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Kitchen trends for 2020: Pops of colour and textural surfaces

Kitchen updates for the new year should include bright, colourful accents, textured countertops and splashbacks, and a return to country working kitchens, writes Anya Cooklin-Lofting

Friday 17 January 2020 15:31 GMT
Bold colour combinations are thriving, like this ode to Pantone’s colour of the year, classic blue, with a hit of bubblegum pink
Bold colour combinations are thriving, like this ode to Pantone’s colour of the year, classic blue, with a hit of bubblegum pink (British Standard)

The kitchen is often the first place homeowners look to change when the urge to renovate kicks in. Post Office Money’s 2019 survey about popular home improvements found that kitchen refurbishments were the most common improvement carried out over the last five years.

Now, Brexit property stagnation and uncertainty are causing many homeowners to stay put, and if you combine this with the recent report from The Finance & Leasing Association that showed second-charge mortgages were up 24 per cent in mid-2019, it is obvious that UK residents are choosing to renovate over relocating. With this in mind, I would suspect many of us are in the throes of kitchen refurbishments.

The kitchen is set for a makeover this year. The new season kitchen trends for 2020 will see consumers opting for colour over the black cabinetry that characterised 2019, textural finishes over smooth worktops and splashbacks, a return to country working kitchens, and quirky styling touches to give such intrinsically functional spaces a design-led edge. So, here are the top trends expected to dominate the market in 2020.

First up is colour, and this year, I’m not just talking about forest green. There are zesty oranges, sunflower yellows, emeralds, delightful pinks and of course, electric blues. Blue in particular will prove a popular colour for your kitchen cabinetry, aga or island, as forecasted by Pantone. Its 2020 colour of the year is classic blue, which, according to the international colour institute, “[instils] calm, confidence and connection,” as well as “[highlighting] our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.”

Interior designer It-couple Luke Edward Hall and Duncan Campbell’s new British Standard by Plain English kitchen is an ode to Pantone’s specific shade of cobalt, with an added hit of bubblegum pink. Plain English and British Standard’s design director, Merlin Wright, says of the colour-on-colour trend, “our feeling is that there will be continued interest in strong colours and bold combinations”.

With this surge in colour also comes an influx in textural surface options like tongue and groove panelling, smoked, grainy woods and fluted glazing. Brookmans by Smallbone, a kitchen furniture brand from parent company, Smallbone of Devizes, is pioneering this glazed kitchen cabinetry trend in its K1 range, showcasing a delightful combination of bright-painted external shaker-style cabinetry with a painted carcass (the inside of your kitchen cupboards) in a contrasting colour which shimmers through fluted glass windows in the cupboard door. This glass option obscures the contents of your cupboards, providing the essence of open-shelving without the harsh reality of exposed stacks of Tupperware.

Fluted glass brings the best of both worlds to your shelves
Fluted glass brings the best of both worlds to your shelves (Brookmans by Smallbone)

The shaker-style kitchen is a trend itself and for 2020, expect to hear more and more about the “below stairs” style kitchen. The comforting heft and weight of a Georgian or Victorian working kitchen (as opposed to the show kitchen or complete lack of kitchen space in the above-stairs living quarters) is making its way upstairs. Bevelled painted wood cabinetry and simple, pared-back worktops and weathered metal handles are the style’s defining characteristics, as seen in much of Tom Howley’s bespoke kitchen offering.

Simplicity and functionality define the shaker-style kitchen trend
Simplicity and functionality define the shaker-style kitchen trend (Tom Howley)

Authenticity of style, look and feel is crucial to fitting a below-stairs style kitchen, says Howley, the design director of the eponymous kitchen brand. He adds: “We prefer to keep things simple and traditional, and advise against fitting anything in your shaker-style kitchen that distracts from the weight and quality of the cabinetry. For example, we do not offer soft-close cabinetry as there is very little more satisfying than the light knock of wood on wood over the underscore of a sizzling saucepan. Instead, all our cabinetry features butt-hinges and magnets to keep the cabinetry closed – a method that hasn’t changed in 100 years.”

Finally, 2020 will see the kitchen adopting stylistic details reserved for living rooms and bedrooms. Design-led accessories have found their way into the kitchen with the rise of wide island counters and open shelving, both of which support the addition of decorative vases and ornaments, as well as an increased use of bold lighting and artwork. Sandrine Zhang Ferron, founder of online vintage marketplace, Vinterior, says: “The kitchen is an underused room in the home for dramatic personal touches. For example, kitchen lighting doesn’t always have to be the safe option! I would always recommend a series of three industrial enamel lights over the island for maximum light with a stylish, edgy finish. Look out for models from the 1960s for authenticity. You can also accessorise with vintage crockery or cookware displayed on the stove. An antique copper teapot on your stove top will certainly give your kitchen a vintage, eclectic feel, which slots in nicely with the current trend for below stairs-style working kitchens.”

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