We talked to the trend experts to find out which kitchen trends will be big in 2022.
With cool new kitchen brands popping up and lots of innovative design ideas and clever twists on old appliance designs on display in kitchen showrooms across the country, there are plenty of on-trend looks and state-of-the-art appliances to pick from.
Kitchen trends 2022
1. Glazed tile backsplash
A tiled kitchen backsplash is nothing new, but there will be a shift away from matt finishes and towards gloss. A glazed tile is not just easy to clean – it will also reflect the light around the room, with effective results regardless of the color.
Interior designer Natalia Miyar has these richly hued green kitchen tiles handmade in Florence. 'Paired with the rustic wood and marble work surfaces, they create a really beautiful contrast with the earthy colors, as well as adding different layers of texture to the space,' she explains. You don't need to use a saturated shade to enjoy the full impact.
For a more muted look, choose glazed white tiles, which will certainly make the most of the natural light. Zelliges will also remain a popular choice. Handcrafted in Morocco, these distinctive glazed clay tiles, with their irregular surface and varying tones, bring texture and artisan character to a scheme.
2. Mixing in vintage and antiques
Future kitchen trends are about dispelling any notions of a show home, and introducing some antique or vintage furniture into a kitchen has the immediate effect of creating a warm, lived-in home environment. Farmhouse kitchen furniture in the form of a scrubbed kitchen table or dresser is the obvious choice for a traditional look. Timeless, built to last and often inexpensive to find at vintage fairs, antique pieces will introduce character to a new space.
This design by Ben Pentreath was a 21st-century take on a Welsh farmhouse kitchen. Simple joinery, including a large larder cupboard and open shelves, combines with a butler's sink, Delft tiles, period-style lighting and antique furniture to create a timeless feel, perfectly in keeping with the house's architectural style.
3. Glass partitions
After years of breaking down walls to create large open-plan rooms, over recent times we've come to appreciate the benefits of being able to close the door and escape the soundtrack of the entire house. A glazed partition can split spaces without compromising on light or the feeling of togetherness. It also has the advantage of helping to contain smells in the kitchen area.
In his own home, Thomas Cox, co-founder of Ham Interiors, replaced the wall between the kitchen and sitting room with a reclaimed Georgian shop front. 'We like to use glazed partitions as they define area and create the illusion of space without having to be fully open plan,' he explains. 'If the existing kitchen layout won't allow for a fully glazed wall then a smaller glazed panel can enhance a space; it offers architectural interest and is also useful in providing a backdrop for a piece of furniture.'
4. Statement metal hoods
While they are generally considered something of a necessary evil in the UK, the American approach to extractor hoods has long been more celebratory, with custom-made designs in unusual finishes making strong and defining statements in kitchens across the land. This kitchen trend looks set to take off in a big way, too, especially in eye-catching metal surfaces.
'Aesthetically, adding a striking extractor canopy to a kitchen scheme is a chance to interrupt with shape and sculpture all the angular lines of cabinets and panels,' says Bruce Hodgson of Somerset-based Artichoke Ltd. 'This etched zinc extractor canopy is made using specialist crafts and traditional materials, throwing a spotlight on our handmade values as well as a nod to the past.
5. Layered lighting
Lighting in a kitchen is always a challenge to get right but the art of layering will be key to designing kitchens successfully going forward. The reality is you only need a certain amount of task lighting in specific preparation areas, too many downlighters and the kitchen ceiling ends up looking rather like a landing strip.
New York-based Steven Gambrel Inc. is known for his sophisticated interiors. Having originally trained as an architect, he's a master at considering how kitchen lighting, kitchen layout and functionality create a sense of place in a room. In this family kitchen for a recently built beach house in East Hampton, Long Island, he's made a feature of the lighting, introducing two sets of bold pendants. In a large, open-plan kitchen space, choosing two such different designs adds character but also helps define the distinctive areas within the room.
6. The single open shelf
With so much going on in kitchens, the risk of a visual overload is always high. Those searching for a more restrained look will need to focus on colors, which should be kept simple, and thinking about leaving wall space bare.
In this design for a house in Hudson, New York, by General Assembly, a single shelf has been used in place of wall-hung kitchen cabinets resulting in a relaxed and unfussy look. 'We grouped a full-height pantry with the fridge to give us the possibility of removing upper storage,' explains Colin Stief. 'The shelf is used in the place of cupboards to give the concrete backsplash a place to end and a visual break to the monochromatic scheme.' As always, when working with open kitchen storage, a curated display is essential. Some designers choose to use a single open shelf for artwork rather than kitchenalia to elevate the room.
