Kitchen design trends - 2022

Whether simplistic and neutral in colours or decadently decorated with colour and texture, the kitchen remains the true hub of everyone's home. No longer is kitchen (and bathroom!) design an afterthought, with budgets being stretched to accomodate not only the much needed functionality of the space but also the need to add interest, especially as open plan living continues to be on the rise.

With an abundance in decor and materials that can be used to elevate the design in this room, homeowners are truly spoilt for choice. Here are some top trends in kitchen design that we'll see more of in 2022.

  1. The Single shelf

  2. Flutted islands

  3. Glass Door Pantries

  4. Bold Coloured Cabinets

  5. Statement Splashbacks

  6. Hidden Storage Ideas

  7. Hidden Workspaces

  8. Decorative Lighting

  9. ESG

  10. Bench seating

  11. Plants as part of your design

  12. Natural wood tones

  13. Cork Flooring

  14. Mesh front Cabinets

  15. Checkerboard Floors

  16. Standout Taps


1/ The Single shelf

Open shelves in the kitchen were already getting traction a few years back but have recently taken off again with the concept of a minimalistic single open shelf running over an entire wall backed worktop (usually over the sink rather than the hob).

Used to display art, hold crockery, greenery, herbs and spices close by, the single shelf has been extensively used in kitchen design throughout 2021 (as shown in two examples by Blakes London below). If you opt to follow this trend, be sure to not forgo storage space altogether. The last thing you need is a kitchen where design and aesthetics come before function.

2/ Fluted Islands

What the client wants, the client gets. And after seeing fluted vases, glasses and eventually cabinet doors, fluted details are making their way onto kitchen islands and drawer/door fronts. They make an interesting addition to any kitchen with both a contemporary and luxurious look.

3/ Glass Door Pantries

We have all lusted after the beautiful large pantries, designed to hold everything you could possibly own in terms of food and small appliances but have you noticed that lately they are designed with glass doors?

4/ Bold Coloured cabinets

If you are investing in a brand new kitchen, there are plenty of suppliers who can help you design a kitchen with bold colours, including deVOL (ochre one below), NEPTUNE (pink one below) and PLYKEA (lower end in terms of cost).

as kitchens are an extension of the living room, consider colours that you see in there and don't be afraid to introduce colours that are easy to live with. Mix and match is a winner here!

A brand new kitchen, however, may not be in everyone's budget, so if you are looking to simply refresh your existing kitchen by repainting cabinets, tiles and/or walls, you will be in good company. Re-purposing, re-using and reducing waste should be on everyone's list of priorities and Instagram has been a major source of inspiration where brave DIYers share their kitchen makeovers.

Consult the published colour palettes from big brands to help with the choice of colours. Dulux, for example, recently introduced Bright Skies as their Colour of the Year, and along with it a very interesting palette of complimentary colours that could inspire a kitchen makeover.

Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director of Dulux UK, says: “Right now, people want to feel revitalised and enjoy the freedoms that are returning to them, to look out and bring in new ideas. What better inspiration can we take than the endless skies around us?

And according to Annie Sloan, Colour and Paint Expert “A fresh, bright, pastel blue is exactly the life-affirming, deep-breath, wide open horizon shade we need for 2022. Pair with earthy browns to anchor, or use as a neutral in an otherwise bold and bright scheme to bring optimism, energy and excitement to a space.”

And if you're terrified of seeing too much colour in front of you, you might want to try something like this by Mowlem & Co who have used pocket doors to hide away both colour (and possibly mess).

Tom Drake, Kitchen Interiors Expert at Tap Warehouse is a fan of hiding away the messiest part of a kitchen:

“Invisible kitchens are a key design trend for 2022. The minimalist kitchen trend has been around for a while, but invisible kitchens take this one step further, with the aim to conceal most of your kitchenware as possible and create a sharp, ‘barely there’ finish. People no longer want to fill their kitchens with clutter and accessories, but strip it back to the essentials and have cupboards that blend into the walls behind them".

Mowlem & Co

5/Statement splashbacks

Utilising the same material on your worktop and wall is a great way to create drama and make the space feel less busy or overwhelming, especially in large open space rooms. Look to your kitchen designer for ideas around the colours and materials to use to keep installation and ongoing maintenance costs down.

Self adhesive splashbacks are of course more affordable but you will need to find them in 'cut to fit' size, to avoid a gap around them when placed within a cooking alcove. Instead, consider cut to fit splashbacks made of glass or natural stone, a smart way to avoid seeing grout lines and faster to install than tiles.

Trending: Venetian antique mirror splashbacks have a distressed and aged look in the form of a grey mottled undertone running through the glass. This gives depth and character making any room more elegant with vintage feel. Combine with: in frame cabinets with beading.

Design Manager at The Myers Touch, Sophie Mason, agrees that antique mirrors are a practical option providing a durable surface for a wet, heavy usage area, whilst being an eye-catching design statement.

UK sources for mirrored splashbacks

6/ Hidden Storage

We love the idea of hiding storage space behind a splashback, something that was recently featured in a The Myers Touch project, featured in Kitchen Bedrooms and Bathrooms (March 2022) and shown below (photography by Paul Craig).

7/ Hidden Workspaces

Even as many homeowners are returning to the office, The Myers Touch report the increase for a dedicated desk space within their kitchen designs. Including a desk space behind a pocket door system provides the opportunity to include a ‘hideaway’ desk area complete with storage cabinetry and boosts family ‘inclusiveness and togetherness’ in one multi-functional room.

