10 Ways to Achieve a Practical and Beautiful Kitchen in 2021
2020 saw the kitchen reinvent itself – almost overnight. No longer just the place where we cook, the kitchen is where we socialise, work, teach, play and much more.
In this blog post, we look at ten of 2021’s most inspiring kitchen design trends, with ways you can create a contemporary kitchen that is both practical and stylish.
1. Sculptural lights
As we spend more time living in our kitchens, there is a trend for making them feel more like our living rooms. Lighting is one of the best ways to achieve this.
As a result, 2021 is seeing a move away from the ultra-modern, individual pendant that often characterises kitchen or dining-space lighting. In its place, there’s a growing preference for horizontal lighting, wall sconces and sculptural lights – which bring a touch of decorative art to kitchen design.
Modern homeowners are also dividing their kitchens into specific task areas, each with their own zonal lighting. At the same time, we are seeing a renaissance in chandeliers and candle bulbs.
2. Kitchen island
A trend that’s showing no signs of dimming is the popularity of kitchen islands. Now an essential kitchen feature, much can be achieved with this versatile unit.
And this goes from maximising storage and making the hob the centre of the room, to creating a multi-purpose space by integrating a work table.
There is even a trend, particularly in larger kitchens, for a pair of island units.
3. Boiling water taps
Do you remember what it was like living with a conventional boiler? You know, those times when you had to get up an hour early but forgot to bring the hot water programme forward.
In the same way that combi boilers brought the convenience of round-the-clock hot water to the bathroom, boiling water taps are the must-have gadget for modern kitchen living.
Whether you’re preparing food or making a cup of tea on the go, enjoy energy-efficient instant access to boiling water – without having to stand around and wait for the kettle to boil.
To keep water at boiling point, a boiling water tap uses just one tenth of the electricity needed to boil the average kettle. So it’s good for the environment and saves you time and money. And with various safety features, it’s a welcome, family-friendly addition to any home.
4. Floating shelves
Open shelves are a great way to create a sense of space and add interest to your kitchen decor. A perfect stage for eye-catching cookware, pottery and prestige gadgets.
And as our kitchens become more than a place to cook and eat, we can expect to see the floating kitchen shelf rival the ‘credibility bookcase’ as a modern status symbol and Zoom-interview style statement.
5. Two-tone, contrasting finishes
Another way that people are adding interest to their kitchen design is by combining two contrasting colours.
From cabinets to walls, worktops and the kitchen island, juxtaposing dark units with brighter shades elsewhere helps add character and depth to your space.
And by using nature-inspired biophilic colour schemes, you can bring a sense of health and wellness to your indoor living. Creating a kitchen that connects you with the natural world. And is at once relaxing, calming and restorative.
6. Marble effect
Marble continues to make a strong style statement and is unquestionably a mark of elegance and luxury.
Yet growing in popularity are versatile marble-look quartz worktops. These echo the natural beauty of marble while providing a far more durable and stain-resistant work surface.
7. Wine coolers
For many of us, entertaining at home - whether in the garden or indoors - has become a much more prominent part of our social lives.
And when friends pop round for a drink, we want not only to serve them the perfect glass of wine, but to serve it at the perfect temperature. Which is why there is an increasing trend for wine coolers to be incorporated into kitchen design.
Coming in a range of sizes and at different price points, specialist wine coolers are an affordable and convenient alternative to maintaining a wine cellar.
They’re also fast becoming the must-have appliance and status symbol of young professionals and discerning dinner-party hosts.
If the pandemic has given us anything, it’s a heightened awareness of the importance of hygiene and cleanliness to our daily lives. Which is why smooth, easy-to-clean surfaces and handleless kitchens are in such high demand.
Using technology – such as hands-free taps – to limit kitchen touch points is another trend that promises to continue.
It’s not just through reducing the number of touch points that technology is influencing modern kitchen design. In all its forms, it continues to play a key role in the evolution of the contemporary kitchen.
And this spans from lighting and appliances controlled via your smartphone, to additional USB power points and ovens with self-cleaning, moisture control and even inbuilt camera features.
The smart kitchen just keeps on getting smarter.
10. Clever storage systems
Finally, storage continues to play a vital role in kitchen design – particularly as we see a rise in demand for multi-functional rooms.
At their best, kitchens are not just beautifully stylish. They are also wonderfully practical.
Modern kitchen designs use streamlined storage systems to maximise the space without impacting on the aesthetics of the kitchen.
And with many of us becoming accustomed to the idea of working from home indefinitely, incorporating more storage for office equipment helps preserve some healthy boundaries between our working and non-working lives.