Your kitchen is the heart of your family home. It’s where relationships are forged over cups of tea, 3am toast and beans, and Christmas dinners that don’t always go to plan.
It’s no surprise then, that during the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, the reassuring safety of our homes and kitchens became the main attraction. And when you spend that much time in a single place, the desire to renovate is real!
The pandemic changed how we approach kitchen renovations here in Scotland.
We’re already seeing a return to function over form, as families consider post-pandemic entertaining, more time working and studying from home, and an eye to materials that are easy to clean and can withstand harsh chemicals should we need to disinfect.
At Mia Kitchens and Bathrooms, it’s our job to build the exact kitchen our clients dream about, and these are the kitchen trends we started to see in 2020 and expect to continue through to 2023.
- Function over Form
Did you ever imagine that your kitchen would become your children’s classroom and your home office/video conferencing studio, while still functioning as the place where you or your partner prepare family meals?
Home offices are all well and good, but we’ve all learnt that a sleek kitchen with natural light flooding a beautiful kitchen table is a more professional backdrop than a badly lit and messy home office.
Having said that, gone are the 2000s where every modern kitchen included a media nook (and good riddance to that trend), so today’s homeowners are looking for kitchens that can serve multiple functions and clean up quickly.
Rather than designating a clutter-attracting corner for zoom calls, homework or arts and crafts, consumers are looking at the whole kitchen functionality picture…
- Sleek cabinetry that can hide kitchen utilities and appliances, art supplies and the myriad of charging cords and cables we all seem to collect, with no space wasted.
- Modern, unembellished cupboards that span the height of your kitchen walls, creating an air of spaciousness even in the smallest of kitchens (and providing the perfect backdrop for Zoom calls.)
- Colours and materials that sooth rather than distract visitors (and viewers.)
- A return to warmer colour tones
Grey. So much grey…
A Mia Kitchens & Bathrooms, we love grey, because we know our clients love it.
And no wonder; grey encompasses everything we mentioned above. A sleek minimalist neutral that blends into the background.
While we don’t see an end to this trend anytime soon, we are starting to see a slight shift to other colours found in nature.
Rich mossy greens and browns, these colours of bracken and ancient oak woods are finding their way into our kitchens, as families seek comfort in their environment.
From gleaming copper counter tops to granite worktops with shades of brown, red and black, these designs are meant to sooth and warm the space, without detracting from the airiness of the overall look.
Studies show that the colour brown elicits feelings of warmth, comfort, security, strength and reliability. It can also a create a sense of spaciousness.
While it will be some time before we return to the days of dark cabinetry, rich brownish red accents (like the colour of a roan horse or a mature chestnut) are becoming more popular as accents or counter tops.
Meanwhile, certain shades of green found in nature are also rising in popularity. Green marble worktops can work beautifully with those smooth grey cabinets we all love, introducing an element of warmth and calm to what could otherwise be an overly sterile space.
- Bringing nature inside
Further to the last paragraph, more clients are specifically asking how they can bring nature inside.
In 2020, we thought it was a knee-jerk reaction to lockdown, but in 2021, every indicator is that this trend will be with us for quite some time.
When it comes to kitchens and bathroom, clients are splurging on natural materials like marble, granite, quartz and even the statement-making black soapstone, everywhere from countertops and kitchen tables to outdoor BBQ surrounds, visible through the kitchen’s patio doors.
While a return to wood cabinetry is still years away, we do see clients continuing to embrace natural hues like copper, gold and rich brown in their accent choices.
But this not a country-kitchen trend; quite the opposite.
These materials can work beautifully with the sleekest urban kitchen. It can be a tricky to balance to master, but the designers at Mia are experts in making this look work in kitchens of all size.
- Renovators factoring cleaning into their material choices
What do you do when you have an unsealed granite countertop that can barely tolerate lemon juice in the middle of a pandemic?
Starting in 2020, renovators in Scotland began to think about how the materials they were choosing could be vigorously cleaned. We used to work hard to convince our clients of the need to seal their natural stone counters, but nowadays, it’s our clients who make this request right up front.
They also spend a lot of time evaluating different materials, not only in terms of beauty, durability, and weight, but also with regard to how it may be washed, what kind of chemicals may be used (if any) and how often it must be resealed to preserve the finish.
This gets back to the first point that functionality is every bit as important as form, and we are seeing some families forgo their first (higher maintenance) choice, for more practical options when it comes to the ability to disinfect their space. Check out our blog on Choosing the Best Materials for your Kitchen Cabinets for more details.
- Minimalist places of comfort
We call it the Kondo effect (and yes, the team at Mia Kitchens & Bathrooms are aficionados too!)
But just as we love Marie Kondo, we also recognise that it was easier to keep your kitchen free of clutter when it was merely the kitchen; not also the classroom, home office and social club!
Things have changed, and it’s become essential to store diverse supplies in the same space, while simultaneously designing a kitchen that feels safe, inviting and calm.
Cleverly designed cupboards in kitchen islands can only get a homeowner so far. Luckily, with great renovations comes great decluttering, and a few months of having access to little more than household essentials taught us that, when it comes to ‘stuff’, less is more.
Consumers continue to reevaluate how much they really need to bring into their homes, and current kitchen design trends reflect this beautifully.
There is no point in hiding your stunning sealed granite counter with a myriad of unnecessary household appliances (and if you only use it now and again, chances are, you could easily go without.) Better to clear it up, and if it’s not serving a purpose (or bringing you joy), clear it out.
As this pandemic taught us, we miss people, but we rarely miss things, and it nice to see a return to people-centric kitchen trends.
Mia Kitchens and Bathrooms, helping you Love the Way you Live.