A question of Kitchen Style
An understanding of the principles of kitchen style is a great place to start when planning your dream kitchen.
Currently there’s a flicker of hope lighting a cautious pathway through the pandemic tunnel, and whilst many challenges still lie ahead, some comfort needs to be taken from the way we that have adapted to, coped with, and navigated through the past three years.
Apart from the home office, the kitchen has been the one space in the home that we have happily adapted and evolved as these testing times have rolled on. It’s still the heart of our home, it’s still the space that nourishes us, and it continues to bring us together and provide us a vital environment in which we can connect and share with one another.
From Modern to Contemporary and the various sub-genres of Classic style, kitchens have evolved to meet our changing needs and tastes.
Adaption and Evolution
As such, it’s no wonder that people have rediscovered how style can support lifestyle in the kitchen, with the drivers of kitchen trends spanning both function and form. We’ve adapted beyond our rituals, and as we have spent more time in our kitchen we have looked well beyond our basic needs. This dynamic is not slowing down anytime soon; in some instances the change can be dramatic, but in others the adaptation is subtle.
Overall, the definition of “kitchen style” has remained largely the same; whilst some of its aesthetics have blended and flexed beyond their origins, its many sub-genres remain great starting points when thinking about what you want to achieve, and what is going to work for your desired kitchen space.
FASHIONS FADE, Style ENDURES
As we say each year when it comes to kitchens, style is everything. Having a clear understanding of what you’re going for will help you best frame your intended outcome. It helps to remember: trends will come and go, but if you can stay true to style, the less likely it is that your kitchen will date.
The notion of the Modern style was defined after the First World War and was characterised by flat surfaces, geometrical forms with little or no adornments, and simple designs that are uncluttered by hardware. This Modern design then morphed into offshoots like Industrial, Scandi, or Nordic, mirroring commercial kitchens where durability and function rule over design, colour or accent.
So-called Contemporary kitchens share some of the Modern kitchen traits in that they have lots of clean space and a focus on materials, however the Contemporary kitchen goes beyond this to reflect current eco-friendly, technologically advanced trends, whilst retaining Modern traits of minimalism with flat-front cabinetry, sleek fixtures, and wood accents.
Light, materials, colour, appliances and space all contribute to a kitchen’s aesthetic and utility.
Classic and Traditional is the perhaps the broadest of kitchen styles, and are designed to withstand the vagaries of fashion. These kitchens emphasis space as a primary function over design, and often rely on simple or neutral colour schemes to create fresh, light spaces with appliances creating the accents. Country, Hamptons, Provincial, Coastal and Colonial are all offshoots of this class of kitchen, and all offer great potential for design plans that have space in abundance to play with.
Finally, one class of kitchen we’re seeing more of is the Outdoor kitchen. Moving well beyond the space where the barbecue and the outdoor table live, the Outdoor kitchen is now connected to the main kitchen in terms of functionality, but can operate as a stand-alone entity complete with fridges, prep areas, waste bins and sinks all combining to build a separate entertaining area.
EMERGENT TRENDS WE’re SEEING ACROSS KITCHEN STYLES
- • Ceiling-high cabinets with glass panels to show off collectibles and appliances
- • Engineered sinks made from concrete, metal or composite materials
- • Mixed metal (colour and materials) fittings across the board
- • Countertops with texture and colour
- • Bold, dark colors as isolated features against softer colours instead of just splashbacks and hoods
- • Bigger “butler” pantries
- • More storage
NO END OF POSSIBILITIES
In short, the kitchen presents one of the great canvases for creativity in home and interior design. Whether revitalising an existing space or crafting a floorplan for a new build, it pays to take a little extra time and put in the research to ensure the outcome, look and lifestyle you desire. You’ll be glad you did.