Our oven decided to stop working two days before Christmas. Including us, there were 8 people to cook for on Christmas Day. We ended up making roast potatoes in a frying pan and relied on a lot of boiled vegetables to get us through the meal. Feverishly attempting to purchase a new oven in the Boxing Day sales we found the age-old range installed by the previous owners was a tiny 76cm wide, with the modern standard width being 90cm. The only thing to do was to cut down the existing cabinets and shave back the worktop to make room for a larger cooker. This has now all been done and we have a lovely shiny new oven, but I'm left with half my kitchen units unpainted, plus a missing splashback (they had to remove the tiles to fit the new cooker). I now need to give my kitchen a mini-refresh, and as we are at the start of the year I've been looking towards predictions for kitchen trends in 2018 to give me a bit of kitchen design inspiration.
Now as I've mentioned before of course we should not rigorously follow trends in our home, we should decorate and fill our homes with things that we really love. However, I do think that researching into key trends can help us immensely when making key decisions in our decor. Trends are basically a summary of where design is moving and they can point to what might be considered 'classic' and 'timeless' in years to come. Trends can help highlight what colours and materials really work together and compliment each other. They can also help you define your own personal style - what trends do you love? What trends speak to you? What trends really don't? From this starting point you can filter out what you think may work for you in your own home, then disregard those trends that will wear on you after a short period of time.
While searching for the future in kitchen design I visited the Howdens Joinery website. Howdens are the UK's largest manufacturer and supplier of fitted kitchens, appliances and joinery products, so if I was going to find some great ideas for my mini-kitchen refresh, this was the place I would find it! Luckily enough Howdens have created a free downloadable book with their predictions for new kitchen ideas and trends in 2018. This e-book has been put together to inspire those looking for a simple kitchen refresh, right through to those looking for a complete kitchen overhaul, find the right look for them with a curated choice of colours, fittings and finishing touches.
Within the free e-book there are six key looks, with a summary of what makes that look successful via selected door fronts, handles, surfaces and colours. Here you can find a great pairing of worktop materials with door styles; while a curated selection of the best sinks, taps, flooring, appliances and hardware make it easy for you to pull the look together. Even if you are just refreshing a small part of your kitchen like me, you can use the e-book guide to consider things such as if dark cabinets would work with an existing black quartz worktop. Or, how changing up your door handles to fit the scheme better could give your kitchen a whole new lease of life!
The refined trend encapsulates the classic 'Instagram-worthy' kitchen style of recent years: navy units, marble worktops and gold or brass knobs and handles. It is a look that I think will remain constantly popular for one reason - it so works. This trend is one that I have based my existing kitchen on and if I decide to keep the deep navy colour of the base units and just touch up the paintwork, then I'm so considering a full on marble-effect splashback to replace the missing tiles:
Think chalky shades of brown and green, paired with slate and wood. The focus is on those that love to bring the outside in. If you are a houseplant fanatic and love to fill your kitchen with pots of fresh herbs, then check out the bamboo flooring and clay coloured kitchen units that Howdens have to offer via the free download.
If your style is much more clean, paired back and modern, then you should check out the Monochrome trend. Thin black lines are going to be huge in 2018, not just in kitchens but also in bathrooms. The rise in popularity in crittall doors and windows also means that kitchen products will develop to complement these framed openings in the home. I absolutely love the move away from the traditional chrome tap to the more sleek looking black taps. Check out the stunning Lamona Rhone Swan Neck monobloc tap available via Howdens.
Scandi design just keeps evolving. The desire to have pure, pared back interiors in calming shades of grey means that this trend keeps coming back each year in varying forms. The development in technology of products such as laminate also means that you can have that Nordic, whitewashed floorboard look without the effort and expense of creating the look with real wood.
Think Moroccan tiles, warm shades of terracotta and natural stone. For those who love a riot of colour anything goes in a scheme which pulls inspiration from travel and trips abroad and a look that feels more vintage and rustic. I especially love the pewter knobs and drawer pulls which while brand new, feel muted as opposed to bright and shiny.
Maximalist, slightly over the top and a real expression of individuality, this trend speaks volumes to me! What I loved most about the Individualistic trend featured in the e-book was the introduction to Howdens Burford paintable doors. The shaker doors come primed ready for you to paint in a colour of your choice. This gives you complete control over your kitchen design, and if you are a compulsive decorator like me, you can change the colour whenever the mood takes you! I'm currently really leaning towards deep emerald paint shades for kitchen units which ideally I'd team with a marble worktop and brass handles and accessories.
Parquet flooring has been both desirable and fashionable for some time, yet if you are not lucky enough to own an original parquet floor it is a very expensive process to get one installed. The Individualistic trend is all about mixing the natural with the man-made, so for those of us who dream of parquet but cannot afford it, Howdens are offering chevron tile laminate flooring. As previously mentioned, the development in flooring technology means that you'd be hard pushed to tell it from the real thing.
A real trend in kitchens last year was to do away with top wall mounted units and instead display and style crockery on open shelving. While this trend looked fantastic in pictures, in everyday life it was not so practical. Plates, bowls and glassware can gather dust easily, and while we'd all like our shelves to look perfect all the time, modern family living means that a random box of cereal will no doubt find its way on the display shelving pretty quickly! Howdens have taken the trend of open shelving one step further by offering wall units with transparent frosted glass, meaning you will still be able to see your favourite items without them becoming victim to splashes of food and grease.
So what do you think of Howdens kitchen trends? What trend appeals to you? For me it is a bit of 'Refined' mixed in with fat dose of 'Individualistic'. I've put together my perfect kitchen with all my favourite Howdens kitchen products below......
1. Brass Knob Handle / 2. Lamona Rhone Grey Swan Neck Monobloc Tap / 3. Double Butler Sink / 4. Lamona 300mm Integrated Drinks Cooler / 5. Cylinder & Glass Extractor / 6. Bosch 5 Burner Gas Hob / 7. Oak Chevron Laminate Flooring / 8. Integrated Fridge / 9. Burford Paintable Cabinet Doors / 10. Oak Door and Brass Door Set / 11. Marble Effect Worktop - ALL AVAILABLE VIA HOWDENS
* This post is a paid collaboration with Howdens Joinery. However, as ever all thoughts, opinions and top kitchen product picks are my own! All photography featured in this post (except the picture of my kitchen) belongs to and is used courtesy of Howdens.