3 designers share their thoughts on what looks, finishes and design elements will be on trend in the year ahead.
Have you been toying with the idea of revamping your kitchen and think 2015 may be the perfect time to take the plunge? Before you start searching for a pro to tackle the project, it’s important to think about what you’ll need and how you can improve your kitchen setup, as well as what you want the space to look and feel like. It’s also worth reading up on emerging kitchen trends, which may provide a spark of inspiration and, ultimately, influence the design of your new cooking zone.
Though we can’t write your dream kitchen wish list for you, we can lend a hand with a list of design elements that are on the rise. We recently caught up with three designers who shared their short lists of kitchen design and decorating ideas they believe will be the biggest trends of 2015. They also offered expert advice on how you can incorporate these ideas into your space.
1. Furniture-style design features. Interior designer Greg Natale predicts that furniture-style cabinetry and other features will be one of the top trends in 2015. This approach marks another step in the evolution of the kitchen as the hub of the home and a treasured space the whole family can enjoy, rather than just a functional area that’s used for food prep and cooking alone. “The incredible designs available celebrate the different elements of the kitchen as pieces of beautiful furniture, not just workstations, which allows people to bring their own personal, warm, welcoming touch to this space,” he says.
How can you incorporate this idea into your own kitchen? “A standout way is through an island,” says Natale, who designed the sophisticated culinary zone seen here. “Raising it on legs or including intricate paneling or a contrasting top and sides are ways of turning this into a piece to be proud of.”
2. Airy (and user-friendly), open shelving. “We are seeing a trend toward using open shelving as a practical solution for the kitchen space, rather than simply for display,” says Sydney kitchen designer Kesha Pillay of Art of Kitchens. “Open shelving personalizes the space, making it feel lived in and warm, while keeping the kitchen functional and easy to use.”
She adds, “Of course, there are always some things that you don’t want displayed, and combining open shelf cabinets and cabinets allows you to still hide things if necessary.”
3. Wallpaper that wows. Want to add interest and character to your cooking zone? Incorporating wallpaper — which will be a major trend in 2015, according to kitchen and bathroom designer Lee Hardcastle — into the design of your kitchen is the perfect solution. “Wallpaper provides an easy way to add visual impact, even in small amounts,” Hardcastle says. “Wallpaper gives you the control of complementing the architectural elements throughout the kitchen or adding a beautiful contrast to an otherwise simple color palette.”
And it won’t just be used to dress up plain walls, either; Hardcastle predicts that next year we’ll also be seeing wallpaper used in unexpected ways and spaces, such as on ceilings, to create striking features.
4. Modern traditional style. Designs that marry modern and traditional elements will be one of the most influential looks of 2015, according to Pillay, who says that homeowners are shunning ultrasleek, contemporary kitchens in favor of spaces that are “warm, homey and reflect themselves.”
“This trend is affecting everything from cabinet design to colors, materials to textures. We are really mixing it up,” she says. “Flat-panel cabinet doors are being replaced with classic door profiles, such as Shaker doors,” for example. And materials are being mixed, such as stainless steel with wood, and wood with marble.
Modern design elements, like glass backsplashes and chrome handles, are also being replaced with features that exude traditional style and charm, such as tile with black, pewter and brushed-nickel fittings, she says.
7. Touch-me textures. “There’s a move toward using more textured and tactile materials,” Pillay says. Natural marble and granite in honed finishes, as well as engineered stones that replicate raw finishes, are a few materials we’ll be seeing a lot of next year, the designer says.
Wood will still be a trend in 2015, Pillay adds, but in finishes that represent it in its natural form, rather than high-gloss or smooth finishes.
8. Beautiful black. If you’re not too set on a colorful or an all-white kitchen, then look to the other end of the spectrum and consider choosing black as the dominant tone of your culinary zone. Natale says black will be one of the “It” colors in kitchen design next year. Why? “We spend so much time in our kitchens, and I think that more and more people want to make them a really special space. Black makes a strong, sleek statement,” he says.
A simple way to introduce this classic, sophisticated color into your design is by opting for black cabinetry or countertops, says Natale, who designed this moody, elegant kitchen. He also suggests adding paneling to infuse the space with extra visual interest.
10. Repetitive patterns. A major trend that Hardcastle is seeing is a move away from geometric patterns and toward elegant, repetitive motifs instead, which he says will take shape in the form of laser-cut plywood or steel panels, wall coverings, door inserts and tiles (as seen here).
“Patterns from bygone eras will be revitalized to create intriguing and calculated designs that appeal to the fashion-savvy,” says the designer, who predicts that art deco– and art nouveau–inspired motifs that feature hints of Turkish and other Middle Eastern influences will be quite popular in the year ahead. “Kitchen backsplashes will possibly benefit mostly from this foreseeable trend,” he says.
12. Shaker style. Classic Shaker-inspired kitchens never seem to go out of style, but Natale says this simple, timeless look will be particularly popular in 2015. “I think a lot of people like to keep things traditional and appreciate the textural beauty of wood, which was a big factor at Maison & Objet this year,” the designer says.
Keen to incorporate the trend? “I’d focus on the paneling of cupboard doors, which can work in a classic or contemporary space,” says Natale, who designed the space shown here. Such detailing is a key characteristic of Shaker style, which focuses on clean lines, craftsmanship and functionality.
Are you planning to change up your kitchen? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section.