The kitchen has become all the rage these days, with larger and larger portions of building budgets invested into this key room over the last few years. This is for no small reason: even cross-culturally, the kitchen has always served as the main socializing space in the house. It is wonderfully multi-tasking in its function, as it provides a place to prepare delicious meals but also a large convivial space perfectly suited for casual diner parties, grandiose family reunions or elegant holiday receptions. By design, it fosters gathering and assembly and is nearly 100% of the time the busiest room in most households. Given the importance of the kitchen, its design has received tremendous media attention over the years. Like fashion, kitchen design trends fade-in, enjoy popularity of varying duration, and then slowly fade away until they are forgotten. As you may have guessed it, 2018 has brought with it a variety of new kitchen trends which can be summed up elegantly with the timeless adage: “the good, the bad, and the ugly”. With this reality in mind, what follows is a list of some of the hottest kitchen design trends of 2018 categorized using this classic methodology. I hope you enjoy this candid take on such an important topic. Now, let’s get into it!
Green Cabinetry: 2018 is well on its way to become the year of the green cabinetry. Either stained or painted, rich emerald or delicate mint, green cabinets are seemingly here to stay. Within the bounds of reasonably taste (i.e. anything but bright neon green), green cabinetry is tasteful in the utmost, especially when combined with brown hardwood flooring and matching granite or marble countertops. As a traditionalist, I was certainly on the fence about such a trend, but I was rapidly convinced after doing some quick “pinterest-ing”. At varying hues, green cabinetry is often best employed with the use of colour contrast, which gives the entire kitchen a bold but undeniably elegant appearance.
Trough Sinks: Although originally designed for bathrooms, trough sinks have since then made their way to kitchens in spectacular fashion. As secondary sinks become more and more popular, I foresee many, many trough sinks finding way into custom homes in 2018. Along with their ultra-minimalist design, they are a practical solution in the utmost, doubling as potential drink cooler (just filled it up with ice) or easily disguisable by filling it up with artificial plants or flowers – also enhancing your kitchen with bold design flair!
Hidden Appliances: Minimalism by excellence, hidden appliances offer a rather simple and ingenious alternative to the much more common stainless steel or colored appliances. Hidden appliances just give the kitchen a much more organized and elegant appearance overall. Rather than focusing on the appliances – their appearance certainly draws the eye – the hidden appliances allow visitors to focus on the other beautiful aspects of the kitchen, whether that is luxurious cabinetry, dramatic stone countertops, or pleasing decorative arrangements.
Ornamented Appliances: The practice of ornamenting run-of-the-mill appliances is a rather old one. With bold and colourful accents, a set of appliances can take on a new life, albeit not always a worthy one. Don’t get me wrong: In the right circumstances, this design feature can be striking and dignified, but its very nature makes it an undeniably difficult design addition. Balancing the striking colour combinations with the rest of the kitchen environment is an ordeal in a half by itself.
Coloured Grout: This is another one of those hotly disputed areas of contention in the design community. While some may claim blasphemy at the sight of coloured grout, others are seduced by its powerful contrasting ability and lasting appeal. Despite these seemingly positive attributes, coloured grout is for the most part something to be avoided, especially in a luxurious country home with its owner keen on retaining re-sale value. Coloured grout reduces the uniform appearance of tiled surfaces, providing the area with a much more contrasting finish. White grout may lack some bite, but it is a proven commodity – other colours are merely experimentations in style, guaranteed to impress some, but also displease many others.
Retro Appliances: Although certain old-timers may disagree with me vehemently, a growing enthusiasm for retro appliances is one of the worst kitchen design trends to have emerged recently. Both unsightly (in such tones as mint green, creamy pink, or soft blue) and inconvenient (that rounded shape is surprisingly inadequate for loading capacity), retro appliances are certainly one of the most unusual design trends of recent times… And not a good kind of unusual. Despite these scathing words, I must admit that retro appliances are not completely awful when married with a minimalist design and otherwise contemporary furnishings.
Ultra Violet: Pantone has recently announced “Ultra Violet” as the colour of the year for 2018. Avant-garde designers may call this color “stylish beyond belief” or “the perfect combination of luxury and elegance”, but I would simply call it “unpleasant”. Ultra Violet is simply too bold and aggressive to be suitable for most kitchens. As a matter of taste, it lacks much refinement and elegance, rather focusing on the bombastic and enigmatic to create dense energy within the kitchen space. While some may appreciate this atmosphere, I would bet my last paycheck that most country home owners are likely to be put off by such an audacious design choice. Nonetheless, it is certainly one to keep in mind, especially for those of the experimental and creative persuasion.
To be sure, there are countless other good, bad and ugly kitchen trends currently floating around. While new trends constantly surface, I picked the seven in the article today as I felt these were decidedly here to stay, for better or for worse. What are your thoughts on the topic? Did you find my take of these trends accurate, audacious, or completely scandalous? Let me know in the comment section, and be sure to check back in regularly for more articles like this one!