The kitchen is one of the most important spaces in our homes. It sets the tone for the day as we make our morning coffee, and for many of us, it’s the space we use to unwind in after work as we prepare an evening meal. If your kitchen includes an open-plan dining area (as many do these days), it’s likely to be a social space too – where children sit to do homework, the family gather for mealtimes, and friends sit and chat over a glass of wine.
Whether you’re planning a redesign or looking for inspiration for a small kitchen update, we’re delving into the biggest kitchen trends for 2024 with insights from leading industry experts…
1. Minimal luxe
The minimal luxe aesthetic has been trending for a while, but it’s predicted to boom into 2024. The design experts at Wren Kitchens note how searches for the term ‘minimaluxe’ have increased by over 3,000 per cent in the past year. So how does that translate into kitchen design? Expect to see beautifully made cabinetry in muted colours that feature ‘luxe’ elements, such as gold fixtures and marble countertops. Minimal luxe is not at all showy, but rather leans into highly elegant, polished and refined finishes.
2. Bold and bright
‘2024 is the year we dare to be fearless with our kitchen colour schemes,’ says Grazzie Wilson, head of creative at Ca’ Pietra. With a renewed confidence in tackling decorating projects and embracing the dopamine dressing effect, we’ve been welcoming more bright colours into our homes over the past few years to make the most of their mood-boosting powers, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down.
We’ve seen a rise in kitchens decorated all-over in a rich hue, creating a feeling of luxury. Burgundy reds, crisp teals and emerald greens are all anticipated to be popular in kitchen design in 2024. These jewel-like tones can be built up to create depth, yet they’re sufficiently classic and timeless that you won’t tire of living with them.
The designers at Husk, the ‘IKEA hack’ kitchen specialist providing handmade door and drawer fronts, agree that colour confidence is a ‘definite’ trend for the year ahead, with ‘more and more customers making the switch from grey and white to bold and bright’.
And it’s easier to incorporate than you might think. Try cabinetry in a vivid colour that you love, like a pine green, and then decorate the walls in something soft but unexpected, like a pale pink. The addition of a neutral coloured marble will soften the overall effect.
‘Bold paint colours shouldn’t clash or scream at you when you walk in the door, and it is important that you tie them into the rest of the space,’ Grazzie warns. ‘If you are using tiles for your kitchen splashback or on the floor, consider picking out one of the shades in the tiles to use on your walls, and then complement the same tonal shade on your kitchen cabinets.’
3. Back to black
This is perhaps one of the most talked about trends predicted to dominate kitchen design in 2024. We’re learning to embrace the velvety depths of dark colours – deep blues, rich greys and blacks – with more of us choosing to design our kitchens with black cabinetry and countertops.
In fact, in the last year, black kitchens have become Magnet‘s fastest-growing cabinet colour with a 112 per cent uplift in sales. It’s timeless, looks super smart, and when combined with softer elements such as wooden floorboards, a black kitchen can still feel spacious and airy.
The experts at Naked Kitchens sum it up perfectly: ‘Cabinetry in inky blacks and rich, saturated tones always offer a high end look and feel. Sleek and stylish, like a little black dress, it’s a design that will never go out of fashion. Paired with woods such as oak or walnut and layered with brass or copper detailing, this scheme delivers a wealth of understated luxury and warmth.’
There are a variety of ways that black can be worked into the kitchen to maintain balance, such as introducing a light marble to create a classic monochrome look, suggest the professionals at Benchmarx Kitchens.
For something more bold and dramatic, Claudio Corniola, R&D Director at Laminam, explains: ‘Black worksurfaces and splashbacks will be paired with other black elements, such as stained or painted cabinetry or lighting for a wow-factor and opulent result. This statement look will come in many forms, including porcelain surfaces, which are easy to clean and care for and won’t lose their lustrous sheen.’
4. Durable plywood
Plywood has been on the rise for years now, and in 2024 it will continue to be a popular choice for cabinetry. Made from layers of veneer (very thin sheets of wood glued together), plywood is an affordable alternative to solid wood. It’s also a good choice for those who are embarking on their own DIY kitchen journeys, as it’s durable but relatively easy to work with. Its pale colour is perfect for achieving the Scandi minimalist style (wood is a cornerstone in Scandinavian interior design) that so many of us desire in our homes. The grain of wood is still visible in plywood, creating an interesting visual effect at a low price point.
5. Stainless steel
Searches for ‘stainless steel kitchens’ have increased by 200 per cent in the past year. Rooted in professional kitchens, the stainless steel look has gained popularity as more of us fancy ourselves to be high-quality home chefs, deserving of spacious, pared-back and easy-to-clean prep areas.
‘The stainless steel kitchen has long been seen as the antithesis to the warm, welcoming heart-of-the home style that people desire in their kitchen space,’ says Jen Nash, head of design at Magnet. ‘Thanks to popular TV shows like The Bear and Boiling Point, which highlight the sleek and practical attributes of a stainless steel kitchen, designers and homeowners are starting to rethink the material and its place in the everyday home.’
The trend takes this look beyond just appliances and smaller accessories often seen in traditional kitchens. Tapping into the modern industrial and minimalist interior trend, stainless steel is recognised for its durability, hygienic properties and ease of maintenance, and it is also an exceptionally beautiful material in its own right.
