Interiors Q & A – the latest kitchen trends
Dear Andrew, I would like to update my kitchen – what are the current trends and how can I ensure it will still look good in a few years?
How brave you are in your choice of kitchen cabinets should generally depend on your future plans. If you think you will never move from your current home you can allow yourself to be indulgent, but if you have an eye on the resale value you should try to ensure that whatever you choose will appeal to a broader market. A new kitchen will generally cost upwards of £10,000 so the highly individual coloured units that you love may easily put off a potential purchaser.
A better choice would be a more neutral base with splashes of colour on items that can easily be changed – but remember neutral doesn’t mean boring! You could add colour by introducing a painted wall, or a highly coloured splash back behind the hob, which could be subsequently be changed for only around £200.
In the last few years white gloss units have been very popular and are now available from all manufacturers. The look achieved using this finish is highly effective and can look stunning but remember that ongoing maintenance is required; finger prints are fairly noticeable on this style of cabinets. If you do want this look without the maintenance overhead, a new style is available that has a glass front offering a matt finish – it is more expensive but worth the extra money.
Another advance in kitchen cabinets is the popularity of the handleless kitchen. This is currently my favourite style, the lack of handles gives a sleek look that allows the other aspects of the kitchen to take centre stage. Available in a wide variety of finishes, German luxury brands Poggenpohl, Siematic and Bulthaup lead the way in development of this style – although even Ikea do a range now.
For worktops, natural stone worktops such as granite have fallen slightly out of popularity and been overtaken by engineered stone alternatives such as Corian and Silestone. These products are fabricated to exactly fit into your kitchen and allow the creation of a worktop in any shape or size you want. They are also available in a wide variety of colours and are generally stain and scratch resistant.
The appliances most requested when we are planning a kitchen now are a steam oven, an inbuilt coffee machine and a hot water tap. Steam ovens have been available from specialist manufacturers for years but are now available from nearly all appliance manufacturers, ranging in price from £600 for a budget version up to over £2,000 for Miele’s top of the range offering. The ovens offer a very healthy cooking method as little of the nutrients are lost and the food remains very moist – I’ve heard they are also great for risotto! Many of our clients who need a morning coffee fix now request inbuilt coffee machines and they look great in a tall housing unit beside the ovens. As they start at around £1,000 you do need to be a dedicated coffee drinker! Hot water taps are a recent addition to the UK market with Quooker leading the way. They remove the need for a kettle and provide instant hot water for any use within the kitchen, some of the more expensive models also provide filtered and sparkling water.
If you try to remember these points, and don’t get carried away with the most fashionable finish and choose good quality appliances you should achieve a kitchen that will provide you with years of good service and, more importantly, not look dated.
This Interiors Q&A first appeared in an abridged form in CityAM