Spent too much time at home recently? Redesigning your kitchen could provide the fresh start you need. Kitchen design in 2021 is bursting with sophisticated new interior design trends for an effortlessly contemporary space and style.

The luxe look

No expense is spared in this year’s hottest kitchen designs, or at least that’s how it may appear. Opulent items like veined marble kitchen islands and gold taps are the statement items of the year, adding a rich, palatial feel to your food preparation area.

You may not have to spend over the odds to achieve a deluxe feel, however. Using quartz as a marble alternative for your surfaces or kitchen island is a more affordable way to get that premium look for less. Team it with dark shades like navy, aubergine or black for your walls, floors or cabinet doors, finished off with subtle touches of bronze, copper or gold for taps, handles or sinks. It’s good to know that painted units are in vogue this year, so if your budget is tight, a simple paint job is all that’s needed to get your existing kitchen looking bang on-trend.

Luxe marble surfaces in kitchen

Mixed materials and two-tone units

Contrast is king in the kitchen this year. The matchy-matchy look is out – instead, in 2021 it’s all about mixed materials like wood, brass, marble and tiles.

Contrasting surfaces create visual interest with texture and colour, and they’re also a clever and subtle way to create different ‘zones’ within an open-plan space. For example, to separate it from the cooking zone, your dining area could be marked out with statement tiles on the floor, or a darker shade of furniture. Those different shades can be picked up in the colour of your cabinets: the two-tone kitchen design trend mixes darker and lighter hues, so you might have natural mahogany cabinets at eye level and painted sage green ones on the floor, for example.

Don’t forget your cupboard interiors: for a classy take on the two-tone look, why not give these the same consideration as your exterior finish? With contrasting colours inside and out, your units will have a satisfyingly ‘finished off’ look – and you’ll get a secret little thrill every time you open the cupboard for a tin of beans!

Wood and mixed materials used in kitchen interior design

Streamlined spaces

There’s no room for clutter in the streamlined kitchens of 2021. With clever, concealed storage and sleek, handle-less cabinets, this year there’s a place for everything, and that place is behind closed doors. To achieve that minimalist look, drawers and doors can hide all the usual kitchen appliances, from kettles and toasters to fridges. Walk-in larders and pantries are a practical way to make your kitchen seem more spacious, removing the need for food cupboards, while utility rooms provide an ancillary space for laundry, recycling and other tasks, helping you to maintain a neat and uncluttered kitchen space.

Curated kitchens

One current trend that’s closely linked to that streamlined look is the curated kitchen. Free from the everyday paraphernalia of kitchen living, your space becomes a blank canvas. Thinking of your kitchen as a gallery of objets d’art, the aesthetic effect is what matters, trumping the usual practical concerns about where to put the spice rack. With everyday clutter hidden away, you can curate your space with the objects that mean the most to you.

Floating shelves can display vases, coloured glassware, photos and books – things you love that make you happy and express your individuality. As part of the curated trend, many kitchen owners have turned to cookware as a decorative element, displaying statement items like giant brass pans that provide a focal point in the room.

Modern, curated kitchen with marble surfaces and hanging kitchen appliances

Open plan and broken plan

Does your kitchen feel cramped and cluttered? Knocking through walls for an open-plan living area can be an effective way to make your home feel more spacious. Instead of walls dividing your home into different rooms, you can use zoning to create different areas within a space, subtly marking out each function with different patterns, features or colours. The open-plan approach is a great way to break down the old norms and move away from tradition. Why not add comfort to your kitchen and encourage people to hang out there on sofas or upholstered seats? You can tear up the rulebook and combine your furniture and fittings as you please.

For some, the open-plan look is too bare and exposed. For a halfway house between open plan living and shut-off, separate rooms, a ‘broken plan’ layout may be the answer. The broken plan approach uses strategically placed screens, shelving and freestanding furniture to separate the different areas and provide a semblance of privacy. This is a really flexible way to arrange your living areas, so if you ever fancy a change, all you need to do is update your configuration.

The working kitchen

Remote working and home schooling have forced many households to get creative with space in recent months. So it’s no surprise that the ‘working kitchen’ has become a popular way to accommodate the study requirements of modern times. It’s surprising how much you can fit into what seems like a smaller room. If you’re looking for extra study space, consider whether there’s room in your kitchen to incorporate seating and work tables, or even to store your office supplies behind a concealed door. Some thinking outside the box might be in order if space is limited; perhaps a breakfast bar could be the perfect perch to check your emails, or the dining table could have a double life as a desk.

If working from home is likely to become a permanent fixture in your life, a home extension could provide a more comfortable solution. Extending your kitchen to the side of the house, for example, could provide all the space you need to install a dedicated study area or home office. Choosing an open plan extension could help you keep usage flexible – or you could add that sought-after utility room and pantry for a practical addition you’ll appreciate on a daily basis.

Modern kitchen design with space for home office

Colours of 2021

Deep, dark shades like navy have been big in interior design for a while, and they’ll continue to be on-trend in kitchens through 2021. And there’s a striking new addition to that fashionable rich spectrum: sage, emerald and forest green will all provide earthy sophistication to kitchen units this year while a dark green statement wall could draw attention and provide contrast. These deep greens pair well with another big colour trend: gold, brass and copper finishes offer a gorgeous contrast and add an unmistakable touch of luxe to taps, handles and sinks.

As well as those dramatic dark shades, neutrals like white and taupe are still big in kitchen design this year, creating a calming and serene feel in any home. And the Pantone colours of the year are always an easy way to get a look that screams ‘now’. For 2021 two deliciously contrasting shades, Ultimate Gray and Illuminating (a bright yellow) will offer uplifting spots of colour amid the darkness.

Forest green units and Smeg kitchen appliances in kitchen

Statement features and must-have gadgets

What will provide the ‘wow factor’ in your kitchen this year? Statement design features are huge right now and will provide an instant uplift to your interior. Statement splashbacks are an easy way to update an old look, injecting interest without the need to renovate the whole kitchen. Or striking patterned tiles on the floor can provide a talking point while offering a distinctive look that’s unique to your home.

If it’s a central focal point you’re after, kitchen islands are as popular as ever in 2021, but with a twist. If you have the space, why not wow your guests with a double island, or a second, dining island where guests can gather? Accessorise the area with distinctive pendant lights – this year’s big buzzword is sculptural lighting, and as the name suggests, it turns practical fittings into elaborate works of art.

Kitchens are the perfect place to show off your latest hi-tech gadgetry, and in 2021, it’s all about the humble tap. Forget the kettle, with so many workers confined to their homes, the instant hot water tap is the must-have new accessory for every kitchen. You’ll get used to helping yourself to hot beverages throughout the day without waiting for the kettle to boil, and in the summer, you’ll probably use your fancy tap to dispense chilled water fast, or even sparkling H2O.

Hot water tap in modern kitchen

Extend your kitchen in 2021

At Abbey Partnerships, we are home extension specialists. We’ll help you to visualise your perfect kitchen, using our skills and experience to design an extension that makes your dreams a reality.

Find out more about our home extension service or contact us to book a consultation with our team today.