This time last year we published our 2020 trends blog, full of trend ideas and styles to help you rejuvenate your home. These trends will continue to influence design into 2021, so it's still well worth a read.
As we fast-forward to 2021, a lot has changed and our homes are working harder than ever before. As we continue to practice social distancing, we have rediscovered what we need from our homes and this is having a profound impact on interior trends.
In our first blog of the year, the KCA design team builds upon design trends that will enhance the enjoyment of your home. We discuss practical design solutions, smart appliances, popular design principles, trending colours, kitchen styles and consumer preferences.
Multipurpose Living Spaces
Multipurpose living spaces have been popular for many years. However, living in lockdown has reinforced just how important it is that our homes are designed for multiple users and uses. 2021 will be the year for creating stunning, multifunctional living spaces that utilise every inch of space. Maximising space will translate into creative fitted furniture solutions designed to serve multiple functions: cooking, dining, working from home, entertaining, educating, relaxing, and more.
Connecting with the Outdoors
Nature has always influenced interior design in some way, however fostering a connection with the outdoors has become more important for many people. Our modern, busy lives can leave us feeling drained, overwhelmed and many people turn to nature to unwind and re-energise. In 2021, fuelled by the pandemic and time spent indoors, we will see this trend continue to grow and designers will look to create a physical and visual harmony between the kitchen and its surroundings. This will be achieved through material choice and clever layouts that embrace natural light and celebrate garden views. Most new extensions and new builds today are created with bifold doors to the garden and an abundance of glass for this exact reason and these items will remain high on people's wish lists.
When it comes to material choice, advancements in furniture manufacturing mean that the terms 'natural' and 'human-made' are no longer mutually exclusive. New laminates and veneers offer all the modern technical benefits of human-made materials while imitating stunning natural wood, stone, concrete and metal. Whilst organic raw materials will continue to be a popular choice for some clients, engineered materials and their added durability benefits will widen the appeal for kitchens with a natural aesthetic.
Instant Boiling Water Taps
Already a popular feature in any new kitchen design, hot water taps will be a sought-after item for kitchens in 2021. As the title suggests, boiling-water fixtures provide instant hot water on demand, which means no more waiting around for the kettle or pan to boil. Not only are boiling water taps a handy time-saver they're also more energy-efficient making them better for the environment.
From a design perspective, instant boiling water taps remove the need for a kettle keeping your worktop surfaces clean, clear, and streamlined. With several different tap combinations available, you don't even need to add a secondary tap to your sink area to have a boiling water tap. A 3-in-1 boiling water tap produces cold, warm and boiling water, making it a practical option for any kitchen.
As the heart of the home, our informal kitchen dining areas are the primary place to eat, work and learn. There are a variety of layout options for kitchen islands, however the most commonly used are:
- No seating or dining
- High-level breakfast bar seating for 2
- High-level breakfast bar seating for 4 or more
- Low-level dining for 4 or more
Following the focus on multi-functionality, we may see an increase in demand for dining islands with space for the whole family to sit. Dining islands are often an extension to an existing cooking island, allowing for additional dedicated seating uninterrupted by cabinet space.
In 2021, dining islands will prove to be a popular design feature for clients looking for more workspace and storage whilst integrating cooking and socialising.
Broken Plan Layouts
Kitchen designs have always evolved to meet the unique needs of the era, with open-plan concepts dating back to as early as 1901. Although open-plan layouts were not commonly utilised at the time, they have now become the norm. Whatever the layout or design approach, it is the job of the designer to balance functionality, comfort, and style.
Putting all the incredible benefits of open-plan living to one side, the downside of an entirely open-plan layout is that it can become disruptive when multiple family members wish to use the space in various functions, simultaneously. Combine this with lingering cooking smells, noise disruption and a lack of privacy, and you get a potential recipe for chaos when living in these unique times. As a result of these potential pitfalls, open-plan concepts have been evolving into broken-plan arrangements. The broken-plan approach, combined with noise minimising materials, air purifiers and extractors, can create a pleasurable space for the whole family.
Key features of a broken-plan layout:
- Different floor finishes creating zones
- Freestanding semi-permanent partitions such as bookcases, screens and seating areas
- Architectural elements such as half walls, dividing shelves, changing levels, walls of glass, mezzanines and Crittal doors
- Living room furnishings throughout the space that create a sense of comfort
The 2021 Pantone colours may be grey and yellow but expect green to be one of the most popular kitchen colours this year. In a "Get the Look" article we wrote back in March 2020, we discussed the benefits of a green kitchen design and it appears many are falling in love with the colour for their kitchen project. For those looking to create a bold dark kitchen design, green hues have become a popular alternative to blues and greys. In our quest to connect with nature, green tones conjure up powerful feelings of life, renewal, and health, making it a popular colour for the home in uncertain times.
Natural green hues work perfectly in kitchen cabinetry and tiles. Green hues pair nicely with contrasting pastel colours such as dusty pink, smoky glass finishes, soft metallics and organic stone textures and woods.
Industrial Inspired Kitchen Designs
In June of last year, we published a "Get the Look" article on industrial kitchens. As a staple design style, it is going to continue to be popular this year. Industrial inspired designs are incredibly versatile, perfect for people who want to combine several furniture styles and interior design disciplines into one cohesive space.
As we return to timeless, practical designs and as we lean towards natural finishes, industrial designs features will continue.