‘Much like a marble kitchen, stainless steel acquires an elegant patina as it ages, gaining a distinctive charm from the scratches that naturally develop over time. This unique industrial character adds to its enduring appeal,’ Jen adds.
An exciting contrast can be created with natural materials such as wood and natural stone, softening the overall look and creating a gentle, warm, yet still practical feeling. ‘The surface can preferably be brushed and the tone of the steel can also vary. However, combined with the warm character of wood, the steel feels updated and exclusive, a detail welcome to stay in our kitchens for years to come,’ say the designers at award-winning Scandinavian kitchen brand Nordiska Kök.
6. Warm and textural
With the increasing appreciation of wabi-sabi (the celebration of the imperfect beauty of organic forms and materials), we can expect to see kitchens that embrace the visual effect of natural materials. Try layering stone and marble to achieve a striking look full of colour, texture and irregularity.
And by paying more attention to natural textures, we’re also leaning towards colour palettes that take inspiration from the warm and earthy colours of these materials. In 2024, expect to see kitchens that layer up coarse materials like stone, wood and brick, enveloped in walls painted in toasty tones like ochre and peach.
Charlie Smallbone, founder of Ledbury studio, comments: ‘The rise of tactility in kitchens is not just a passing trend but a reflection of our desire for a more sensory and immersive experience in our homes.’
7. Statement slabs
Slab splashbacks are high up there on the list of kitchen trends expected to dominate this year. Unlike traditional splashbacks that just cover the area above your stovetop, slab splashbacks are larger, rectangular pieces of stone that run across the wall behind. They’re both a luxury statement, and a way to create a more seamless look in your kitchen.
Slab splashbacks avoid the slightly jarring visual effect of narrower traditional ones that can risk looking out of place against the horizontality of walls, countertops and cabinets. A trend championed by the experts at Davonport, they say ‘these seamless, continuous backsplashes create a sleek and modern look’. Their expert advice for a more budget-friendly alternative to marble is to opt for porcelain or quartz.
8. More curves
Much like in interiors, curves will continue to take centre stage within kitchen design, championed for delivering a ‘harmonious ambience to the hustle and bustle of the modern home’, say the designers at Harvey Jones.
Grazzie at Ca’ Pietra adds: ‘While we’ll see curves dominating kitchen islands, it doesn’t mean that the trend can’t translate through to other areas of your kitchen. Consider a scallop edged tile as a splashback to add a new dimension and movement that replicates other curves in your kitchen. Or let your tiles lead from the front and be the hero curves of your kitchen design.’
9. Slatted and ribbed wood
For ‘an instant style update that brings depth, texture and character’, in the words of the team at Husk kitchens, get ahead of the curve and introduce ridged wooden cabinetry into your kitchen. Predicted to boom in 2024, slatted and ribbed wood is a way to make your space feel super refined and chic, and it’s especially ideal if you love entertaining at home.
10. Subtle backlights
Lighting is one of the most important elements in interior design. In the words of the kitchen design team at Benchmarx: ‘The impact that lighting can have on a space is significant – not only does it improve the functionality of the kitchen, but also the overall aesthetic. Particularly important if you plan to use your kitchen for multiple purposes such as cooking, working from home, entertaining or spending time with the family.’
For 2024 the focus is on discretion, with under wall unit, plinth, or perimeter lights acting as subtle backlights. Louisa Forsyth, senior sales designer at Kitchens International, explains: ‘Layered lighting gives depth and character to a kitchen with a focus on feature pendants over the island or dining areas, while the cabinetry lighting round the walls will be much more subtle.’
11. The elevated kitchen island
Both a practical and social component in a kitchen, the central island has been elevated for 2024, particularly when it comes to seating and storage. The designers at Nordiska Kök liken the kitchen island to ‘a piece of jewellery’, explaining that it’ll take on the role as ‘the statement piece’ of the kitchen in 2024, with careful choices of colour, shapes and materials being a focus.
‘The traditional block design is a thing of the past and now’, says Julia Steadman, commercial director at Brandt Design, ‘bar-style designs with split level countertops and complementary seating are the norm. Allowing friends and family to be amongst the action, the island unit is your best resource for creating a central hub in the home, while establishing a visual barrier between the kitchen and living space.’
Additionally, the team at Davonport are seeing more banquette seating (especially curved banquette seating as opposed to harsh lines) as part of a kitchen island configuration, which provides a more comfortable socialising area than bar stools and enables easier conversations with the host.
The designers at Naked Kitchens add: ‘A must-have feature for the majority of new kitchens, the island isn’t going anywhere. If anything there’s been a design evolution, with the latest iterations integrating display shelving and eye-catching split level countertops. These contemporary designs offer a perfect opportunity to play with finishes and mix materials for a super premium look.’
12. Practical pot fillers
One of the ways we will manifest the practicality of a kitchen in 2024 (it’s not all about looks) is the increase in pot fillers. These handy fixtures allow us to easily fill up saucepans without needing to lug a heavy pan to and fro the sink.
Particularly handy for those who have big families or frequently host dinner parties, it makes cooking a generous pot of pasta 10 times easier. Invented in the early 20th century, their increasing popularity goes hand in hand with the growing appreciation of traditional English style. However, there are plenty of modern models out there too, and something to suit every kitchen.