What are the ‘must-haves’ in modern kitchen design?Rebecca Hinshelwood
Kitchens trends may come and go, but some features last beyond fashion or a passing fad. For anyone redesigning their kitchen in 2022, there are some elements that will future proof your design. These are the ‘must haves’ in modern kitchen design. Rather than colours or finishes, aspects like structure, function, layout and materials will remain with you for the long haul.
The modern kitchen should be fully integrated from a skeletal level. This allows your use of the space to become seamless. Functional items should be both screened from view and also connected for use. When you get it right, kitchen integration makes the room look great and be super easy to use.
The first thing that we think about when we look at integration are all the wires and connections needed for appliances, gadgets and entertainment. When you lay out a new kitchen, plan sunken power points, integrated entertainment systems and hidden connectivity.
Similarly, modern kitchen design has embraced the potential to hide away the more functional aspects of kitchen use. Deep drawers to encase waste and recycling, for example, screen the waste and make it easier to sort. Elsewhere, worktop level units can enclose and mask appliances like a coffee machine until you need to use it.
By thinking about ‘must have’ materials, you can ensure that your kitchen has a classic, timeless appeal. This is because when we look beyond trends, high quality and durable materials remain looking smart for many years.
High use areas
Flooring and worktops are the key areas to install quality materials. They are high use zones which could show the impact of wear and tear quickly if you select less durable materials. When you install a natural stone worktop, your kitchen benefits from the quality of these materials without the high levels of maintenance that something like solid wood requires. Add to this that marble is both fashionable and a classic finish and your choice really is a safe bet.
Don’t forget that durability means investment. With the cost of living rising and most of us looking to live more sustainably, choosing stunning stones like granite, quartz or marble means that your kitchen serves you for longer. This ‘must have’ means less waste, which is so important for modern lifestyles and priorities.
The modern kitchen is a multi use space. No longer is it just a food prep area. Instead we work, socialise, cook, relax and dine in our kitchens. This means that the ‘must have’ layout for a modern kitchen is all about flexibility of space.
The kitchen island has maintained its popularity for a number of years. This is because it’s an ideal way to transform a kitchen into a multifunction space. A cooking island allows you to keep your kitchen social whilst cooking takes place. Alternatively, some people prefer to install a prep sink there to keep zones more distinct. The worktop space is very social when kitted out with high stools, and the additional surface area can be used to work, or for the kids to get on with their homework.
Separate out washing up and food prep for a super functional kitchen. If you don’t have the room for two sinks, smaller spaces can achieve the same functionality with a double bowled sink. This level of utility is something that is often expected as standard in a modern kitchen, so don’t let it slip through the net.
The modern kitchen is all about staying organised. If the insides of your cupboards and drawers enable everything to have its place, then your worktops will remain uncluttered. In turn, this gives you the streamlined aesthetic that is so popular in modern kitchen design.
We don’t just mean a cutlery divider; drawers have evolved from there! Yes, divide your shallow drawers so that everything doesn’t get jumbled together, but also plan your fittings to include layers of access. Within a deep drawer, you can include up to three smaller drawers to give you easy access to a larger number of items.
The cleverest storage solutions come from bespoke cabinetry. Especially for properties that have unusual shaped rooms where standard sized modular units don’t fit. Bespoke cabinetry will make use of every inch of space in your kitchen to offer clever storage solutions. For example, slim pull out drawers for condiments, pull down wall units to make use of the full height of the room, and pull out corner units to keep corners accessible.
The modern kitchen must have layers of lighting. This all goes back to the multiuse of the space. Lighting allows us to change the ambience of a room at the touch of a button. In this way, your choice of lighting at the planning stage will effect the way you use your kitchen.
Multi level lighting
The first thing to remember is to avoid flat lighting. Fit lighting across various levels. Downlit LEDs underneath wall cabinets are both atmospheric, and also provide additional focus light when you’re preparing food. Combine ceiling LEDs with wall lighting to create different possibilities, and think creatively. Integrated lighting either within or underneath your worktop creates another level again.
No modern kitchen design is complete without a statement lighting piece. Larger spaces work beautifully with creative pendant statements over a breakfast bar or kitchen island. For smaller spaces, look at statement wall lights to make a focal point.
Perhaps the most revolutionary change in the way we use a modern kitchen is how social a space it’s become. So your ‘must have’ design should incorporate social areas in the plan.
Larger spaces and kitchen extensions really benefit from having a lounge area. This is marked out with soft living furniture, and is a snug and cosy place to retreat to for more relaxed social moments.
From grabbing a bite at breakfast to serving drinks at a soirée, the worktop breakfast bar is an invaluable feature for social kitchens. It can be an extension of your worktop or the edge of a whole kitchen island. It can be as small or as large as you prefer, but its functionality remains flexible and fantastic.
Browse our range or contact us to plan your must have stone worktop in your modern kitchen design.