1) Glass units
While we’re all going Marie Kondo on our homes and chucking out everything that doesn’t give us joy, this has translated into kitchen design with a more transparent approach to storage and having our belongings on show. Therefore, it’s not surprising that kitchen designers have seen a rise in requests for glass-fronted doors and units, as we strip our cupboards and keep only the daily essentials and some treasured items on display. This trend encourages us to hoard less and treat our possessions with care; after all, no one wants to show off chipped china and tea-stained novelty mugs...
2) Compact kitchens
Let’s face it, not every home has a keen chef. Add to this the UAE’s bursting takeaway scene and the rise of apartment living, you may not have the inclination (or the space) for a fully stocked kitchen. In compact open-plan spaces, a breakfast table on wheels (as above) can be stowed away, a custom-made room divider can also offer built-in storage, and a funky backsplash can match the colours and style of the surrounding living space.
3) Hidden handles
Less is more as we move towards more streamlined, organic designs, especially in our cooking space where function and practicality are key to an enjoyable day-to-day experience. Handles are becoming more inconspicuous or are hidden completely to allow the design or material of the cabinet to stand out without the "blemish" of a handle or knob. Look for wooden cabinet fronts with recessed handles that accentuate the tactility of the material, while touch-release units are completely handle-free and pleasantly ergonomic.
4) Lemon Zing
This zesty number is guaranteed to brighten any space and will lend your kitchen a perky, happy air that’s perfect for this proactive, sociable hub of the house. Pair with dark splashbacks and counters for a level of contrast that displays a mature, considered approach to this application of bright colour.
Recently, zellige tiles have been a popular way to add colour and an element of handcrafted aesthetic to kitchens, being a little more rustic looking than subway tiles and carrying an air of "made in Morocco". The pleasantly androgynous yet distinct tone of turquoise means it works in most spaces, either in small accents – such as splashbacks – or in larger applications, like units or tiled floors. If artisanal or Moorish is not your style and you prefer a more minimalistic and modern scheme, but still want a sharp pop of character, go for lacquered cabinet fronts in a lively, vibrant turquoise and buy matching kitchen accessories like a turquoise KitchenAid, to complement your contemporary colour choice.
6) Smashing Avocado
It’s not the 1970s, but avocados are back in fashion, from being smashed on toast to the kids’ avo-shaped lunch boxes and school backpacks. Tantalise your taste buds with avocado on and off the plate by transforming your kitchen cabinets with the delicious tones of creamy green avocado, spreading notes of health and eco-friendly greenery.
7) Two-tone cabinets
White is out and colour is in. If a full colour makeover is not in keeping with your character or the rest of your interior scheme, go two-tone and keep your wall units white and paint or replace the fronts of the bottom units in a colour of your choice. Alternatively, if your current units are in a dark shade or a dark wood, then switch it up and apply the new colour – as long as it’s softer – on the wall units. Bear in mind that the stronger shade needs to ground the room; a bolder or darker colour around the top half of your kitchen will skew the aesthetic balance. Not only will this two-tone makeover look contemporary, design-led and considered, but painting units is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to update your kitchen, even more so as you’re only painting/replacing half the units! So, how do you choose your new colour? Opt for a shade that will make you happy and/or energised every morning when you enter the room for breakfast, or pick a colour from the neighbouring rooms to instill consistency between the spaces.
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