Kitchen Trends 2020 – Tips to advance your home into the roaring ’20s
Photography: Thornton Design
In 1949, the U.S. Department of Agriculture developed a full research project around what it described as “A Step-Saving Kitchen.” YouTube it, it’s pretty awesome…but technology, trends and how “the farm homemaker” (or urban millennial) uses the kitchen has evolved greatly since then. So, where does one start and how do you filter the noise? We sat down with our team to break down the main kitchen trends we are implementing in 2020.
Jim Cunningham, Architectural Technologist from Eurodale Design + Build, Interior Designer Laura Thornton from Thornton Design, and Jimmy Zoras from Distinctive by Design, all shared key elements being recommended for consumers. These experts routinely guide homeowners in two crucial areas of the kitchen – functionality and style – so we posed three key questions for them (and you) to consider when crafting the perfect kitchen for this new decade of food storage, preparation and the social interactions connected to food.
Firstly, what is the single most critical design feature you try to convince clients to include in their kitchens?
JC ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN: Incorporate more receptacles, with integrated USB ports for connecting devices. Backsplash, under cabinets, sides of islands, counter pop-ups, even inside drawers – you can never have enough. Lastly, always rough-in for water to the refrigerator, and a future pot-filler over the range to future-proof the space.
LT INTERIOR DESIGN: Kitchen islands are a great addition to any kitchen, offering extra seating and storage. If size allows, instead of one large island, we prefer dual islands. They are a fantastic way to increase traffic flow while expanding a kitchen’s function, dividing between meal-prep island and a serving island or additional seating island.
JZ KITCHEN DESIGN: Specialty hardware adds real-life functionality. Automatic Servo Drive mechanisms for doors and drawers, pull-out drawers instead of doors, cabinet door-lift systems and corner-cabinet hardware (magic corners and Lemans units), these are all great investments for easy cleanup and access.
What do you feel is the outgoing or passé trend (style or function-based element)?
JC: Gold knobs. Some things should remain in the ’80s, if only for historic preservation.
LT: Goodbye boring subway tiles and say hello to slab backsplash. Eliminating grout eliminates maintenance. In addition, a vertical-run slab adds show-stopping drama.
JZ: Dark-stained cabinets are a thing of the past as we are using more natural wood as accents for cabinetry to make the kitchen pop with a statement.
What is the next hot thing that will find its way into new kitchen designs for 2020 and beyond?
JC: Contrast is back. Now we see a flip to three-tone colouring and wood uppers with painted lower cabinets. Light blue is making a splash as well vs. the navy that has been prevalent the last five or six years.
LT: Concealed hood fan covers. The unexpected use of metals, marble or quartz, stained wood, tiles and even shiplap has become a way to cover the hood fan for a sleek and clean overall esthetic. Material, texture and sizes are changing the face of this long-ignored kitchen element.
JZ: Black-powder coated metals for exposed tubing and framed open-shelving with wood accents. Stone is also a big item now for full-height backsplashes as well as accent pieces such as hood fan covers as a vertical stone show like an art piece.
Lastly, the biggest thing to remember is that kitchens are now multi-faceted spaces that allow for almost everything you could otherwise do elsewhere in the home (excluding sleeping and washroom facilities, thanks). Sizes of homes in urban settings are shrinking and the kitchen has evolved into a space, which is constantly visible, not excluded from the rest of it. Built-in banquettes, eat-in kitchens, desk spaces and multi-use elements are allowing families the ability to congregate in one main room to remain connected to each other vs. ducking away into private rooms with their personal devices. Housing affordability is also shaping these spaces as in many bachelor condos, the kitchen is open to the combined family room and bedroom, so concealment of storage, prep items and appliances is essential. Whatever the square footage, we are sure that the design team’s suggestions of functional storage, hardware selection, texture, colour, millwork elements and tone integration as well as multi-use islands are all critical features for a modern kitchen to kick off the new decade.
When planning your own kitchen in a new home or renovation, remember there is real value in working with a professional to design and build the space. Function is as important as form here, and planning your search at renomark.ca, the home of the professional renovator is a great place to start looking for help.
Brendan Charters is a Founding Partner at Design-Build Firm Eurodale Developments Inc., the GTA’s only four-time winner of the Renovator of the Year award.