding blue hues
While green is the front runner, shades of navy blue continue to be a huge trend for kitchen cabinets.
‘The more sophisticated and dramatic colour choice when it comes to kitchens, midnight blue has been an emerging trend recently,’ explains Iain McColgan, Director of Showrooms at B&Q.
The home improvement giant report this stylish hue experienced a 45 per cent uplift in Pinterest searches over the past year. The growing popularity has resulted in the introduction of B&Q’s affordable new GoodHome Artemisia kitchen.
Iain goes on to suggest, ‘The smart shade stands out even more against light worktops and when paired with silver accents.’
19. Living room furnishings
With the rising popularity of open-plan living, it's no surprise to see living room furnishings featuring more and more in our kitchens. The soft grey sofa complements the rich green kitchen shown above.
Now more than ever, kitchens are the heart of our homes, so creating a comfortable, well-presented space has never been more important.
20. Bold as brass finishes
We're seeing more and more warming tones of brass in modern kitchens. Brass is the ideal shade for enhancing on-trend blues and green cabinetry, while adding a sophisticated touch.
'Ironmongery can elevate the style of a kitchen and create an interesting feature,' according to the experts at Harvey Jones.
Often overlooked, attractive taps, hinges, knobs and handles can really transform a kitchen design. It's the finishing touches that can make or break a scheme.
21. Modern twists on tradition
While traditional styles remain popular, such as Shaker kitchens, the way to do traditional for 2022 is in a modern on-trend colour.
This is exactly what Magnet have done with the brand new Classic Shaker kitchen, seen here looking striking in a brooding shade of navy. Choose traditional designs but opt for a statement contemporary colour to give kitchens a modern twist.
22. Industrial style
In kitchen design the use of raw materials, which are rich in tones and texture, will definitely continue to rise in popularity beyond 2021. Metal finishing alongside concrete offer a unique aesthetic that will continue to prove exceptionally popular for an on-trend industrial look.
'Metal framing is growing in popularity,' say Life Kitchens (opens in new tab). 'An eye-catching design element, framing can be a great option for open shelving. With the metal finish carried through to features such as taps, and spindle island or table legs'.
23. Dining islands
We all know that islands and breakfast bars can provide a spot for casual dining, as well as workspace and storage. However, Paul Jenkinson of LochAnna Kitchens sees this trend reaching a whole new level with dining islands.
'This is where the kitchen island features an extension island dining area, meaning you get the storage benefits of an island but also the addition of integrated dining,' he explains. 'When entertaining, we want to be able to integrate both cooking and socialising and what better way to do so than with built-in island seating.
'With our FORM collection we have introduced an industrial breakfast bar leg to help simplify the application, making it even easier to achieve your dream kitchen layout,' Jenkinson adds.
What colour kitchen cabinets never go out of style?
When considering colours for more permanent kitchen items, such as cabinets, worktops and wall paint, opt for neutral shades. Natural colour palettes never date because they are so versatile and timeless. This is also a great option for potential buyers if you ever sell your house in the future.
If you fancy a pop of colour in your kitchen but you don't fancy a permanent feature wall or bright pink set of cabinets, neutral walls, cupboards and work surfaces can acts as a blank canvas. Try adding bright accessories and artwork which can be removed or replaced when fashions or your mood changes. Alternatively, you may like a simple neutral palette left as it is.
Investing in any element of the kitchen can prove invaluable, for both while you live in your home but also when it comes to adding value for resale. Be inspired to make the right style choices for your home with a look at the latest kitchen ideas and designs.
Is your kitchen due a remodel for 2022?
Ginevra Benedetti has been the Deputy Editor of Ideal Home magazine since 2021. With a career in magazines spanning nearly twenty years, she has worked for the majority of the UK’s interiors magazines, both as staff and as a freelancer. She first joined the Ideal Home team in 2011, initially as the Deputy Decorating Editor and has never left! She currently oversees the publication of the brand’s magazine each month, from planning through to publication, editing, writing or commissioning the majority of the content.
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