Entertaining at home is back – and more popular than ever, meaning shared spaces like the kitchen are undergoing a renaissance. And while it might not be feasible to update your aesthetic each time a new kitchen design trend rolls around, it’s good to keep on top of what’s set to be current as the festive season approaches and we head into a new year.
From reimagined kitchen islands with multifunctionality to Instagram-worthy wine cellars, these top five kitchen trends are set to be huge for 2023:
Could kitchen minimalism be on its way out? With designers predicting the end of the stark white kitchen, people are pivoting away from quiet white stone and using dramatic, highly veined marbles in rich moody colors on both surfaces and backsplashes.
“Marble with deeper colours, patterns and textures are definitely set to make a comeback for 2023,” London-based interior designer Catherine Wilman (whose Chelsea Townhouse project is pictured top) tells Effect. “Not only do they look great, but the darker tones for heavy use areas are more practical compared to natural white tone marble.”
Adding a dark, masculine and dramatic feel, black marble is much more versatile than you would imagine, perfectly complemented by grey finishes, natural wood and even white cabinets to create a smart, monochromatic look. “I would suggest using a stronger coloured marble on a feature piece like a central island or cooker backsplash to make a statement,” adds Wilman. “It’s nice to have a stand-out slab of marble somewhere mixed with more plain, lighter tones in other areas of the kitchen. Don’t be afraid of mixing products, colours and textures.”
For more than just church windows, we’re set to see modern interpretations of stained glass throughout homes next year which, often synonymous with Victorian-era front doors, has yet to find itself as a mainstay in the kitchen. Until now, that is. “Stained glass and leaded glass panels allow you to bring craftsmanship back into kitchen design,” explains Michael Ingui of Baxt Ingui Architects, which used custom cabinetry by Taffera Fine Building & Finishes and Ace Fabrication featuring leaded glass by Sunburst Studios in the soft, monochromatic pink kitchen of a 2022 Brooklyn Heights designer showhouse. “Properly designed, they make a space warmer and cosier. Improved technology, like laser cutting, has also made custom hand-crafted stained-glass panels more appreciated and more attainable.”
The best bit about stained glass is that it can be utilised in all styles of kitchens – it’s just important to ensure that the design of your panels matches the personality of the kitchen as a whole. “Stained and leaded glass make great accents throughout the kitchen, when properly designed, and work well for highlighting cabinetry or doors separating the kitchen space and other areas,” adds Ingui. “Windows are also a fun place to play with leaded and stained glass.”
Kitchen islands are set to be big news for 2023 – though not as you know them now. “Islands are becoming less like cabinetry and more like furniture,” Thomas Puckett, founder of Thomas Puckett Designs tells Effect. “For a project in East Hampton, New York, for example, I made one out of solid walnut and gave it a rustic live edge to contrast to the tailored black stained oak cabinetry. It’s a few inches higher than the counters so it serves both as a bar and buffet for casual meals.” Often marking the transition between the cooking zones and entertaining spaces, this use of materials and colours that create exciting contrasts to the rest of the kitchen can help make even the largest kitchens feel intimate.
“We are also seeing kitchen islands with a bigger sense of multifunctionality,” agrees Ingui. This can include serving as both prep spaces and spaces for gathering or eating, while the inclusion of sinks and appliances into the island is also on the up, making cooking easier while delineating cooking areas from social areas. “Kitchen islands are the perfect place to position hidden extractor fans,” adds Wilman. “Firstly, it eliminates the need for an overhead extractor, and if you do use a concealed extractor it’s easy to access for maintenance. They look neat and they work well. Islands are also a great place to put extra appliances like the wine coolers, microwaves and the dishwasher.”
In a post-Covid world, designers also expect that outlets next to the seating areas of an island will become commonplace. “We are also seeing softer edges and curves, multifunctional spaces with defined seating areas and defined prep areas,” agrees Sohui Kim, also of Baxt Ingui Architects.
If you believe there’s nothing worse than hiding all your beautiful handcrafted kitchen accessories behind closed doors then this one’s for you. 2023 will see us shy away from wall cabinets and instead embrace open kitchen shelving for a perfectly-curated kitchen. “When owners have unique items that they’ve carefully picked out, open shelving allows you to showcase these items instead of hiding them away, adding another layer to the design using items you already own,” explains Kim. “Open shelving should house collections or separate pieces that the owner likes. Small artwork, unique objects like candleholders, interesting books, and unique or decorative dishes can be mixed and matched to tell the story of your home. Hide repetitive tableware, additional or extra items that are being displayed, small appliances.”
While we’re not generally a fan of rules, less is definitely more when it comes to this trend, and to ensure your shelves look tidy, combine the different forms, shapes, and heights to create a proportional and eye-catching display.
Statement wine displays
Whether you simply like to relax with a crisp glass of Chardonnay or consider yourself a wine connoisseur with an enviable collection of vintages, demand for statement wine storage is growing by the day, and there’s no better way to show off your prestigious collections in all their glory. “Historically, wine cellars have been hidden away in a cellar space, but these days information about and access to wines is much more accessible, and clients like to showcase their knowledge and collections,” Francis Nicdao, principal and chief creative officer of Pembrooke & Ives tells Effect. “To do so, wine displays are set to find homes in more commonly used rooms such as kitchens. A wine cellar display evokes a sentiment of being in a beautiful restaurant or bar, similar to how closets are being designed to feel like walking into a luxury designer store.”
Perhaps the ultimate luxury indulgence, this trend comes in a number of shapes and sizes, be it building a vertical wine rack into your kitchen cabinets or going all out with a custom bar.
“Temperature, humidity and light control are key considerations for designing a wine cellar,” adds Nicdao, alongside considerations such as whether the display should integrate seamlessly into the space or be a standout feature, acting almost as a piece of art or sculpture.