The way we use kitchens has evolved dramatically over the past couple of years. Exceeding pure functionality, they have transitioned into being a place where we spend time with loved ones, learn new skills, work, or study, and so much more.
We expect to see that trend to continue to flourish, with more families spending more time in the kitchen for a variety of reasons beyond cooking and eating. So, what does that mean for design trends? How has kitchen styling evolved to meet the changing demands of family life? And what can we expect to see more of coming through?
Our team sat down with Lachlan McArdle from Lande Architects to discuss the reimagined kitchen, and to get his insight on some of the trends we can expect to see coming through. He explained the transition of a kitchen to being a classroom, workspace, or entertaining area (all while still serving as a usable food preparation space) has been a long time coming.
“Kitchens have been a place of gathering, connection, and sharing for, well, forever. It’s often the first place a guest, family member, or neighbour will see when coming into your home,” explains Mr McArdle. “It’s where people will really start to get a sense of who you are.”
It’s time to make your kitchen your own.
“We’re seeing a real shift towards people wanting to be adventurous, vibrant, and more than anything – optimistic,” says Mr McArdle. Highly personalised and decorated kitchens will work their way into the limelight this year. Decor, art, colour, and stylistic choices should reflect your personality and taste as well as the heart and soul of your family.
Now that kitchens are at the core of our lives more than ever, we cannot treat the space as merely functional. “We’re really seeing the renaissance in how we view the kitchen and people really wanting to express their family’s personality and history through that.”
“The island is the jewel of any kitchen,” claims McArdle.
Kitchen islands will see a distinct move away from function and uniformity. To replace this is a noticeable shift towards the kitchen island being more of a statement piece. McArdle notes that it’s an “…area where people can really break free from the restrictions of storage and function and go to something a bit more personalised.”
So instead of your kitchen island looking like a continuation of the rest of the kitchen try sourcing a unique piece. Non-uniform stonework, repurposed vintage pieces, and custom designs breathe life and excitement into your space. The kitchen island is a place of gathering so lean into the idea of it being an entertaining space and have fun with it.
2023 is where we will see a distinct departure from the sterile minimalist kitchen that has dominated the last few decades. “Just like the 70’s and the 80’s grew tired of the modernist movement of the mid-20th century and moved towards postmodernism,” explains Mr McArdle.
This means we can expect a shift towards more lived-in design in our kitchens. Mr McArdle notes that he has noticed a move towards softer and less abrasive materials and textiles that weather and age gracefully. It comes back to that concept of a house reflecting the life inside of it and being able to grow with you.
Mismatched textiles and non-uniform hardware are just two examples of this. Instead of the classic subway tiles, look at materials with a more of a hand-formed look that are a little inconsistent but effortlessly lived-in. Instead of a crisp white marble, designers are looking at materials like quartzite that can withstand the wear and tear of everyday life.
In the spirit of moving towards a brighter and healthier future, more and more people are opting for sustainable and eco-friendly appliances and materials in their homes.
Electric appliances especially, McArdle says, are here to stay. As more people turn towards solar power and battery-generated power, it is a foregone conclusion that these electric appliances make their way into our homes.
Similarly, investing in high-quality, longer lasting appliances is at the forefront of people’s kitchen choices. While the cost can often be higher, the trade-off is better food storage and treatment that increases the longevity and quality of your produce.
So, think induction cooktops, high quality fridges, and steam ovens.
As we continue to re-examine the way that we use our kitchens, we are seeing a distinct move towards more exciting and creative spaces.
This desire for optimism in our homes and our lives is infectious, and we can see this trend making the rounds this year – and we are here for it! If you are looking to freshen up your kitchen space, just remember that joy is the operative term.
What colours make you happy, what family photos remind you of a funny moment, what decor brings you pride, and what appliances reflect your ideologies.
If you are looking for a way to infuse trends and flair into your kitchen in a way that is cost-effective and sustainable the answer is simple – colour!
“Colour is a great tool to use, whether it’s paint or material or textile or stone. It should be quite evocative and can transform the space very quickly,” Mr McArdle states.
Colour is an easy and personalised way to spice things up in your home. Even if you want something more low-key, going for off-whites and natural colours will freshen up your space much more than a clean sterile white. Think outside the box and have fun with eccentric wallpaper, Persian rugs, bright cabinetry, and pops of colourful decor.