Top Kitchen Design Trends for 2021

News & Events
Top Kitchen Design Trends for 2021

Luxury Kitchen Interior Design & Renovations

At Designed by Woulfe, we don’t tend to follow trends or a rigid house style - we prefer the interiors we design to be a reflection of the client’s personality and lifestyle rather than something that will go out of fashion. This being said, there are great innovations and design trends that often crop up which we enjoy taking inspiration from, in order to interpret them in our own unique ways to suit the tastes and aspirations of each individual homeowner.

Here, we round up the top kitchen design trends for 2021. Whether you have a traditional country kitchen complete with an Aga cooker and brass finishes, or you’re looking to fill the extra space in your newly extended kitchen and dining room, we’re sure you’ll find some inspiration below.

Large open plan kitchen and dining in London house.

Large kitchen pantries

Not just a trend for those who stockpiled pasta and loo roll at the start of the pandemic, large kitchen pantries are increasingly in demand, as people are spending more time cooking from scratch at home. How they function is as important as how big they are, though. In-built lighting, door storage and multi-functional pull out options are just some of the smart storage tools we are seeing incorporated into these kitchen larders.

Metal barstools at bulthaup kitchen bar counter on British Limestone floors.
A natural wooden panelled wall in a kitchen dining room.

Open shelf displays

Open shelves add a sense of space and allow you to display cookbooks, eye-catching kitchen appliances, glassware, art, and curios to express your personal tastes in a curated way. The kitchen in this Parsons Green family home which we worked on included a wall display of items that were purposeful and aesthetically pleasing.

Whole wall cabinetry

If space is at a premium in your property, a clever compact design will be invaluable. Tall wall units are perfect for narrow, galley-style kitchens and will mean there is minimal clutter.

Downdraft extractors

Extractor fans aren't what they used to be. Many people are opting for downdraft extractors that are built into a hob so that there's no hood to diminish ceiling height. They're particularly popular and useful for kitchen islands. They remove odours and vapours before they even have time to get into the air above your hob and around your kitchen. If your kitchen is a multi-use space for dining and entertaining too, it's also favourable to not have an extractor hood blocking your view/sight.

Touch-free technology and smart faucets

This includes sensor taps and waste bins, due to everyone’s heightened awareness of hygiene both in and out of the home. A voice-activated or sensor faucet means less transfer of germ and lower risk of contamination.

Recycled kitchens

With most of us thinking about how we can reduce our waste and carbon footprint, recycled kitchens are increasing in popularity. There are several reliable ex-display and used kitchen marketplaces, as well as great resources for if you’d like to recycle your own by selling or gifting it.

Mustard yellow rug in mid century inspired living room with Eames Lounger and TV unit with stone plinth.

Broken-plan living

Bookcases, shelf units and Crittall-style partitions can create interlocking spaces and accentuate distinct spaces within one room. The oak curved open slatted feature wall in this mid-century family home was used to create division between a TV area and a cosy reading nook, but the concept can also be applied to kitchens. Different floor finishes and split levels are other broken-plan techniques that can highlight a divide while retaining a sense of openness.

A long galley kitchen in a period london home.
Well organised luxury kitchen pantry

Statement splashbacks

Making a bold design statement with a standout splashback can add a pop of colour as well as form and texture to your kitchen. You can pair the splashback with the rest of your surface choices, matching it with the worktops through colour or shape, or go all out and treat it as a feature wall, with bold tiles in a stand-out hue that automatically draws the eye’s attention.

Open plan kitchen dining room in modern rear extension to London terraced house.

Working kitchens

As more people work from home in 2021, having a designated space to do so is essential. For those who don’t have a study or home office, incorporating a multifunctional, casual desk in the kitchen can be a great solution. It doesn’t have to be solely used for full-time work either. This luxurious family property in Fulham which was shortlisted for the KBB awards is a great example of how to incorporate an organised kitchen workspace. A stylish desk blends in seamlessly with the rest of the design and is perfect for taking care of a busy family schedule.

Grow your own herbs and plants

Our desire to be healthier for ourselves and the planet is really driving the trend for homegrown ingredients wherever possible. This budding trend speaks to those with and without outdoor space. From herb patches on balconies and even edible window planters, it seems the past year has made us all a little more green-fingered. Growing our own salad leaves, herbs and microgreens, even if you don’t have a garden, is easily achievable thanks to technology such as smart gardening products and hydroponics.

Hot water taps

Instant boiling water taps are becoming increasingly popular as not only are they easy and efficient, they are also environmentally friendly as you only boil the exact amount of water required. The 3-in-1 kitchen taps also provide hot and cold water.

Environmentally-friendly kitchens

We're all becoming more aware of the effects of climate change and want our homes to reflect our values. With this in mind, there are ways we can design kitchens that are as energy-efficient and environmentally friendly as possible. Smart kitchen appliances will save energy and have a lower environmental impact. This also includes kitchens that promote low-waste living, an overall reduction in plastic and buying upcycled or vintage furniture and homewares. There are also great sustainable brands crafting kitchen worktops from recycled waste materials such as plastic.

Biophilic design

With everyone's increased desire for homes that promote health and wellbeing, biophilic design is a trend that doesn't seem to be waning. A lot of us bought new plants during lockdown and so now more than ever, our kitchens have become a green oasis of calm with plenty of oxygen and purified air!

Sage Green Kids Poliform Wardrobes

Calming colour schemes

Green is a popular colour for 2021, invoking a sense of optimism and of course, its connotations with nature and the outdoors, which we’ve all grown to appreciate more in the past year. Traditional tones like forest green provide a rich, traditional and mature feel, and a softer sage green is contemporary while still having grounding and calming effects.

Large sliding doors open the kitchen up to the outdoor terrace beyond.

Tactility and texture

Good design is sensory beyond what you can see, and for 2021 tactile surfaces and playing with textures are paramount. We’re seeing plenty of 3D carved wood wall coverings and 3D tiles as well as textured wallpapers which are almost works of art in themselves. Deep pile textiles such as bouclé, sheepskin and heavy-weight wools add sumptuous soft finishes too. This Mallorcan luxury villa renovation which we worked on features custom stucco finished walls by surface designers Benjamin Raymond which, combined with rattan woven dining chairs add an earthy feel to the holiday home's kitchen.

Luxury home win bar with wine fridges from Gaggenau.
A luxury home bar with marble and wood in London home.

Luxury wine storage and home bars

Many of us are entertaining in our homes more than ever before, so having a well-stocked home bar is essential. The homeowners of this beautiful Notting Hill home loved to entertain, so we installed a luxurious bar crafted from Belvedere Granite leather and a stunning marble top. In the kitchen and dining space, we also carved out an at-home wine bar, which allowed an avid wine collector to display their impressive collection.