Historically, kitchens were known as spaces designed with utility in mind. If you look at floor plans from the early twentieth century, you’d likely find the kitchen located towards the back of the home – it helped keep it hidden from guests. Instead, grand dining rooms and other formal spaces took center stage for interior designers and homeowners alike.
In modern designs, however, kitchens have become the centerpiece of the home. Homeowners view the modern kitchen as a flexible, inviting space used for family gatherings, entertaining, and day-to-day living. Real estate agents routinely cite the kitchen as the room that can make or break a home when it’s up for sale. Their newfound importance has also informed many of the design trends currently popping up in kitchens all over the world. Here are the top five flexible kitchen design trends of 2018.
Technology in the Kitchen
As Internet-connected devices and technology have slowly started to take over the modern home, it became inevitable that they would eventually reach into kitchens, as well. In 2018, kitchen designers are leaning into the technology trend by including items like smart appliances, programmable lighting systems, and even wall outlets with built-in USB chargers. As the year goes on, expect to see more and more kitchens designed with tech in mind. Also, get used to that. Home appliance giants like Samsung and GE are bringing more connected kitchen devices to market each year, so this is a trend that should have serious staying power.
Hidden and Built-In Storage
Now that kitchens are becoming a focal point of many homes, it’s becoming more important to be able to keep them neat and tidy. As any homeowner can tell you, busy kitchens will always attract their fair share of clutter and bric-a-brac, and keeping things orderly can feel like a losing battle. That’s the reason that kitchen designers and DIY homeowners are getting creative to include plenty of extra storage spaces in their kitchens. Options like this clever retrofitted cabinet toe-kick drawer are fast becoming the must-have elements of any modern kitchen. Built in organization systems and multipurpose under-cabinet storage are especially popular.
Kitchen islands are not a new concept. They’ve been a part of kitchen designs for decades, and have remained so popular that it’s difficult to find a kitchen without one. Today, as kitchens evolve into multipurpose spaces, the venerable kitchen island is starting to change as well.
In 2018, it’s becoming common to see kitchen islands that include amenities like breakfast seating right alongside food preparation sinks and built-in appliances. They’re starting to reflect the cooperative nature of the modern kitchen, where families gather to prepare food and eat together as a form of bonding and relaxation.
With the success of gourmet meal kit services like Blue Apron, sharpening one’s culinary skills has never been easier. That’s making gourmet cooking a favored pastime of many, and it’s starting to show in the latest in kitchen design choices. One of the trends that are resulting from the latest culinary craze is the inclusion of multiple ovens in the modern kitchen.
Having more than one oven makes it easier to prepare multiple meals (or multiple courses) at once, which is a must-have for those who like to entertain guests. Some of the more serious gastronomes even opt for in-wall pizza ovens or steam convection ovens to increase the variety of dishes their kitchens are equipped to prepare.
One of the biggest flexible kitchen design trends in 2018 is a throwback to the 1980s (or the 1940s, depending on the length of your memory) – banquette seating. This built-in, bench-style seating makes efficient use of limited space and creates an intimate gathering place in any kitchen.
It’s reflective of the kitchen assuming the role as the central hub for busy families, bringing an element of multipurpose living space into modern kitchen design. Banquette seating is perfect for families with children, too, since it provides plenty of room for homework and other after-school activities while parents prepare dinner. They also provide an additional opportunity for some more tucked-away storage areas that today’s kitchens so sorely need.
As we move further into 2018, there are sure to be even more emerging trends in kitchen design, especially as families all over find new uses for their kitchen spaces. The good news is that the role of the kitchen in modern family life seems poised to grow even more in the coming years, so kitchens designed with the elements listed here are sure to age well and retain their appeal for a long time to come. If you’re renovating your kitchen or choosing a design for a new home this year, we’d bet that you end up including some of these great ideas, and you’re sure to be happy you did!