Shining a light on the modern kitchen
Jessie Hewitson looks at the latest trends. Expose the bricks and get ready for colour
We spend 12 per cent of our lives — or nearly three hours a day — in our kitchens, according to research carried out by the home renovations website Houzz. And, if you spend that much time in one room, you certainly want it to look good. To this end, we appear to be spending a significant proportion of our money on our kitchens: 48 per cent of the 2,800 respondents to a survey conducted by the website, seen exclusively by Bricks & Mortar, spend between £5,000 and £20,000 renovating their kitchen, with 1 per cent paying in excess of £100,000.
So, what exactly are we spending this money on? Builders who are supersizing our kitchens appear to be one of the main beneficiaries — 22 per cent, when renovating, are adding an extension; many of these are to create an open-plan kitchen, still the most desirable of rooms. Gadgets appear to be another key area on which our hard-earned pounds are being spent: 28 per cent of respondents have, or are planning to buy, induction hobs; 18 per cent include boiling-water taps and 15 per cent wine fridges.
“A kitchen today is a social hub as well as a food factory,” says Jamie Telford, director of Roundhouse, the kitchen designer, whose kitchens start at £30,000. “It’s not surprising that many families prefer the practicalities of an open-plan space, which accommodates zones for cooking, dining and a general living area. Shelf space for cookery books can be built into a kitchen island to give the kitchen a more “furniture-like” quality, which helps to create a visual link between the kitchen and living areas. Concealed pantries offering vast storage space are very popular, too.”
If you put together the different components thrown up by the research — all the most popular elements that the 2,800 respondents named — the anatomy of the ideal modern kitchen looks a lot like the kitchen pictured right. It’s open-plan — you can keep a beady eye on the little darlings doing their homework while you whip up dinner — metro-tiled, a little bit industrial and it’s definitely not gloss white. Welcome to the 2015 kitchen.
The gas hob is still the favourite (37 per cent of respondents to the survey have this), but induction hobs are catching up (28 per cent).
Some 6 per cent of respondents expose the bricks of their kitchen walls. Paint is still by far the most popular option, at 77 per cent; a brave 5 per cent have gone for chalkboard and 4 per cent for wallpaper.
Chrome taps have been installed by 56 per cent of respondents, while 18 per cent have gone one step further and installed a boiling-water tap. The kettle may be living on borrowed time.
Thirty-eight per cent of Houzz readers opted for pendant lights; spotlights feature in 68 per cent of kitchens. Many homes have both.
Metro tiles: that rare combination of cheap and fashionable, metro tiles remain popular, with 28 per cent of respondents choosing them.
Contemporary is the most common design type, whatever your age, with 33 per cent opting for this. Meanwhile, 16 per cent have a traditional kitchen and 11 per cent go for a “country” look. Younger people tend to go for industrial: 12 per cent of those aged between 25 and 34 choose the commercial kitchen look.
Open plan: 54 per cent of people renovating their kitchen have gone for open-plan. U and L-shaped kitchens are less popular (20 per cent and 19 per cent). The galley kitchen is seen in 11 per cent of homes.
Integrated technology, such as built-in music systems and TVs, is a big trend this year, according to Houzz. “Homeowners invest in this . . . it brings the kitchen gadgets up to speed with the rest of the house,” says Gemma Smith, marketing manager at Houzz UK and Ireland.
Forget white: grey is the colour to opt for in your contemporary kitchen, according to Telford. “It is the most popular choice . . . it’s neutral enough to allow the introduction of colour elsewhere, and it’s particularly good in an open-plan kitchen.”
The story in numbers
UK homeowners update their kitchens every 13 years
. . . but homeowners in the US update their homes every 16 years
21 per cent of people spend between £21,000 and £40,000 on their new kitchens
38 per cent of people renovate the kitchen because they have bought a home recently
22 per cent of homeowners with newly renovated kitchens now have a TV in the kitchen
19 per cent of people have their kitchen walls painted grey