Ruth Ward, sales and marketing director at The Kitchen, Bathroom, Bedroom Specialists Association (KBSA) shares the latest news on trends for 2014. Living kitchens
Living kitchens is a trend that has already begun, which is growing in popularity. An extension of the open plan kitchen, the living kitchen encompasses relaxation areas with media centres and living room furniture such as bookcases to create a true multi-functional area. Kitchen cabinetry designs will evolve to create pieces that blend seamlessly into both the kitchen and the living room environment.
2014 will be the year of earthy, natural colours with complementary colour palettes that introduce more than one colour into the kitchen design. Muted greys, blue and green will dominate. This could be as subtle as a coloured interior to cupboards and open plan shelving or a bolder combination of finish and colour in the furniture.
Painted kitchens that provide a natural warm finish will be popular, which may mean a blending of the new softer colours with real wood or laminates with a textured wood grain.
Storage has always been a key factor in the kitchen but as they become more multi- functional and social, the greater the number of things that need to be hidden away or displayed. Concealed storage and hidden away appliances will be popular to create a streamlined look. Pop-up appliances such as extractor fans will also become more in demand.
On the other hand we will also see an increase in open plan shelving or dedicated display units as the kitchen becomes more of a living space with objects on display rather than hidden away.
Textured finishes are on the increase as technology improves. Designers will be able to produce individual designs, glass can be etched with bespoke patterns and laminate doors are available with even more realistic wood grains.
Consumers will be looking for more individuality in their kitchen designs in 2014, moving away from uniformity and these options allow more creativity and personalised designs.
Lighting design is now a major feature of any kitchen design and LED solutions are going to continue to be a big trend in 2014. The focus will be on incorporating a mixture of task lighting and accent lighting. LED solutions are available for the kitchen which combine both and allow users to switch from task to mood lighting at the touch of a button.
Lighting controls using smartphone or android technology will also be more prominent. These will allow scenes to be controlled which can be set to each client’s individual tastes. For example, in a kitchen various mood settings can be operated to allow for various scenarios on any given installation. These systems can integrate ceiling lighting, furniture lights, and also AV systems.
The growth of all things digital in our daily lives has now reached the kitchen and the app controlled kitchen is probably going to be the most important trend for 2014, with products entering the market that revolutionise how we operate in a kitchen. Time is at a premium these days; so many apps are designed as shortcuts to get things done quicker. For example, the Smart Fridge that connects to the internet and re-orders foods you run out of, or appliances that can be remotely controlled via smartphone.
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