Functionality driving kitchen design | Ottawa Citizen

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If you’ve invested in new cookbooks and small appliances, continue to stock up on pantry staples to reduce your trips to the grocery store and/or work in a makeshift home office by the kitchen table, you’ll know what’s driving the latest changes Trends in kitchen design.

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“We’ve seen this pandemic impact all sectors of our society, and we’re now starting to see how changes in human behaviour are changing the way we design our homes,” said National CEO Bill Darcy. Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA).

“Consumers are more eager to embrace new technologies and innovative ways to offer versatile options to maximize space for any occasion, and to choose surfaces and designs that are easier to clean and address health concerns.”

Floor-to-ceiling cabinets and an appliance garage provide creative storage options. Sarah Robertson's project.
Floor-to-ceiling cabinets and an appliance garage provide creative storage options. Sarah Robertson’s project. PHOTO BY ADAM MACCHIA

multifunctional space

Spaces with multiple functions will become increasingly popular in 2022 and beyond. Millennials in particular want to get the most out of their kitchens with islands that serve as prep areas, workstations and dining tables, as well as places to entertain guests, the NKBA said in its report. 2022 Design Trends Report.

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The annual report predicts the most popular styles, features, materials and innovations for the next two to three years. Pantry that includes storage space and work areas for small appliances and coffee stations, as well as kitchen or workstation sinks with built-in features, such as drying racks and cutting boards, are also popular.

Sandra Mendes, Senior Designer at AyA Kitchens, said: “Coffee nooks are particularly popular in 2022, with pocket doors and a full interior including counter space, drawers, shelves and LED lighting, creating a luxurious coffee bar at home ,” which is based in Mississauga and has offices throughout the province.

Adding pantry and fresh food storage is also desirable. Like coffee nooks, they are custom-made for elegant interiors and efficient storage. “We’re also seeing more walk-in or work pantries with sinks and small appliances as extra prep space,” she said.

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Wood tones and wood grain play an important role in kitchen design.  AyA Kitchens project.
Wood tones and wood grain play an important role in kitchen design. AyA Kitchens project. Photo by Nelson Costa

nature-inspired design

Millennials are also leading the way in natural and modern design. Primary colours continue to move away from white and grey, and designers expect nature-inspired colours such as green and blue to continue to prevail, NKBA said.

“White kitchens will never go out of style, but recently many of our clients are willing to consider some bolder options…Wood cabinets, especially lighter shades like white oak with a clear coat, are making a big comeback,” said Patty Wilson, principal of Patty Wilson Design in Newmarket. Two-tone cabinets are trending, but she recommends using one overall color in a small kitchen. Custom details like fluted panels are trending, as are simple cabinet panels.

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Farmhouse trends continue to evolve and incorporate modern elements like doors with thin railings. “Look for rustic influences like cottages, wooden beams, apron sinks and natural stone or brick,” says Mendes. Demand for decorative hood fans, usually decorative finishes or cladding laps, exceeds stainless steel.

This kitchen has wooden floors.
This kitchen has wooden floors. Photo by Patty Wilson Design

clean, tech

Sustainability is the primary consideration. “Consumers are increasingly concerned about green design and want to source local, environmentally responsible materials and manufacturers,” Mendes said.

Easy-to-clean surfaces are also popular, which means the love for quartz will continue. Ditto for larger format tiles or slabs with less grout and no-touch taps. COVID-19 has made people aware of high-touch surface points, so homeowners are increasingly turning to hands-free and voice-activated technology.

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Demand for Wi-Fi-enabled smart appliances and dual-choice appliances, such as steam and crisper options in fireplaces, continues to grow. “Induction ranges are popular right now and are considered a safer, cleaner option for gas. A full-size, side-by-side refrigerator and freezer is the best option if space permits,” Wilson said.

In terms of fixtures, a myriad of styles and finishes are available, including knurled, embossed, leather, and hardware with grooved detailing; rose gold, matte black and antique brass and matte black two-tones combination. “Depending on the style of your kitchen, you may want to consider finger-pull, recessed, or push latches,” she says. Feel free to mix metals, but make sure they have the same sheen.

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boom times

Sandra Mendes, senior designer at AyA Kitchens, reports that the following kitchen trends have come:

  • Open the shelf. Choose glass cabinet doors. They allow you to display items, but are not dust magnets.
  • Stainless steel appliances. Panel dishwashers and refrigerators blend seamlessly with kitchen cabinets.
  • Elevated bar with seating. The kitchen looks and feels more spacious, with a counter-height top, more comfortable sitting, and more work space.

According to Patti Wilson of Patti Wilson Design, other trends that have gone out of style: granite countertops, dark wood cabinets, distressed cabinets, blast furnace microwaves, and cabinet light valances.

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