Matt Prall and Stephen Garland of Papilio reveal the hot trends that will be influencing kitchen design in 2018.
Trends come and go, which works well for affordable updates, but not so well for larger elements of the home that are expensive to switch up seasonally, and, frankly, who wants to?
The good news is that kitchen trends tend to move more slowly than fashion trends; think subtle shifts rather than full-on aesthetic revolutions. Here are six of our favourites for 2018.
1. Metallic marvels
Fans of brass will be glad to hear that the material of the moment is expected to continue gathering momentum well into the new year. Matt and Stephen advise, “Don’t just think about taps; you can create striking focal points with brass doors, door handles, ovens, sinks – it’s all about thinking outside the box.”
Brass is not the only metal making its mark in 2018. The trend for copper and gold continues to soar, but watch out for a shift towards special treatments to achieve interesting patinas.
“There are various ways to achieve a more popular patina finish by oxidation, chemicals, and heat, all of which give dramatic and different finishes,” explain Matt and Stephen. “We have recently installed a kitchen with heat treated copper on the ceiling – the effects were fantastic and created beautiful patterns on the copper panelling, which looked more like a work of art than a sheet of metal cladding.”
The challenge for 2018 is to soften the impact of hard metals to create a homelier vibe. Wood is a good way to warm-up your scheme (dramatic dark timbers are particularly prevalent). Paint is also a game-changer (perhaps pick a pastel to lighten the overall look). In an open-plan space, use soft furnishings such as rugs and cushions to take the edge off the metallics.
2. Material world
We ask a lot of kitchen worktops. They must be tough enough to cope with daily wear and tear, they must be durable to stand the test of time and naturally, they must look good, too.
The latest material to tick all these boxes is Neolith; the result of a cutting-edge manufacturing process using 100% natural materials, extreme heat, and intense pressure to produce a super hardwearing surface material.
“We confidently say “extreme” heat and “intense” pressure because Neolith slabs are cured at about 2200° Fahrenheit (1200+°o Celsius), and compressed to over 5900 pounds per square inch,” explains Matt and Stephen.
“Our favourite finishes are ‘Aspen Grey’ which looks like a natural grey stone, a great alternative to polished concrete, and “Belgian Blue”. The marble effect finishes are the best alternatives to marble we’ve seen to date and lastly, the Iron series collection is also well worth investigating if you are looking for the industrial look.”
3. Colourful conversations
Vibrant colour will continue to make in-roads in 2018. Matt and Stephen predict that the focus will be twofold. For those who prefer to play it safe, pops of bright colour are the way to go. If you are a shade braver, colour clashes are calling.
“Our Scandinavian kitchen (shown below) provides the perfect example of how to integrate a small amount of colour to keep the space clean and minimal. The pops of yellow add vibrancy and energy to the room,” explain Matt and Stephen.
Colour shy? Another effective way to add interest to your kitchen using colour is to combine two or more subdued hues. Top tip: Use a lighter colour on wall cabinets and a darker colour on the base units so that your scheme doesn’t look too heavy. If you have an island unit, it’s popular to paint it in a darker colour and reserve the lighter colour for cabinetry.
4. Open up
It’s time to take styling more seriously thanks to an influx of open storage in the kitchen. Of course, how you curate them is crucial. Erecting a few shelves and overloading them with ‘stuff’ just won’t cut it.
“Bright, airy kitchens provide the perfect setting for succulents and hanging ivy, incorporating yet another important interior style trend,” explains Matt and Stephen. “We’d advise pairing them with handmade ceramics for an artisanal and more unique finish.”
Many manufacturers are striking the balance between open and closed storage using smoked or transparent glass doors. This means kitchen accessories can be displayed and flatteringly lit, but they are not open to the dust and grease of a working kitchen.
5. Double duty design
Why have one use for a sink when you can have a multi-functional trough which can be used for anything from chilling oysters, champagne or growing herbs to preparing food.
“For the avid entertainer, the multi-purpose integrated trough sink is the perfect addition to any kitchen and with more homeowners looking to add that “wow-factor” to their home, this has been a favourite amongst suggestions to clients,” reveals Matt and Stephen.
In fact, multi-function impacts all elements of kitchen design. In 2017, a handful of appliance manufacturers presented induction hobs with an extractor hood integrated into its surface – so, expect to see more in 2018. We particularly like this idea for hobs mounted on island units as they allow you to cook without a cumbersome extractor obscuring your view.
6. Talking tech
Increasingly, people want to incorporate the latest technology into their kitchens. “We’re seeing more interest in integrated music and lighting that can all be controlled via one central hub as well as a call for iPads installed for recipes and work surfaces with integrated mobile phone charging,” explain Matt and Stephen. “The Amazon Dash button and Google Home have also become essentials to some clientele, allowing them to order products, play music, set reminders or find out recipes at the touch of a button or the sound of a voice at least.”
They continue: “Looking at smart lighting specifically, we used the Lutron Grafik Eye system; a premium energy-saving light treatment control. At the push of a button, any space can be transformed from a bright prep and cooking space into a moody dinner setting. With Lutron, you can program up to 16 different mood settings and control up to 8 different zones. It is also possible to integrate with smartphones for complete control versatility.”