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Every home owner knows that the kitchen is
the heart of the home. And just as your heart is the hardest working muscle in
your body, today’s kitchen spaces are having to work just as hard to keep up
with the demands of modern family life.
Image Source – style hunter collective

Contemporary kitchens are multifunctional
spaces where everything happens – cooking and dining, working and playing,
relaxing and socialising. Increasingly, and particularly with open plan kitchen
designs, the lines between what were once separate functional zones are blurred
to create one unified, modular living area that needs to deliver on
functionality as well as aesthetics.

Kitchen designers have been addressing this
gradual cultural shift for some time now, and this year’s kitchen trends are
more exciting than ever before. Designers are now coming up with truly
innovative solutions and a host of new multifunctional designs to create the
perfect space for everyone to enjoy spending time in. Think of breakfast bars
and kitchen islands doubling up as workstations or dining tables, or combine
shelving and seating for transitional areas, and you’re halfway there.

The most remarkable development has taken
place in kitchen storage. Take a look around kitchen showrooms today and you’ll
find a whole new generation of increasingly clever storage solutions for
cupboards, larders, pantries, corner cabinets and pull-out shelving.

The beauty is that this type of storage
really delivers on functionality. Making the concept of hard-to-reach items a
thing of the past, everything is at hand when you need it, and probably at the
touch of a button rather than a clunky handle. Many storage options simply
disappear from view when they’re not needed; they just blend seamlessly into
the background – how convenient is that!

Interestingly, it’s not only storage that’s
hidden from view. In 2016, kitchen appliances are disappearing too. Going much
further than hiding integrated fridges or dishwashers behind matching cupboard
doors, we are now seeing stovetops sliding under countertops, or sinks that can
be covered and turned into worktops or chopping boards. There are retractable
extractor hoods, multifunction cookers, ‘dual cook’ technology and a host of
other features that offer flexibility and versatility. Without compromising on
functionality, built-in appliances are now unobtrusive and visible on demand.

With clutter and unsightly kitchen staples
having largely been banished from view, you may be forgiven for thinking that
the 2016 kitchen is a paragon of minimalist chic. Not so. Say hello to
treasured personal possessions lovingly displayed for all to enjoy.

Revived for 2016, plate racks are making a
comeback. Offering sensible and accessible storage for your favourite crockery
while adding a touch of elegance and charm to your kitchen it’s hard to
understand why they ever went away.

Built-in bookshelves are another ‘must
have’ for this year’s kitchens. Show off recipe books, novels or decorative
trinkets and create and easy flow from kitchen to lounge. Multifunctional and
ever so practical, bookshelves are an easy and attractive way to add
personality to impersonal kitchen spaces, transforming the area into the true
heart of your home.

Article provided by Mike James, an
independent content writer working together with award-winning custom kitchen
designer Middleton Bespoke,
who were consulted over the information in this post.