Fluid, calm and smart – The new home

Fluid, calm and smart – The new home

Showhome Magazine identifies the three key trends that have emerged in 2020 and are sure to continue in 2021 by identifying the new lifestyle of the consumer

This year has brought a flurry of new design trends into the kitchen and bathroom sector. With society spending more and more time at home with remote working due to the Coronavirus pandemic, a new way of living has entered the home and is sure to stick around as people now appreciate the ease, efficiency and health side of the new work/life balance lifestyle. 

Many have rearranged their space to accommodate working from home, with the kitchen becoming increasingly popular as the heart of the home. As all family members have been at home together for long periods, it is essential for design to increase its compact storage options to accommodate a home lifestyle. 

Lockdown has also sadly enhanced mental health problems, with the lack of socialising, and it is imperative that the industry do what they can to produce a calming environment in design, whether this be fluidity within space, or even the colour palette. The bathroom remains a sanctuary to many people and the benefits of design can help encourage this. 

Lastly, lockdown has also demonstrated a dramatic decrease in pollution and carbon footprints with society remaining in doors. This has made the consumer even more environmentally conscious than ever before. Connected systems, smart technology and eco friendly and naturally sourced materials have become top of the list as households attempt to do what they can to reduce their energy uses. 

Minimal and multifunctional

The lifestyle of modern homeowners and the new type of family dynamic puts the kitchen into the heart of the home – thus creating a new style of open floor arrangement and fluid motion between different functional zones.

Modern designers search for a fluid sequence of rooms in an open floor plan, a composition that often includes neat and tidy kitchen, stylish dining and an inviting living room arrangement – all suitable for multidimensional lifestyles. After all, in our overly busy life, there is nothing more desired than time and that kind of space configuration allows modern people to combine the preparation and consumption of food with social and family-time activities. 

From a design point of view, this fluid composition requires the decor to be unburdened from unnecessary design elements and to offer functional, stylish and minimalist utilisation of space. So, modern brands and designers aim for agile, movable and tidy furniture elements to equip the central part of the home – the kitchen without making it too heavy for its surroundings. The principle “hide it if you can”, has become quite popular.

Tim Spann, National Sales Manager, UK for Keller Kitchens states. “Consumers spending so much time at home will influence future kitchen design and going forward flexibility and adaptability will be the buzzwords. Multi-use will also be crucial to family and work time and multi-plan rather than open plan will become more popular as consumers organise their life at home.

“We work in a solutions-based industry where there has been a seismic shift within an extremely condensed period of time. The ripples of change will continue for many years to come. Recent experiences will no doubt fashion kitchen thinking for a new generation of kitchen style. Lifestyle kitchens are here to stay and exciting times are ahead for manufacturers, designers, retailers and developers alike.”

Calming neutrals and pops of colour

When it comes to colours for kitchens, the use of the entire color palette has gained ground in recent years. It used to be limited to the use of white, brown or grey. However, 2020 has made DIY enthusiasts out of us all, and more people have become bolder in their decisions and more confident in their interior decisions. 

The green and blue colour palette is one of the most used in the decoration of kitchens in recent months and everything indicates that it will continue to be so in 2021. Olive green and hunter green are two colours that we will see a lot in 2021, as dark tones have gained popularity when matched with a light and bright airy kitchen. The sophisticated appearance of these dark tones makes it a perfect choice. 

For the surrounding walls of the kitchen living area, instead of a pure white, the choice of a classic cream creates a slightly warmer atmosphere. This colour is warm and relaxing, vital themes for 2020 and 2021. It fits with any style of cuisine, from traditional to contemporary. The cream tone goes with almost any colour, from mint green to dark brown.

If you’re thinking of adding depth and warmth to a room, a soft earthy colour is the way to go. Inspiration is taken from the earth’s natural materials like wood and stone and from this we get a palette which is diverse enough to be used in any interior. Your colour palette could consist of subtle brown towns, burnt oranges, deep ochre yellows and some neutral textures brought in through decorative items.

Dulux recently announced the Colour of the Year 2021 to be ‘Brave Ground’, said to encourage connection and collaboration and bring a sense of community and harmony into the home.

Eleanor Sweeney from Ophelia Blake looks into the Autumn and Winter interior design trends of 2020, commenting, “There is a growing trend in creating a very natural, calming interior that uses predominantly whites and beiges in the main aspects of the room while introducing a delicate secondary colour in the finishing touches. Patterns and textures may be introduced in rugs and cushions and the introduction of dried flowers that bring in elements of colour and texture in their natural form.”

The smart home

Smart home products have drastically transformed the way in which people live. Essentially devices/appliances that can remotely be controlled over Wi-Fi by smartphones and tablets provide individuals with increased control and convenience when dealing with various aspects of a property such as temperature, lighting and entertainment. 