7. Natural elements
The use of natural materials has increased considerably during the pandemic and will strengthen in appeal as marble, granite and unpainted wood kitchen cabinets become a firm fixture. Not only do they have a rich aesthetic quality, but they are increasingly being recognized for their health benefits (reducing the amount of chemically treated items in the home).
With this beautiful design, Californian decorator Ohara Davies-Geatano of ODG Interiors demonstrates how the materials add warmth and depth to a kitchen. 'The cabinetry is cerused oak, which is incredibly durable and provides wonderful texture,' she says. 'I love how the timber highlights the depth of the limestone backsplash. The basket-style pendants introduce another layer – their scale gives great balance to the overall design. As the materiality of the space is so tonal, the addition of the floating wood shelves enabled moments of curation.'
8. Concealed kitchens
Small space living gives way to even more kitchen innovation, like the small kitchen above. This chic open-plan space conceals the cooking area with chameleon-like skill, allowing the focus to be on entertaining.
Maximize the feeling of spaciousness by uniting cooking, dining and relaxing into one glorious, light-filled room. Here an uninviting and small kitchen was demolished in favour of a big living room with the kitchen tucked discreetly at one end.
The layout is flexible so it transitions from a kitchen to a dining room to a living area in an effortless way. The cooking space is as invisible as possible, with door panels looking like decorative wall finishings.
All doors are hidden, with fingerprint sensors that allow them to open and close in a smooth a manner.
9. Mesh cabinetry
Bespoke kitchen specialist Davonport has added a burnished wire mesh cupboard door to its design portfolio. Teamed with diamond-cut brass handles, the look makes for a sophisticated twist on industrial style.
10. Using materials in surprising ways
Theres something free-ing about having a kitchen that doesn't feel 'off the shelf'. Even if some elements like cabinetry and appliances need to be standardized, think about adding character with practical elements sourced elsewhere.
This sink area features a rustic shelf to display pottery and a narrow geometric backsplash made of brass sits behind, creating an unusual vignette and wall decor for the kitchen.
11. Brave color contrasts
Picking two shades on opposite sides of the color wheel, like pink and green, will achieve bold contrasts. Here the Classic English kitchen by deVOL is painted in a Farrow & Ball green and a custom pink.
12. A fresh take on fifties design
Dark walnut cabinetry works to keep the look simple with smart bespoke detailing. Tall white cabinets and light marble splash-backs and countertops draw the eye up creating an illusion of space, keeping the look fresh and of the moment.
13. The sink skirt revival
Once considered outdated and frumpy, the sink skirt is back in fashion creating opportunity for texture and pattern, softening kitchen schemes and adding a touch of nostalgia.
The idea is based around replacing the base cabinet doors underneath the sink with pleated curtains, often suspended on a decorative rod. Here is an opportunity for an element that can be updated often – on trend gingham, tactile untreated linen or pale pink stripes amongst bold colors like Beata Heuman.
14. Marvel at marble
It’s the time of strongly veined marble, the busier the better for unmissable luxury and next-level style. If there’s one thing that’s storming the style charts and shaking up interiors, it’s the return of marble.
As an architect Natalia Miyar has a great passion for materiality and uses the finest, high quality materials in her design schemes. She says ‘heavily veined marble is making a significant comeback in the design world and has become synonymous with high-end luxury.’ A popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms, it is also highly sustainable; its durability, classic attributes and ability to withstand passing trends makes it a good investment and good choice for kitchen flooring.
Marbles with naturally strong veining add statement value and create a textural contract between other polished surfaces, metals and woods. Within a kitchen, Natalia uses marble to create an eye-catching sink or a kitchen island.
15. Wood finishes
Out of fashion for a while, wood is now enjoying a bit of a revival. These kitchen cabinets use subtle-grained ash, paler than oak or walnut, to pick out the warm tones in manmade stone.
16. Dark drama
Black kitchen ideas are having something of a moment. Often overlooked as purely an 'accent' color, black walls, cabinetry and work surfaces are having something of a moment. Black becomes liveable, luxe and inviting, with textured woods adding rustic, homely charm.
17. Color pops
Throw the rulebook out of the window in favor of unexpected paint-color pairings. Kitchens are rife with color opportunities, from appliances and flooring, to window treatments, kitchen tile ideas and cabinets.
Start by deciding how much of a permanent commitment you are willing to make. One of easiest and least expensive options is to change your kitchen styling or paint a wall because either can be easily updated should you tire of it. Choosing color is such a personal experience. In fact, no one knows for sure whether we all even see the myriad shades in the same way.
