While local and national design trends offer plenty of ideas when it comes to your kitchen remodel, there’s an entire world of inspiration just waiting to be discovered. We’ve rounded up some of Europe’s hottest trends worthy of making their way across the Atlantic. Ready for your European kitchen tour?
While German design has long prioritized craftsmanship above all else, designers are finally embracing form alongside function. German Design Council President Andre Kupetz said, “The main purpose is always: How can we produce furniture in an industrial way?”
So, what does this mean for kitchens in 2016 and beyond? Rusticity remains an overarching theme, but it’s balanced by newfound refinement. While wood, stone and forged metals are still the standard for kitchen counters and islands, designers are introducing contrast in the form of exposed screws and bolts, rivets, and iron details in cabinetry.
Wood meets metal in a contemporary German kitchen.
The “country kitchen” concept is still going strong in the UK, albeit with a fresh twist in the form of unexpected high-gloss colors, such as cherry red and duck egg blue.
And while high-shine stainless finishes are still popular, designers are turning to brushed steel for a totally of-the-moment alternative — particularly when strikingly paired with matte black.
Bright, bold colors like lemon yellow make a stunning statement in the UK.
High efficiency and elegance are hallmarks of Italian design — long known for its commitment to luxury and la dolce vita. Clean lines, uncluttered surfaces and bold shapes are big, as is the idea of the “modern Italian kitchen.” One particularly fresh look? The fusion of timeless materials like granite and quartz countertops with dramatic touches, such as polished stone, sleek shapes and monochromatic color schemes.
When it comes to furniture, meanwhile, think less kitchen and more cutting edge. Designers are pushing back on conventional ideas about “kitchen furniture” and are instead adopting an aesthetics-driven approach. Kitchens don’t have to be practical or polished: they can, and are both.
Clean lines and bold shapes are the rage in Italy.
Grey continues to have a moment in Dutch kitchens, and can be seen everywhere from wall paint and hardwood to countertops and cabinetry. Thanks to shades of grey ranging from light pearl to deep charcoal, this versatile hue can pull off everything from the formal to the futuristic.
But the use of color doesn’t just end in the kitchen. With open floor plans an international trend, and people looking for a sense of continuity throughout their homes, designers in Holland are extending kitchen colors and textures into adjacent living spaces for a streamlined, cohesive look.
Shades of grey in Holland.
With space-saving a contemporary design imperative and people looking for ways not to add square footage but to maximize both space and livability, modular kitchens offer an innovative design solution perfect for both small spaces as well as those for which fluidity is the aim.
Designed for easy assembly, interchangeability, and mobility, “plug and play” powder-coated pieces from France pick up where Philippe Starck’s much buzzed over, half-decade old Tower kitchen left off.
Maximizing space in French kitchen.
While tile is certainly nothing new in Spanish design, it’s being used today in new and exciting ways as a result of the trend toward open wall surfaces. With floor-to-ceiling cabinets becoming increasingly popular, designers are optimizing storage while simultaneously introducing new focal points in the form of tiled walls and back splashes.
Top pick ceramic tile in particular is a trend-forward complement to other starring elements of the kitchen, such as cabinets and countertops.
Tile takes a starring role in Spain.
St. Louis, USA
In the United States, homeowners continue to put a premium on luxurious livability. Granite and marble countertops and islands take “upscale” to new levels with complementary/contrasting edges adding dynamic visual appeal.
Plentiful work space and storage are also homeowner design priorities with plenty of counter space, practical islands, ample cabinets and creative built-ins maximizing both space and style.
Light, Monte Carlo Bordeaux granite with a Roman Elite decorative edge offers high-end luxury look. (Arch City Granite and Marble Installed granite in St.Louis, Missouri)
In addition to the specific trends identified above, several other concepts are popular — both across Europe and within the United States. These include grainy and distressed woods with new matte finishes, slate finishes as an alternative to stainless steel, Shaker style doors and cabinets, and quartz countertops.
What do all of these elements have in common? Lifestyle factors are as much as aesthetics. Quartz, for example, is sought after for its maintenance-free, superior performance, while open floor plans and even the laundry-in-the-kitchen movement acknowledge the way we live today, bring in a multipurpose feel, and help keep the kitchen as the family hub.
These influences from Europe join with trends happening right here in our own backyard to offer exciting potential for homeowners in the St. Louis area looking to liven up, or completely reinvent their kitchen spaces. Whether you fully embrace German, UK, Italian, French, Spanish, or Dutch style, or simply pull in elements “a la carte,” there’s never been a better time to transform your kitchen from a place where you cook to a place where you live.