Image: John Lewis of Hungerford/ 2LG
It’s the heart of the home and yet the trickiest room to nail as you juggle form and functionality. Pre-pandemic desires have evolved and on our daily scroll we’re bombarded with a tsunami of inspiration. So rather than disappear down a rabbit hole, we went direct to experts John Lewis of Hungerford about discover what’s sizzling in the hardest working room in your home.
John Lewis of Hungerford has been building stunning handcrafted kitchens for 50 years, so it’s fair to say they know their their beets from their bureaus. The business started on Park Street in Hungerford (the much-loved OG studio) and over five decades has expanded to 13 bricks and mortar showrooms, and a techy virtual studio too.
So what’s new for 2022? Rebecca Noakes, Head of Creative Design tells me we kitchens are now multi-functional, cross generational spaces that require clever planning. According to a recent study, the kitchen has expanded from food prep area for the desperate housewife to roomy cooking space, coffee station, home office, homeschooling area and kitchen disco. A fifth of those surveyed said a dedicated pet station is an absolute must. Here are the big trends and how to harness them for your home.
Make way for that kitchen disco – Sophie Ellis Bextor has a lot to answer for. Having danced on our fair share of countertops your kitchen can quickly resemble the 90s club scene. Lockdown unleashed the party beast – and bars are big. Sling your vintage cart back on eBay, we’re going gaga for glossy, glamorous drinks cabinets. Swing open the doors to reveal a well lit drinks station where everything has its place. Spirits, mixers, cocktail toolkit all within reach (no need to hunt down the dregs of raspberry liquor) and rows of glasses that’ll leave your shaken and stirred.
For serious party people, you might consider popping your islands on wheels to make way for the dancefloor. The option to move furniture around with ease is definitely a bonus to make a space more flexible, but Rebecca’s one word of warning: only do this with smaller islands. Putting a large island on wheels would turn a fun idea into a nightmare pretty quickly. The sheer weight of it, plus when it comes to kitchen design often hobs, sinks, fridges or other permanent bits of kit are housed in large islands.
Green is more than a colour. While we’re trying to do our bit to be planet friendly, a brand spanking new kitchen doesn’t really tick the sustainability box. But you can get the kitchen of your dreams and ease your eco conscience by sticking your ‘out with the old’ cupboards, appliances and worktops on Facebook Marketplace of Gumtree. Next, invest in a cabinets that are built to last and sustainably sourced. John Lewis of Hungerford’s kitchen are all made in the UK too, so saving on those air miles. It’s also well worth pushing the boat out on a Quooker boiling water tap which uses less energy than a boiling kettle, induction hobs and energy efficient appliances. Choose a green kitchen and it will be constant reminder to do your eco best.
If you’re a lockdown bingo winner, you’ll have ticked banana bread and puppy off your list pretty darn quick. As a nation of animal lovers, our obsession with our furry BFFs knows no bounds. Requests for pet corners in kitchens is huge. You haven’t gone bespoke if you don’t have a dedicated dog bed built into the cabinets. Requests have also come in for a hamster house in an island, fish tank and dog feeding stations to match the marble worktops. Woof!
Our love affair with rich greens and blues continues but the bold are adding pops of colour on islands and freestanding cupboards. Calming greige, whites and caramels are also popular for fans of luxe neutrals. The best advice would be to go for colours you love. Don’t default to grey or white because you think it’s inoffensive and will ‘last’. Choose love. Choose joy. Choose a colour that makes your heart skip a beat.
Despite spending the last two years decluttering and selling anything that wasn’t nailed down (just me?), we still have a lot of stuff and it’s desperately seeking a home. Why is there never have enough storage? The one way to create a cohesive interiors is to continue the same or complementary style cabinetry that can be painted in different colours but have the same DNA. It brings order and calm to your home – TV cabinets in the living room, Saraj Jessica Parker style dressing rooms, boot room and bars. So you put your feet up lady, grab a glass of your favourite tipple and relax.
Our love affair with brass is going absolutely nowhere and the range of finishes is growing all the time. So if you’re flirting with the idea of chrome, think again. We’re crushing hard on raw brass which ages like a dream. From knobs, lights, bar stools and taps, bling it on. In fact, If you’re pockets are deep, Rebecca says gold is also a hot option right now.
Order, order! Now we have your attention, let’s rifle through your drawers. Ditch cupboards and fit your kitchen with rows of drawers out so that every plate, knife, pot and spice jar has a dedicated space. You’ll never lose your Le Creuset casserole ever again. Flawlessly organised, decoratively arranged kitchen essentials has jumped to the top of our wish lists.
Everyone loves their kitchen gadgets, but after a while the Generation Game conveyor belt of stuff clogs up worktops (or gathers dust at the back of a cupboard). Yes, smoothie maker/ juicer of 2005, I am talking to you. But if you can’t live without your coffee machine, bread maker, toaster and for the old-school diehards, the Breville sandwich toaster and Soda Stream, hide them away, but make it accessible. Hello gadget garage. This might be a dresser cabinet with fold out doors or a larder with sliding shelf, but the gadgets are there, and some may even be plugged in, instead of piled under the pasta mountain in the most awkward cupboard in the kitchen.
There was a time when the utility was a trophy of adulthood and proof you had climbed the greasy property ladder to such giddy heights that a whole room could be dedicated to your laundry. In 2022, rooms have to put in a shift – all hail for the ‘Bootility’. This is a room dedicated to kicking off muddy wellies (before mud gets stomped through the house), it’s home to bulky coats, appliances and sometime a pup shower. Basically all the buly/ messy bits of your home live here. But with clever cabinetry and tons of storage solutions, it can be stylish.