Latest kitchen trends

This year, colour and natural finishes are key trends along with taking a more mix-and match approach.

“Customers are becoming more individual in their choice of kitchen design with many opting for a mixture of ranges or even brands to give a more bespoke look,” says Paul O'Brien of Kitchens International. “Often what works nicely is choosing a plainer design for the back wall units - both floor and wall - and then perhaps a wood for the island.

“The combination of different materials makes it more personal and can make the kitchen flow better in open living areas, which is key in most modern homes today." While zingy shades and high-gloss finishes remain popular, muted tones have taken over. “Beige, creams, browns and greys are very much the colours for this year,” adds Paul. “The natural look is very in, with wood and textured materials giving depth and character.”

The overall feel is creating a kitchen that’s built to last and one that blends style and substance for enduring appeal. “It doesn’t mean buyers are opting for more conservative designs or that every kitchen is highly traditional, but the look is for a stylish, elegant kitchen that isn't too much of a fashion statement,” says Paul. “When times are tough, customers tend to go for a more traditional, timeless look, either by opting for classic furniture or choosing ageless colours such as beige, cream and white, enhanced by an accent colour in the splash-back.”

In terms of shape, curves are big news this year, particularly for end units and islands. They help to give the room a fluid feel and soften harder edges to create a more sociable space. Work surfaces are constantly developing too, providing buyers with numerous options to choose from, such as engineered stone, recycled glass, and maintenance-free granite.