Over the last few years, the kitchen has turned into the focal point of our everyday lives.
It’s become so much more than the room where we prepare our meals; it’s a point of reference for our family and friends. As a result, our kitchen planning expresses our personality and way of life.
During the great Salone del Mobile exhibition in Milan, I had the opportunity to visit 117 companies presenting a huge range of modern design products of premium quality and technological innovation.
What’s changing in kitchens at the moment doesn’t only have to do with materials and colours, but, most importantly, with automation technology and the designers’ efforts to adapt kitchens to future needs and developments.
Main photo: source
Welcome the smart kitchens of the future
Smart kitchen appliances with remote Wi-Fi control, steam ovens for healthy and delicious cooking and special vacuum drawers for food storage, workbench embedded iPads for easy communication, allowing for instant access to the internet and our favourite recipes.
Installing the Dash Amazon and Google Home buttons is bound to become a must in the kitchen, since they will enable us to order products, choose music, select the appropriate lighting to create an atmosphere, while also serving as button or voice activated reminders.
Finally, the installation of the Zip Hydro Tap technology on the actual tap will allow us to change between hot, cold and mineral water depending on our preferences.
One of the greatest challenges in kitchen design is where to install the kitchen extractor hood. How many times haven’t we thought that our electric cooktop would be better off in a completely different spot, but had to keep it in a particular position because of the kitchen hood?
The evolution in kitchen hood technology comes with the perfect solution to boost modern kitchen planning and design. The companies Bora, Elica, Novi, Miele, Silverline among others, presented pioneering built-in cooker hood systems.
The innovation of eliminating hanging hoods affords us greater freedom and functionality in our electrical appliance arrangement.
2019 colours and materials in kitchen decoration
Wood makes a strong comeback.
Light-coloured oak cabinets predominate in monochromatic choices or are combined with dark grey and black shades. They are a rather flexible option as they can easily be integrated with most kitchen design styles.
Wood borrows the glamour necessary from golden or bronze accessories, still one of the top trends in kitchen decor.
Apart from this, kitchen cabinets necessarily come in two different colours or, if there should also be an island, they remain monochromatic with the island claiming a different hue.
Dark grey and black as the absolute leaders in cabinet colours are fabulously complemented with exotic, warm, earthly colours, such as terracotta and red arenaria.
In other words, one of the up-and-coming summer colours that will be really hot in 2018 is none other than chili oil, as named by Pantone, or red arenaria, as called by many Italian furniture companies.
For more neutral tones, grey can be coupled with off-white and natural wood.
Finally, for bolder contrasts, dark grey and black are often juxtaposed with sage green, mustard yellow and dark blue.
An out-of-fashion choice, white is gradually being substituted with the new warm shades of grey, ushered in as the new neutral it-colour for the kitchen.
This means that it would be impossible for concrete-textured surfaces not to take centre stage – concrete is a material with a very dynamic presence in kitchen cabinets and arrangements, adding an extra dimension to the room.
Last but not least, patina or oxidised-texture materials are on the rise in customer preferences.
Consumers request a wide variety of options to select from and prove themselves daring in their choices.
The latest kitchen design and decor trends
In the majority of kitchens, open wall shelving is a definite design statement.
They provide the perfect opportunity for us to add a more personal touch to the decoration by placing beautiful objects and plant pots on them, keeping up-to-date with the hottest of current trends.
Big islands are also considered the ultimate kitchen design element.
They facilitate friend and family communication and participation in preparing the meal, which is why they’ve been loved so much lately.
The use of colourful, retro-style kitchen appliances is another upward trend.
BIG CHILL, SMEG and KITCHEN AID are but a few of the companies which successfully showcased beautiful colours in refrigerators, electrical cooktops and small appliances, offering the kitchen an urban rustic result.
Cabinet knobs make an official comeback, where necessary, to give the furniture a perfect style.
Beautiful design knobs in bronze, black and golden colours breathe an air of freshness in kitchens.
Finally, there is yet another dramatic increase in Shaker style kitchen furniture.
Shaker furniture is characterised by a distinct style developed in 18th century England by a Christian cult, the Shaking Quakers, who went on to settle in America.
The Shakers, who were mainly furniture makers by occupation, followed the principles of simplicity, utility and honesty as guidelines.
They applied the same values to their special furniture making, creating good-quality furniture with appropriate design dimensions and functional minimalistic patterns.
The basic features of the Shaker design have been a source of inspiration for many contemporary furniture professionals, exerting a profound influence on an entire generation of Danish designers.
The particular kitchen style is familiar to us with its characteristic cabinet door frame.
Experts claim that it’s been increasing in consumers’ orders and preferences in the last years.
Even if you choose a minimal kitchen for your house, don’t hesitate to combine retro elements with vintage materials, creating an eclectic decoration in the room. You are going to love the warmth it will fill your every moment with.
New colours and materials in workbenches
The overall trend in workbench colours are, again, all the shades of grey, ranging from soft grey to black.
Workbenches resembling concrete, marble and oxidised patina are very popular.
Extremely thin, 6mm workbenches are another huge trend.
However, the workbench surface material that impressed me most and will soon be replacing everything we’ve been using so far is neolith.
The revolutionary manufacturing process pioneered by the company of the same name (Neolith) produces the most resistant workbench material available on the market nowadays in unique shades and textures, planned to fit in perfectly with all modern design trends.
One of the characteristics that distinguish Neolith is the actual thinness of the surface construction, since it comes in 3, 6, 12 and 20mm width, depending on its use.
We saw it practically everywhere in the Salone del Mobileunder companies such as Doca, Hebanon, COMPREX CUCINE, MOBLIBERICA, ARREX CUCINE, SCHULLER and many others.
If you wish your kitchen to stand out and add some luxury to your space, go for a thin workbench in the exact same colour as the cabinets standing below it.