What’s hot in kitchens

Planning a new kitchen? Don't start work before you check out our guide to this year's kitchen trends with staying power

The kitchen is without doubt the most valuable room in the house – both in terms of the dosh we spend on it and the time we spend in it. It’s the heart of the home; a space where we cook and enjoy food while socialising with friends and family.

Having lived with what I am certain was the ugliest and most poorly designed kitchen in Surrey, I know all too well that investing in a new kitchen can be exciting and daunting in equal measures. It’s also a major expense, so it’s important to get it right the first time.

And with spring just around the corner, now’s the perfect time to think about starting your kitchen project. So, with help from the folk at the brilliant Figura, makers of gorgeous bespoke handmade kitchens and interiors in Chiddingfold, I’ve researched the trends that have the staying power to help make your kitchen timelessly gorgeous as well as functional.

 

Island life

An island is still the sign of an affluent kitchen – and it’s highest on the wish list of most Figura clients. Islands offer additional work surface for food preparation as well as an informal space to sit, drink coffee or chat to the cook.

An island can be imaginatively designed to create a dedicated cooking zone which subtly provides space for family and friends to relax on the one side leaving the cook to do their thing on the other. An island enables the cook to work centrally, facing the room and engaging with family and friends whilst remaining close enough to the cooker or hob to keep an eye on boiling pots.

With range cookers more popular than ever, the traditional position of pan drawers below the hob is lost. An island provides additional storage and drawers for utensils, a knife block, oven and serving dishes; a veg peelings bin; crockery and cutlery storage; a main waste bin and even recycling bins.

 

Curves are good

Today’s contemporary designs are no longer confined to restrictions by straight lines, sharp angles and boxy shapes. The designers at Figura often introduce curves to achieve a flow around a kitchen’s different zones. This can be done by introducing curves to larger items of furniture and in the floor design to gently guide family and friends to relax and be away from the central cooking zone.

Smaller curves can be employed to soften sharp corners and make the kitchen safer, especially for smaller members of the family. Its important to start with the functionality of the kitchen first though, and look to add features such as curves where they are needed or wanted.

Curves can create a dramatic focus in a kitchen by fusing both architectural and design elements, or be more subtle, by appearing in the detail of the kitchen furniture and surfaces. Curves don’t necessarily have to be bold or noticeable; they help to counterbalance the serious, functional element of a kitchen whilst ensuring that the rest of the room feels inviting, relaxed and warm.

 

Larder ardour

In medieval halls the larder was where meat, fish, and other foodstuffs prone to rapid spoilage were stored. Looked after by the larderer, it was closely connected to the saucery, the scullery and the pantry. The pantry (from the word ‘pain’) was where the bread was kept. By the Victorian era, the larder and pantry simply became large wooden cupboards.

Today the larder or pantry is a ‘must have’ for most Figura clients, and each one is designed individually for the client with a definite function in mind. It is so much more than just a large cupboard, and the design should be uncluttered, simple and organised.

The larder creates another workspace potentially dedicated to pastry or bread making. It can also be where you chop, mix, roll, juice, brew coffee or blend smoothies.

 

Colour me happy

An unexpected touch of colour can help you introduce a wow factor. In the kitchen, you can get this by painting the cabinets. Instead of going with the usual white, grey or black, consider a soft, natural green that’s simple and chic.

 

Metal

Right back to Roman times people have used copper and it’s alloys within their homes.  The metal’s distinctive colouring, texture and adaptability means it has earned it’s place as a must-have design trend, being introduced to room décor in lighting, cutlery, furniture, fabrics, accessories and paint colours.

The designers at keep an eye on trends at Figura – it is important to know what is influencing clients and current styles – but their timeless designs are mostly based on creativity and functionality. As a result they’ve been incorporating copper in interesting ways within our projects for many years.

Figura, The Green, Chiddingfold, Godalming GU8 4TU. Tel: 01428 686500.  figura.co.uk

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