Sellhousefast.uk surveyed 1,462 UK households to discover the smart home products they intend to own in 2020. Sellhousefast.uk found that a smart thermostat (71%) is the smart home product that Brits most expect to own this year. This is not surprising given the increased interest in sustainability and environment. 

However, aside from connected systems which help reduce carbon footprint, the public have shown an increase in desire for efficient goods and appliances with 44% anticipating purchasing a smart coffee maker in the upcoming months, however interestingly a smart hob/oven is the product that people decided was on the bottom of the list when upgrading to smart technology. This shows that the efficiency of entertainment and priorities in the kitchen for socialising rather than cooking have changed. 

Robby Du Toit, Managing Director of Sellhousefast.uk commented, “The rise of smart home technology over the last few years has been nothing short of extraordinary. With multiple smart home devices/appliances now available on the market, there is now greater choice than ever before. As awareness and understanding of different smart home products gradually improves, the overall adoption rate for the technology will only increase. Especially if the products continue to be innovative and make everyday home tasks/responsibilities quicker as well as easier. This research certainly highlights the smart home devices/appliances that Brits most aspire to own this year. With some very surprising preferences”. 

2020 has certainly changed the world and has produced challenges and dramatic shifts in lifestyles. It is imperative that the homebuilding and property industry keep up with the growing demands and changing interests of the consumer as they adapt to a remote working and calming environment. 


Case Study: Wilsonart’s range of work surfaces offer superior choice for contracts projects 

Wilsonart supplies the housebuilder sector with laminate, compact laminate and solid surface solutions that are specified in numerous developments supplied through an extensive network of distribution partners.

Wilsonart brings an extensive choice of work surfaces to the contract market, interpreting the most contemporary and in-demand trends of granite, stone and fashionable woodgrains in a way that is very rarely seen in the laminate surfaces industry. Developers that can offer these products ensure their customers have a full spectrum of high-quality design choices to select from, catering to all tastes, requirements and budgets.

All of the ranges also benefit from an innovative, hygiene-focussed twist seen nowhere else on the market. The surfaces, which perfectly emulate the look and feel of real stone, wood and marble, boast an added lifelong anti-bacterial protection that is food-safe and destroys 99.9% of bacteria within just 24 hours. These antibacterial properties are the result of using high-pressure laminate, and a resin that is produced in-house, which allows for the ions to be integrated into the material during the production process. As we continue to navigate the changing landscape of property design and how this might look post-pandemic, these unique offerings can really help housebuilders bolster their offering for prospective homeowners looking to create a home suitable for the “new normal”.

Find out more: www.wilsonart.com/

Commentary: Margaret Talbot, Marketing Manager, VitrA

COVID-19 has affected every sector across the globe, and the hospitality industry is among the hardest hit. Research suggests that recovery to pre-COVID-19 levels could take until 2023—or later and like so many industries, hospitality will also see both subtle and substantial changes in the post-pandemic era. 

The consumer is embracing the need for safeguards while travelling, staying in hotels, and eating in restaurants. On the list of things that will make them feel pandemic-safe, are contactless check-ins and check-outs, smart- phone ordering at tables, masks and visors and critically, robust hygiene protocols. After the kitchens or food delivery areas, it is in bathrooms, washrooms and WC’s that consumers will judge whether an establishment has taken hygienic safety seriously. Businesses that can highlight both stringent procedures and the best in hygienic bathroom design will be in the best position to get back to pre-pandemic trading.

Throughout the COVID crisis, VitrA products have been available and fully supported an essential consideration for bathroom specifiers that need products that are proven and backed up with full service along with spares in this intensely hard-working sector. VitrA is recognised as one of the most innovative manufacturers of complete bathroom solutions and is exceptionally well equipped to help hoteliers and restaurateurs meet the many challenges that COVID-19 has created. Whether that be reducing touch-points with no contact flushing and water delivery or guarding against virus and bacteria build-up with special finishes on ceramic ware and tiles, VitrA can create bathrooms that are both safe and design led.

Find out more: www.vitra.com

Case study: Kaldewei introduces new washbasins Ming & Miena 

Introducing new editions of Miena with a playful stylish colour contrast, available in: “Soft Touch” Mint, “Sweet Love“ Pink, “Deep Dream“ Petrol, “Navy-Blue“ matte and 13 more colours. The new washbasin; Ming is the embodiment of subtle sophistication. The convex lines form an elegant silhouette, whilst the classic black-and-white colour range acts as a perfect setting for creative design.

The new Ming washbasin comes in four different variations: matte lava black, classic lava black, matte alpine white and classic alpine white. The new collection has been shot by legendary rock star and photographer Bryan Adams under the theme #NaturalUnion.

Find out more at www.kaldewei.co.uk



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Media contact

Rebecca Morpeth Spayne,
Editor, Showhome Magazine

Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 922
Email: editor@yourshow-home.com