Mark Wilkinson, founder of Mark Wilkinson Furniture, believes that the colors we choose automatically are naturally influenced by current fashions. 'The color in a kitchen – be it on walls or fittings – should last for at least five years, minimum, so try to look beyond immediate trends and choose a kitchen color scheme that will keep you feeling good long term,' he advises.
18. Statement lights
Far from the drama of what you would expect from 'statement' lighting, the latest collection of pendants from Original BTC are quietly show-stopping. The Drop series follows the journey of a droplet of water through the air and this bone china light captures the moment when it flattens as it hits the ground.
Designed 20 years ago, it was initially pulled from the range because it proved too technically challenging to make. But, thanks to new developments, it has finally made a long-awaited appearance.
19. Double islands
With the move towards larger kitchens, in open plan spaces, the kitchen island has become an essential kitchen feature. New kitchen island ideas, such as opting for a pair of island units, has become the last work in luxury - an expansive addition for when space is no object.
20. Handleless design
The latest modern kitchen ideas are all about multi-tasking, free-flowing designs with a paired-back look. Technological advances in push-open and close doors means that it has become possible to dispense with handles in both wall and base cabinets.
If you prefer not to have push-open cupboards, then recessed handles provide the same sleek look and can be lined with contrasting colors and materials to add interest.
'Handleless kitchen cabinets are one of the biggest trends for 2022 for more pared-back, streamlined look. It’s all about simplicity and a focus on cabinetry details,' explains Busola Evans, Kitchen and Bathroom Supplement Editor.
21. Pantry living
Pantry cupboards have been kitchen staples for centuries. In the last few years, pantry ideas such as pantry cupboards have established themselves as one of the must-have items in modern homes.
'Having a pantry makes perfect sense. All the food goods are in one place and not scattered around in numerous wall cupboards, meaning people can be more organized when doing their food shopping.
'The other great advantage of a larder and its storage capacity is that a kitchen no longer needs to be full of wall cupboards. It frees up entire walls to either be left free or have an attractive piece of artwork in the kitchen which in turn helps it feel less like a kitchen and instead more of a relaxed environment, perfect for open plan living areas,' says Leisha Norman, Designer, Harvey Jones.
22. Larders for small kitchens – that can double up as home offices
'The trend for clever storage continues to be a key design choice due to the practicality it offers,' says Paul Jenkinson, Founder and Managing Director of British kitchen brand LochAnna Kitchens. 'From bi-fold dressers to tower and corner larders, storage can be both a design and practical trend.
'Storage is, and will continue to be, a big part of the kitchen space. For those with smaller kitchens, the need for clever kitchen storage ideas in this space is crucial in terms of efficiently utilizing the room you have.
'In bigger, minimalist kitchens, clever storage allows for clutter to be easily tidied away. Many homeowners are adding more storage solutions into their kitchens as a way of storing their office supplies as they adapt to working from home indefinitely.'
23. Walnut cabinetry
We have recently seen a rise in walnut cabinetry. It’s rich, dark color, fine grain and natural warmth are prized by makers for its feeling of instant luxury.
24. Gold finishes
Now that faucets are available in a wide choice of colors and finishes, sinks are following too, and shouldn't drive up the average cost of a new kitchen too much. Aesthetics have made an impact in wet areas just as they have in furniture and appliance design, with color, shape, size and material heavily influenced by the overall look of the room.
'Sinks have moved up on the scale of importance in kitchen design,' says Joan Fraser, product development and training manager for Smeg. 'Models are introduced to meet customers’ demands for a sink which, in addition to being purely functional, also makes a definitive style statement.'
25. More metallics
A by-product of metallics in the kitchen comes the demand for well-executed quality materials that don’t just look good, but have integrity, too. 'That’s why I decided against metallic finishes sprayed onto wood, in favor of real metals that I could work with sensitively to bring out their natural beauty’, says Charlie Smallbone.
The founder of iconic brand Smallbone of Devizes and Ledbury Studio, Charlie has been pushing the boundaries of kitchen design for over 40 years.
26. The curated kitchen
As pride in interior styling takes center stage, we have witnessed an increase in sales of glazed cupboards and opening shelving, following a growing demand for kitchens designed for a ‘curated’ look.
Thoughtfully designed, these visual spaces are carefully styled with artworks, decorative ceramics, cookery books and other curiosities, to achieve an instant lived in look – adding personality and resulting in a space that feels homely.
'In an age of uncertainty and with busy digital lives, people are increasingly nostalgic for a space to slow down and surround themselves with the comfort and security of tactile items and personal treasures. We are moving away from hiding everything away in cupboards, instead drawing inspiration from displays of china and silverware in glazed cabinets and on shelving, racks and dressers of grand houses – the end result sitting between the maximalist and minimalist styles,' says Merlin Wright, Design Director at British Standard and Plain English.