Image below by Paul Craig, design by The Myers Touch.

8/ Decorative Lighting

"Nowadays the kitchen is as much an entertaining space as a practical space, so kitchen lighting is becoming increasingly decorative as well as functional", says Charlie Bowles, Director at Original BTC.

"So many homeowners are building kitchen extensions these days, but large expanses of glass and concrete can look rather austere, so oversized pendants are a great way of breaking up the lines and creating an impactful silhouette. Playing with scale is an interior designer’s trick to create interest, which works particularly well with industrial-style lighting, such as our Titan Size 5 pendants".

UK sources for Pendant Lights

9/ ESG

As energy bills increase, clients are looking for ways of reducing those costs in their homes. And whether we like it or not, the kitchen is full of appliances that use a lot of energy and/or water.

If you are looking to purchase your appliances during a kitchen makeover/extension, consider going for the most energy efficient ones. For example, induction electric hobs are more efficient than conventional electric, ceramic or halogen hobs, using a different technology than their predecessors.

Did you know? A traditional Aga can consume as much energy as some people’s entire house!

But being eco-friendly goes a little further than just looking at energy cost. It is included in the concept of ESG which stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance. This new concept which is on everyone's agenda is all about how brands do business as a whole. Think about:

  • do workers in the brand's factories get paid fairly?

  • does the brand dispose of its waste in an environmentally acceptable way?

  • does the brand participate in tax avoidance schemes and if so, should we really be buying their products?

  • does the brand have ethical practices in place and throughout its supply chain?

  • Are your appliances made by a company involved in the military supply chain? A number of cookers are made by larger companies with problematic links. BEKO, for example, a widely used brand of white goods, is owned by Koç, which also owns Otokar, a company which manufactures military vehicles and battle tanks.

To make things easier to navigate, in 2021, The Ethical Consumer - the UK's leading alternative consumer organisation - scored and ranked the ethical and environmental record of 49 makes of gas and electric cooker.

According to them, although gas and electric cookers have a similar climate impact, electric ones are a better long-term solution as the electricity supply moves towards renewables. Miele electric cookers toped the rank on energy efficiency but also on ESG factors. But given the price tag of most Miele products, the good people at The Ethical Consumer also provided some really good alternatives to choose from (including Polish brand AMICA!

Considering the environmental impact of your new kitchen, think about how green it might be too. Some kitchens are made in a more sustainable way, using responsibly sourced materials and recycled elements (such as worktops). Some smaller brands also use renewable energy in their production process.

10/Bench seating arrangements

Custom made bench seating for your dining table is a genius way to elevate the space and give it restaurant vibes. They are not only comfortable (more so than chairs - have you ever noticed that given the choice people always choose to seat in the booth/bench rather than a chair?) they can also be great space savers so, if space is tight, use them in your project.

11/ Plants to bring the outside in

Known to naturally filter the air and improve your mood, houseplants and flowers are set to continue their popularity into 2022 and make their way into the kitchen, says Richard Petrie, home expert at Thomas Sanderson. Bright blooms are a great way to brighten up any space and give your bathroom an amazing scent whilst green houseplants will complement neutrals in the bathroom.

12/ Natural Wood tones

Our home experts agree that natural wood is still a material of choice, especially when it comes to achieving that organic vibe, which is popular with Scandi influences.

"The kitchen is the perfect space for integrating nature inspired materials like woods and cotton into your home. Wood is a versatile material and great for adding a rustic and traditional feel to any space and can be complimented with nature-inspired accessories like crisp linen towels to bring in that fresh, clean feeling", says Richard Petrie, Home Expert of Thomas Sanderson.

“Clean, simple and stylish Scandi-vibe cabinetry aesthetics are increasingly popular among clients" agrees Jaye Tidbury, Designer at The Myers Touch.

Howard Miller, co-founder of Luxury bespoke kitchen designers H. Miller Bros notices the increasing client interest in design styles simply banded together into ‘contemporary’ or ‘mid century’ or ‘70’s architecture’.

"What we’re noticing is quite subtle; our clients are interested in some of the more expressive styles that came about during the 20th century, especially the rich but paired back Scandinavian modernist designers and the fun and optimistic reactions to those designs at the same time over in America – they are less and less interested in the very severe modernism of the international style and contemporary designs spawned from it."

13/ New flooring choices - cork

An interior design favourite in the 1970s, cork is now having a resurgence and is moving away from the classic stereotypes of pinboards and old-fashioned ‘orange’ tiles.

As people want to connect more with the outside world, through interior trends like ‘biophilia’ and ‘Scandi’, sustainability is now one of the main driving forces in the industry – with brands like Recork championing a greener way of life through great design.

An extremely clever and versatile material, Recork has reinvented the humble cork flooring to meet the demands of everyday life. Fusing nature with 21st century technology, Recork is a functional, yet stylish, flooring choice which doesn’t compromise the planet.

With the aim to make more environmentally conscious design decisions, cork is looking to be the material of the future due to its inherently natural, renewable raw properties.

Recork’s first collection Una has six shades to choose from including softer, natural tones as well as washes of white and grey. Combine cork with other natural materials such as bamboo and wood or pair it with an industrial aesthetic to help soften the room. Images below by RECORK.

14. Mesh Front Cabinets

Forget chicken wire, decorative mesh grilles (more on Armac Martin) are including a lot in the higher end kitchen designs and for good reason. With a choice in both design and the colour/finish, they are a fun way to have a truly bespoke look in your kitchen.

15. Checkerboard Floors