What;s hot in the kitchen for 2010?
PUBLISHED: 15:34 13 September 2010 | UPDATED: 17:49 20 February 2013
Today's kitchen is not just a place to cook but a room in which to eat, entertain, play and relax. No wonder getting the design right can be a tricky business, says Alex Licence
Todays kitchen is not just a place to cook but a room in which to eat, entertain, play and relax. No wonder getting the design right can be a tricky business says Alex Licence
Often an area used by the whole family, the modern kitchen has added responsibilities over and above its primary purpose. In 2010, there are greater expectations than ever before and this is reflected in the current trends
As society changes, so do the spaces people inhabit they evolve to match the requirements of modern-day life. People multi-task and now the kitchen has to do the same. Parents may wish to monitor childrens homework whilst preparing supper, for instance, which means that space for a computer and academic activities may need to be provided for within the kitchen.
Where once specific rooms may have been allocated for dining and laundry, now the kitchen may be expected to take on these roles too. Its often a social hub, not just for the resident family but also a place to entertain friends. In addition, it may be the place in which pets spend most of their time, so space for them and their paraphernalia needs to be allowed for.
Televisions, digital radios, music playing devices and docking stations are more and more commonly found in the kitchen. Like or loathe the idea, it is a reality and one that needs to be considered. Flat screen and ever more diminutive television choices are entering the market and its important to make an informed selection and create spaces within the kitchen where these devices can be comfortably housed.
Following general societal trends, environmental factors are affecting new kitchens in 2010. As well as appliances with low carbon footprints, there has also been a knock-on effect within the production of cabinets and worktops. Investing in reclaimed materials and wood from sustainable sources is increasingly within the 2010 consumers mind and the market now serves that need.
This is not just a trend of 2010 finding truly ergonomic solutions has long been the benchmark of superior kitchen design. Nevertheless, every year brings with it new space-saving solutions, whether its an ironing board that neatly folds into a drawer or food warmers disguised within the cabinetry. The point is, that if investing in a kitchen, its very worthwhile to research the market and discover whats currently out there in terms of smart space savers.
Colours for 2010
If neutral tones are not whats wanted then the trick is to employ a sophisticated palette. Primary colours are not what 2010 is about; more complex and offbeat tones are much more en vogue. Hues inspired by nature are also right this year earthy reds, burnt oranges, muted bronzes, as well as warm greys and lime greens can be applied either throughout the kitchen or in carefully selected areas.
Sometimes overlooked, appropriate lighting is extremely important and flexibility is paramount. While the children may need a well lit place to do homework after school, adults may like to transform the kitchen into a softly lit, ambient area for a kitchen supper with friends later in the evening. Adaptable lighting complete with dimmers is vital to achieve this. In addition, down and overhead lighting not only provides much needed illumination on worktop areas and above the hob useful when preparing food and cooking it can also add atmosphere. More adventurous choices might be to go for up lighting on the floor or even different coloured lighting.
No more 'white goods'
Appliances, fridges and so on come in all manner of shapes, sizes and finishes in 2010. Whereas the kitchen of yesterday aimed to disguise these usually white eyesores, todays equivalents offer shapely, streamline and glossy focus points, which can be celebrated and used to add flushes of colour to an otherwise neutral kitchen.
Kitchen design in 2010 is more challenging than ever as it has to embrace all these notions and at the same time produce ergonomic and elegant solutions.
A further proviso is cost effectiveness. With economic uncertainty very much a 2010 concern, those who are refurbishing are more budget conscious and demand excellent value for money. Actually, what this has done is created an increasingly competitive market with kitchen suppliers having to work very hard to come up with attractive deals, so now is arguably a good time to invest.