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The biggest kitchen trends at kbb Birmingham 2024

31/11/2023

From kitchens that don’t look like kitchens to sustainable solutions and technological innovations, we’re excited about what trends kbb Birmingham 2024 will be showcasing.

As we look ahead to a new year, industry conversation often turns to trends. What looks are going to be popular? What will consumers ask for next to suit their ever-changing lifestyles? How will we adapt our offerings and product lines to meet what clients really want? Entering a new year is an exciting time to reflect on what has worked in business and what hasn’t, but also to forge ahead with new innovations and product offerings to inspire clients to create a kitchen or bathroom that surpasses their expectations.

Kitchens continue to be the room that leads on trends, so with kbb Birmingham on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to showcase which key design styles we predict will be strong for the next 12 months and beyond. Once, trends came and went seemingly overnight, but these days, there’s an emphasis on subtle ideas that add personality to a scheme and incorporating designs that will stand the test of time.

Here, we look at five key principles to expect in kitchen design in 2024…

Perfectly imperfect kitchens

Adding personal touches to a kitchen design is nothing new. But with the continued popularity of open shelving as well as an eye on sustainability, consumers are embracing styles that have a ‘lived in’ look. This is where reclaimed materials, interesting finishes with unique character, antique or second-hand pieces and customisation all come into play. More clients want something in their kitchen that sets it apart from the rest and adds a sense of story. “It’s about creating a kitchen that you’d invest in and love for years, with its quote on quote imperfections becoming integral to the design,” says interior designer and BIID Past President Matthew Freeman. “It could be that a new kitchen scheme is designed around an antique dresser, open shelving made from reclaimed wood or a dining table that’s been in a family for decades and has the marks that show it. Or the tap could be left unlacquered so it develops a patina as it ages, while a knotty wooden worktop becomes a statement feature. The key is adding interest by mixing old with new.”

Creating a unique space in this way is inherently sustainable too. Not only do so-called imperfect materials get used and old furniture is given a refreshed purpose within a new kitchen, by embracing the unique characters of materials, they’ll be loved for many years and not ripped out when the next hot trend comes along.

With sustainability in mind, more consumers are looking at ways to reduce the environmental impact with their kitchen from big ideas to the small details. The Used Kitchen Company champions this by reselling pre-owned or ex-display kitchens, including those from exhibitions just like ours.

High-drama surfaces
No doubt linked to customers’ desire to have a kitchen that shows off their personality as well as the enduring popularity of luxurious-looking surfaces, there is a rise in demand for statement worktops and splashbacks that have dramatic colours and veining. We are excited to see a broader range in this category as brands such as Konigstone, Quartzforms and Cimstone push the boundaries of what they can offer to create wow factor in a scheme. Large slabs are increasingly sought after for areas such as behind a sink or cooker, while integrating matching shelving offers a seamless finish, showcasing the possibilities of the material and lets the surface really do the talking. Konigtone’s Athena Collection realistically replicates some of the most exclusive natural stones, including a classic Calacatta design that features striking gold veins.  

Utility-first design

Back kitchens, pantries, utility rooms, you name it: homeowners are increasingly looking to create spaces that can be hidden. Whether it’s a little secret to keep to themselves or to wow guests, the aim is to have a kitchen that is seamless and uncluttered. But that doesn't mean practicality goes out of the window. Function is key to the rise of these secondary spaces. “With busy lives, clients want their kitchen to work harder than ever, so the design needs to incorporate everything from a laundry area, coffee station, built-in bar and breakfast cupboard to a desk and a place where dogs can be washed and kids can dump shoes and bags, says interior designer Nicola Holden of Nicola Holden Designs. “Utility rooms are now a priority for renovators who will aim to get an area into a design whether it’s big or small.” Products, such as Rotpunkt’s laundry solutions furniture, allow for the integration of secondary spaces while maintaining a cohesive design. This trend is also giving way to an increased demand for undercounter appliances such as Fisher & Paykel’s innovative DishDrawer and integrated laundry appliances from Caple.

Wooden furniture
Already gaining traction, unpainted wooden kitchens that show off the beauty of the natural grain are set to stay popular into 2024. The handcrafted feel and tactile nature of this cabinetry style is what makes it so appealing. While solid wood options are popular, innovations in manufacturing technologies has meant that wrapped and veneered units can achieve the same look and feel, including mimicking the true texture of wood grain and presenting authentic patterns without false-looking pattern repeats. Rotpunkt has introduced the Memory RI door range which is designed on a 19mm base panel with solid wood edging and high-definition vertical grooves with vertical wood grain. Leicht’s Bahia furniture offers another visually appealing option. It consists of a veneer front with a surface created by a vertical groove structure set asymmetrically to blend with door joins in order to disguise them. With a similar style, the new Woodline collection by Sachsenküchen is available in 10 stain colours from light to dark tones, featured in a sleek 16mm groove spacing, with the option to create a wider groove as a 50mm design.

Blended appliances
Been asked by a client to create a kitchen that doesn’t look like a kitchen? Together with utility-first design and the desire for seamless kitchens that blend with open-plan living arrangements, appliances now must follow suit and be discreet without losing out on their high-tech functions or energy-saving benefits. It’s a tall order, but with induction technologies allowing for integration within surfaces as an invisible cooktop and powerful extraction compacted into slim overhead units, appliances blend seamlessly into the background without losing all-important function.

As well as focal-point extraction from Westin and Elica, there’s a rising trend for creating a feature of an extractor hood where the appliance itself is boxed into a decorative cover to work with wall décor or furniture style. This forms an accent in the space, but brings with it the need for a slim, unobtrusive appliance that can be easily integrated.

Where ever-popular open shelving is used, extraction moves into the surface or onto the hob itself, such as with revolutionary extractor hobs by Bora and Novy. This then offers up overhead space for feature lighting like Novy’s gesture-controlled Designer Lighting collection. When it comes to large appliances, it’s preferable for these to be integrated too – all of this to make the space seem less ‘kitcheny’. 

Check out more kitchen trends at kbb 2024. Register here for your ticket.

For more information, please contact Wildwood Plus: [email protected]

Tel:  +44 (0)1293 851115             

About kbb Birmingham

kbb Birmingham is the UK's largest gathering of the world's best kitchen, bedroom and bathroom brands and the established industry gathering. The show features new product launches from over 300 exhibitors and welcomes 15,000+ buying professionals. kbb Birmingham is a biennial event held at The NEC Birmingham. 

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