Consumers today don't want a lot of conspicuous consumption in their kitchen designs; less is the new more. Even in traditional homes, intelligent, efficient design -- and the beauty of simple functionality -- is what interests us now. Part of this comes from a growing environmental consciousness: Consumers are becoming steadily more aware of not only the importance of doing more with less but also considering the entire life of a product, from the raw materials through the manufacturing process to final disposal at the end of its useful life. In keeping with this new, less pretentious lifestyle, design is becoming simpler, more graphic. Whether it's textures and materials from nature or simple, bold statements in shape and
clear colour, simple and functional have never been more chic. Form truly follows function in 2009.
Rustic chic: natural materials and colours (like stone, wood, light greys, white, pale greens and yellows); more obvious wood graining; rough-hewn-looking stones such as slate, soapstone or honed stone finishes.
Electric-bright colours: strong statements in bold primaries, often used in one element or as an accent (like a red wall); also, bright cabinets and/or countertops, especially in yellow or orange.
Reflective, high-gloss surfaces: already a hit in Europe, in colour, black or white or metals such as stainless steel; mirror, glass (including glass mosaic) or high-gloss finishes.
Monochromatic design: especially all-white or all-black.
Cleaner, simpler lines: even in traditional styles; the heavy, over-the-top mouldings of years past are being toned down.
Built-in appliances: a 30-inch deep fridge can be integrated with a 24-inch counter depth by actually recessing it into the wall behind, maximizing storage capacity without interrupting the flow of a counter or jutting into the room; it can then be finished with a cabinet front or embellished with furniture elements.
Enviro-chic: good looks are not enough these days! The kitchen must be environmentally friendly at all stages of its creation -- from the choice of materials and manufacturing processes to its functionality and efficiency to all the appliances.