Kitchen design and interior design more generally is continually evolving, 2008 will be no different with changes in the way we use and decorate our kitchens. Worktops sink units and cabinets are all set to change with wider use of curving, more organic forms. The organic feeling continues in terms of materials with a move away from the industrial steels and chromes of the past few years to more natural solid wood being used. Luxurious solid wood worktops made from oak or beech will be increasingly utilised as design experts expect a move towards more homely forms of kitchen design.
One of the reasons for the predominance of solid wood instead of stainless steel in the worktops and cabinets is due to a change in uses for the modern kitchen. The industrial look was predominant as people purely used their kitchen’s for cooking. Recent trends have moved away from this utilitarian nature to more of a friendly space for families to enjoy together, hence the resurgence of solid wood features. The kitchen has become the hub of the home and the place families like to spend most of their time. While trends cannot be wholly generalised as personalisation is still strong, the types and shapes of worktops and cupboards are definitely changing.
The cold steels and industrial materials do to lend themselves to the warm family kitchen look and hence solid wood is becoming more widely used. As kitchens nowadays must have dual or even triple purposes in terms of dining and eating this cold and rather severe look is becoming less popular. The homely feel of large solid wood worktops can bring the ‘country kitchen’ into even the most urbanised of houses. Dark wood as well as rich colours in terms of varnishes mean that solid wood is a far more versatile material for design purposes.
Dark wood for many brings images of the ‘brown furniture’ that was so popular fifteen years ago and now litters the junk shops. These nasty heavy stains could not be further removed from contemporary solid wood worktops and cabinets that are made from rich woods such as walnut. Walnut shows its grain beautifully and well made worktops can essentially be a centrepiece of design in their own right; such is the beauty of these natural materials.
In terms of design, worktops and forms this year will be much softer than the metal surfaces of the past few years. Curves will be the big thing in kitchen design, ensuring organic design elements that will add to the old world elegance. Not only do curves in worktops and cupboards make a stunning design element, the practical uses are also there. Naturally solid wood curved worktops have softer edges and hence present less of a risk with small children in the house, many have even stated that these new forms are far more feminine in essence.
Solid wood will not be the only material to make a comeback during 2008, the combination of fitted glass and granite floors will enhance the natural look incredibly. The name of the game this year in kitchen design is to produce a kitchen that contains classic looks with contemporary styling, creating an eclectic mix of form and function. Lighting will be as important as ever to create mood and atmosphere effectively in all kitchens, whilst also providing practicality in work areas.
This year is set to see some big changes in kitchen design trends, ultimately however it is down to personal preference rather than idyllic design. Combining form and function is essential as the kitchen has to be useful as well as aesthetically pleasing, as one of the busiest rooms in any house, ensuring you get the balance right is essential.
Interior design expert Thomas Pretty looks at trends in kitchen design and the increased popularity of solid wood worktops.