Interior Design

Tomorrow’s kitchens


Earlier this month we pulled together the main stages involved in planning a kitchen extension; this week we’re looking at what’s popular at the moment and what we expect to see trending in 2019.

Interior design doesn’t follow the rules of a twelve month calendar, meaning that some of the kitchen trends from last year will remain in 2019 – which is no bad thing because we saw some beautiful elements in 2018. But it’s a new year and that calls for some new ideas.

That’s so last year…..

First off, we’ll look at the recent trends and then discuss which we think are here to stay, including some snaps from our recent visit to Living Kitchen Cologne.



Now used as the ‘cornerstone’ of the stripped back urban kitchen (pun intended), concrete is making its way up from floors to countertops. You might associate concrete as a more industrial material – and it is. But, trust us, it’s come a long way since its widespread use in 1960s architecture. Pair it with the right fittings and accents and you make the industrial look très, très chic.

It can bring smooth or rustic textures to your kitchen and create beautiful contrasts with other surfaces such as your cupboards, walls and furniture. And if you’re worried about colour, it’s easy to customise in terms of colour, finish and size. Plus, concrete is a much more affordable material than many of the others often used in high-end kitchens. Keep an eye out for it in kitchens and bathrooms. In our opinion, it’s a pretty solid choice when executed well.

Marble – and lots of it

Or rather we should say, marble effect quartz work surfaces. Every other kitchen we sell at the moment will have these as an option and they’re great for a low-maintenance, stone- effect look that’s scratch-and stain-resistant. (We don’t use marble for our worktops because it’s porous and can seem to stain the first time you look at it! Not great.)

Unlike natural granite or marble worktops, marble effect quartz work surfaces are man-made from a mix of materials, usually quartz and resin. Colour can be added to the mix along with elements such as glass or mirrored chips to give a speckled appearance. These worktops come in a wide variety of shades and glossy or matt finishes. It’s advisable to use a chopping block to prevent chips or marks. Care must also be taken to avoid putting extremely hot cookware directly onto a quartz surface as it may scorch. It’s possible to get an inconspicuous seam between two lengths of quartz but it won’t be invisible.

Owing to the value of this material, marble has long since been a highly sought after material. Once the surface material for palaces and grand homes, at the moment we’re seeing it everywhere –– even on laptop covers, notebooks and phone cases (albeit only as marble print as opposed to real stone).

With their timeless elegance, marble effect quartz work surfaces could well be here to stay.

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As a less mainstream material, you may need to partner up with a specialist supplier and craftsman to get your hands on and to install terrazzo. But the main attraction of this quirky material is that you can customise it to almost any colour or pattern that you like.This is ideal if you’re looking to complement and bring out flecks of colour from elsewhere in your kitchen or create a really unique look.


When it comes to accents, 2018 saw a lot of metallics with brass, copper and rose gold being especially popular. This was applied to everything from geometric light fittings to candle holders. Although these have been looking gorgeous for a while now, we suspect that this trend might be here to stay.

Working with a more niche aesthetic (think converted warehouse and urban kitchens) black fixtures and faucets were also big in 2018. Our advice for this is to make sure to pepper a few other black elements around the room. This way one black feature doesn’t feel visually jarring when everything else is in a different colour. (Check out our post on pulling off monochrome for more inspiration on this.)

When sink meets countertop

To create a seamless transition between your sink and your worktop, you’ll need to use the same material around both. We recommend the trend for matching sink colours using composite materials from Blanco.

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Flat-Front Cabinets

If you live in a modern house or apartment, these cabinets are a match made in heaven. Shaker style cabinets have been on trend for several years and they’re timeless, so we doubt they’ll be a thing of the past anytime soon. That being said, we’re loving some of the slimmer flat-front panels which we’re installing into some of our kitchens. They’re really popular for bathrooms and living rooms too. For those who also love this look, having no upper cabinets is another trend that you might be on board with.


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No Upper Cabinets

Now, this isn’t entirely practical for everyone, or every kitchen. Eliminating upper cabinets is something that doesn’t make sense for most of us due to limited storage. But if you have sufficient storage elsewhere, this trend is something that can not only cut costs (half the kitchen cabinets) but also create a lighter, more open and zen-like feel by opening up the upper half of the room entirely.

Hidden Hoods

The days of having your stainless steel hood in the middle of your kitchen are gone. Now, having an expertly hidden hood is much more attractive. And we’re happy about this. Sometimes it makes sense to showcase your hood in a central position but most of the time, we’d rather these were there for their practical function as opposed to aesthetic qualities. If you’re keen for a seamlessly minimalist kitchen, check out this post on new kitchen tech including smart extractor hobs for inspiration.

Integrated Appliances

Along the same lines, you can also hide appliances that don’t comply with the rest of your kitchen aesthetic by melting them into your units and fittings. This can add cost but is well worth it. Integrate all of your appliances, and you pull together the overall style of the kitchen visually. As a trend, it’s by no means new but nonetheless, it’s got life in it yet.

Now that last year’s summary is covered, what’s on trend for the rest of this year?

Design trends for 2019

Colour-wise, soft neutral colours are still big so we’re expecting to see lots more grey matt and gloss surfaces this year, with doors finished in light colours such as saltstone. Overall we think the 2019 approach to kitchen design will be to modernise traditional kitchens, by pairing worktops, flooring and handles from classic and elegant kitchen styles with more modern elements and materials, as well as the latest tech. Here are some examples for you to use as inspiration in your kitchen.

Which brands are bringing out exciting new products?

Pronorm’s lastest colours display settings are a clear idea of how trends are heading and Bora are leading the way with their latest venting hob ranges.

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Quooker are also launching the Quooker cube, which will give client Hot, Cold, Boiling, chilled filtered and chilled sparkling…all from the one tap. Pretty swish.

Flat fronted cabinets

We mentioned earlier about flat-front cabinets being ideal for modern and urban kitchens. And it’s true that if you have a classic or elegant kitchen style, cabinet doors with a little more detailing may echo the aesthetic of the rest of your home much better. But we’re seeing more and more redesigns which artistically pair the old with the new. If you’d like a kitchen with accentual emphasis coming from the accessories, appliances and worktops, flat-fronted cabinets can be the perfect companion for these.

Banquette Seating

Think cosy kitchen benches in the sunny alcove of a country kitchen or booth seating areas from the 80s. We’re seeing fixed seating areas like this a lot more, particularly in independent bars and kitchens. So will this transfer into household kitchens?

One modern take on the 80s booths we’ve seen so far is bench seats on only one or two sides as opposed to all three. Accessorise with just a few simple pillows and your seating area will be cosy but not stuffy. We’re also seeing bench seating partnered with modern free-standing chairs on the opposite side of the table.

Square tiles

Square tiling is another trend stemming from the 80s that has now found a new and much more polished way of showing itself off. Square tiles were big in the 80s and 90s, mostly because they were easily accessible and affordable. And guess what? The same is still true. The right choice of tiling for your floor or walls can be the making of a beautiful kitchen.


What will set your kitchen apart from more dated refurbs will also be the technology available. Read our post on smart kitchens here to find out more about what’s on offer.

Exactly which direction the above trends will take in 2019 is yet to be seen and in part, entirely up to you. There are no strict rules in kitchen design. It’s this variety and openness that we are enjoying most about the kitchen industry at the moment.

Whether your current kitchen layout needs renovating or you simply want to refresh your colour scheme, now is the perfect time to create the kitchen of your dreams.

Why wait? Request your brochure today…