27. Appliances in drawers
This isn't so much a new innovation – Fisher & Paykel introduced its first DishDrawer™ 20 years ago. However, as we become more interested in the ergonomics of our kitchens – and more of us suffer back problems – these innovative appliances will become more popular.
Fisher & Paykel’s DishDrawer™ and CoolDrawer™ provide an array of functions that make life easier. When placed at bench height, the need to bend down is significantly reduced and there is no longer a need for you to get on your knees to fill the salt, rinse aid or detergent – it is as easy to open as a normal drawer.
28. 'Broken-plan' living
Set to define the next decade, zoning will replace open-plan when planning a kitchen in 2022 and beyond. The new phenomenon is being referred to as ‘broken-plan’. Retaining the spacious feel of an open plan design, the trend employs the use of screens, freestanding furniture, cabinetry and house plants to create distinct zones and nest-like nooks intended for cooking, relaxing and entertaining.
29. Utility rooms and mud rooms
Ancillary spaces – we mean functional but thoughtfully considered utility, pantry, larder and mudrooms – provide the perfect space in which to house everyday essentials away from the main kitchen. Ancillary spaces and larder cupboards have become the ultimate status symbol and are fast becoming number one on kitchen wish lists.
‘Having a utility room has become a status symbol. Coupled with the current trend for neat and tidy spaces and zealous cleaning, it provides a much-needed dedicated housekeeping area,’ says Design Director at British Standard and Plain English, Merlin Wright.
30. Painted kitchens
The year 2021 saw the revival of hand-painted kitchens – and this kitchen trend continues into 2022. 'They wear well, age even better and continue to be repairable in ways that a factory-applied laminate cannot match,' says Ledbury Studio founder, Charlie Smallbone. 'From this point of view, hand painting is also more ecologically sound.'
One of the most appealing and varied finishes for kitchen cabinetry, paint lends itself to both the classic looks of the traditional kitchen and to crisply modern linear designs.
The advantage is in its almost limitless choice of colors, allowing you free rein to express yourself, whether your home is period or contemporary, country or urban. And you can always re-paint if you want a change or update in the future.
31. Pendant lighting
Our feature on Instagram kitchen trends looked into what was trending on social media for kitchens. Unsurprisingly, kitchen islands came out tops, but the next searched term was 'pendant lights'.
More than just a practical addition, kitchen pendant lighting is a decorative feature over worktop spaces, too.
'Lighting is key to any kitchen design scheme,' comments Sarah Davies of Floella Interiors. 'My advice would be: be open to exploring different pendant kitchen lighting ideas . For example, grouping multiple pendants to add drama to the kitchen.'
32. Retro style kitchens
Design styles from the past will be making a comeback – but with a new, contemporary spin. Inspired by the painted kitchen of thirty years ago, Ledbury Studio are reinterpreting paint finishes and wood tints to sit beautifully alongside more modern kitchen designs.
33. Mixed materials
Contrast is king when it comes to mixing materials; the trick is to make sure that every material used encourages the others to really sing.
Brass and steel married with marble and dark timbers prove a winning formula in this luxurious and vibrant family kitchen by Ledbury Studio.
'Use a fusion of tactile materials to achieve a confident blending of styles,' advises architect Natalia Miyar. 'Marble, wood and metallics complement each other well with different shades of wood and metal often bringing warmth and contrast to a cold marble surface.
'Using contrasting materials for different worktops within a kitchen naturally creates different zones within a room, not only making a space more practical but aesthetically creates a visually pleasing and harmonious space to live in.'
34. White kitchens
There are many good reasons why white kitchens are so enduringly popular: white is calm, neat, minimal and light-enhancing – all must-have qualities in a space that's increasingly busy (and sometimes somewhat chaotic).
White is also so easy to change up: 'white cabinets are great for giving you that fresh clean minimal look but are also a great backdrop for layering up color and texture,' says Sarah Davies of Floella Interiors.
And, of course, white kitchens are the most likely to please potential buyers, should you decide it's time to move on.
35. Floating shelves
Over 122,000 of us have tagged our floating shelves on Instagram – at our last count. Not only are they practical, but they are the perfect spot to show off your most attractive kitchen accessories, making your kitchen feel more like a living space than a cooking space.
Arabella is a freelance journalist writing for national newspapers, magazines and websites including Homes & Gardens, Country Life, The Telegraph and The Times. For many years she has specialized in writing about property and interiors, but she began her career in the early 2000s working on the newly launched Country Life website, covering anything from competitions to find the nation’s prettiest vicarage to the plight of rural post offices.
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