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Must-have kitchen trends for 2016

Kitchen trends

With technology, interior design trends, advances in design, ecology and fashion all playing a part, today’s kitchen is an ever-changing landscape.

The often-hailed ‘hub of home’, it’s a space where friends and family gather, where meals are enjoyed, news of the day is swapped and memories are made. So it’s important to ensure your kitchen always works for the way you live.

Today, I’m taking you through a few trends that you’ll be seeing more of in the kitchens of 2016 that make creating a meal easier, more efficient and the space better integrated into the rest of your home.

Open Space Living

Gone are the days when the cook is shuffled away behind closed doors to a separate space. Today’s kitchens are all about open plan living with islands and breakfast bars one of the most popular options to create a welcome space that works in conjunction with nearby living and dining areas. Seating areas are built into the design, allowing the whole family to utilise the space for informal meals or just catching up on homework.

Raw and unrefined wood

With natural textures and the idea of bringing the outside in a huge trend in interiors right now, the kitchen becomes a place where cupboards offer a tactile rough texture, looking more like furniture than utilitarian storage space. Wood finishes are kept bare or just lightly oiled for a less-is-more approach that speaks to a more natural aesthetic.


Move over granite, there’s a new kid in town. Worktops are taking their cues from European and Scandinavian design and white marble with grey veining is becoming an increasingly popular option. While the costs are similar to that of granite, there is more maintenance involved to keep your worktops scratch and etch-free but for those that love the natural patina that marble takes on over time, this will probably not be a problem. However, the neat freaks may want to steer clear.

Warm metals

The cooler tones of stainless steel that have given our kitchens a more clinical approach over the past 20 years are giving way to warmer metals like brass and copper. Brass fixtures and fittings play off of industrial materials, creating a welcoming space that reflects light and offers contrast to glossy or cooler surfaces.

Open shelving

The favourite of style conscious homeowners, open shelves create a landscape upon which to show off your personality as well as your favourite serve-ware or dry goods. While this look may mean some extra upkeep in terms of cleaning, personally I feel the pay-off is worth it - and yes, I’ve had open shelving in my own home for a few years now! You can say I’m a fan. Working particularly well for those that like their kitchen kept tidy, it’s an opportunity to style everything from glassware to plates - just remember to keep those things you use on an everyday basis on the lowest shelves.

Attention-grabbing tiles

While the subway tile is still a classic choice in kitchens everywhere, we’re seeing a move towards ethnic patterns and geometrics both as splashbacks as well as on floors. Adding a touch of pattern, movement or colour, tiles are getting creative and even integrating into wood floors, making a feature of their shapes to create a rug style pattern that seamlessly blends into the next room.

Integrated storage

From built-in wine coolers to deep drawers to store pots and pans and plate racks incorporated into cupboards, there’s a place for everything in today’s kitchens. Consider built-in pantries and pull out shelving to keep everything you need within easy reach.

With recycling a necessity these days, we’ll also see hidden separate bins for general waste, plastics, paper and food waste integrated into cupboards and islands.

Advanced technology in small and large appliances

From appliances that connect to each other via Wi-Fi and communicate with you via your mobile phone to refrigerators that cool foods to the perfect temperature, 2016 is the year that kitchens will get smart, allowing you a more efficient and enhanced means of utilising your kitchen as well as your time.

We’ll also see more technology in taps – think side spray rinse options, boiled water on tap and intelligent filtration systems built into their design. Second sinks incorporated into an island will also be popular, allowing for fuss-free vegetable preparation.

While a complete remodel may not be an option that everyone can take, incorporating a few of these trends into your current kitchen may mean the difference between a space that’s simply used for preparing meals to a fully functional room that’s integrated for the way we live today.

Kimberly Duran is an award-winning Interior Design blogger who chronicles her decorating journey in her blog, Swoon Worthy. Her style is unashamedly eclectic, bohemian and glamorous and when she's not helplessly drooling over design websites and adding things to the imaginary 'shopping basket' in her head, she likes to get messy tackling DIY projects, stalk eBay for bargains, take Instagram pictures of her cats and invest time in her on-going love affair with gold spray paint.

Image sources: deVOL / Shoot Factory / Damernas / deVOL / Decoholic / Apartment Therapy / Domaine / Sea of Girasoles

trend 5 open shelving