Top Kitchen Trends for 2023
How are beautiful kitchens of great quality built?
We asked from the Granitop sales director Silver Suurkütt what will the year 2023 bring, what’s in fashion and where does one even start when facing an empty room about to be made into a kitchen.
What are the most important things to be planned and made clear?
First of all you need to draw up the preliminary budget and make a plan of action. More and more people are finding the joy of DIY but sometimes you will need a little professional help. Even if you’re going with a so-called standard kitchen, or the kitchen will be put together from prefabricated modules, professional advice is useful and it pays to start the process from interior designer’s consultation or the furniture company. A professional can point out the kind of details you wouldn’t even think to notice yourself. Definitely all electrical work and plumbing needs to be left for the professional, though it’d be smart to specify the power consumption of your appliances. Otherwise you might, in a worst case scenario, find out too late that even though your fuses have capacity for high enough current you’ll have to redo or add wiring or move electrical sockets due to the furniture placements or electrical schemes needing to be redrawn.
Could you mention some typical mistakes people make when designing their kitchens?
It doesn’t pay to hurry. Kitchen is a comparably important part of your home and the designs can get pretty expensive. The more work you do ahead of time, the more you familiarize yourself with different options available, the more you talk with specialists, the better the end results usually are. I wouldn’t bring up mistakes, really, but some late changes can get costly. For example, after your cabinetry has been fixed in place it’s too late to find out that there’s not enough light or the measurements of some drawer or a cupboard are impractical. The more thought out the decision are, the more considered, whole and beautiful the result.
When talking about stone worktops it has happened that we’ve been told, “the furniture has arrived, please come take the measurements now and we’ll place the order.” For us it’s important that your cabinetry has not only arrived but been mounted and fixed to their final places also. If something essential gets switched around in the set-up, the worktop might not fit anymore. In the case where you don’t want a stone slab for a backsplash but are instead going with, for example, tiles, you should wait to do those final touches until the stone worktop is in place too.
And naturally we should be made aware of any special requests as early as possible – for example the openings for sinks and stovetops are made at the factory (sometimes thin support beams are left in place for the transport and cut off at the site) and bigger changes can’t be made at the time of assembly.
I probably don’t need to point this one out but… making decisions based solely on price is not sensible. Lately there’s been less unpleasant surprises but it used to happen often enough that we had to try and fit a clunky sink from thin sheet metal, found from some hardware store, to a stone worktop cut to the precision of 1/10th of a mm. We have a reason for why our website carries Blanco products and that reason is quality. The price of a premium quality product is not made up of only superior materials, modern technology and good quality control, they also differ from bulk products by their packaging, additional features and consumer services. You should keep that in mind when designing your home – it’d be a pity if you’d have a quality kitchen with stone worktops that’ll last for decades but you ended up having to replace the tap every couple of years.
What can you do to refresh your kitchen when you’re short on square meters?
Small rooms are actually good for awakening the inspiration! When everything needs to fit in small space you’ll need to plan it all beforehand even better. Also a small room is a good fit for the stylish and practical Scandinavian style. It’s not as simple, empty and restrained as the Japanese style aiming to maximize harmony, but it’s cozy, minimalistic and calm.
Design based on functionality also helps avoid overstatements, unnecessary ornaments and trinkets that make cleaning up needlessly difficult, and extra furniture that get in the way of movement. Natural materials, light coloured walls, pastel shades, furniture with smart storage solutions, raw Nordic beauty shining from every detail – doesn’t that sound like a dream kitchen already?! And if you add to that a properly lit and beautifully patterned stone worktop, you can be sure to have stunning results to admire.
If you’re lucky the room or space itself will tell you what it needs. Maybe it’s a standard project or a work of architectural genius but sometimes a solution you see in the magazine or at the furniture showroom fits so perfectly there’s no need to keep looking.
What’s the most important thing to keep in mind when designing an open plan kitchen?
An open kitchen is a part of the spaces in your home for living and entertaining and thus deserves better than average quality materials, and colors should be picked to match the other furniture and interiors. There’s no singular solution – although most commonly a sizable kitchen island, from the same stone as the worktops, is used to divide the spaces it’s definitely not the only option for creating a contained look. A traditional dining table can work just as well, especially when the kitchen is situated in a niche or a nook and there’s no need to create a stark divide between the functional spaces.
If there’s a larger kitchen island in an open kitchen you could consider covering the ends of the island with stone. Especially stones with large pattern (Belvedere, Viscount White and Verde Savana granite) or grand history (black and white marble) make for an extremely beautiful waterfall-effect.
Lately the interior design fans have started realizing stone can be used for everything. If you use the stone for worktops and backsplash also for coffee tables, windowsills, tv-consoles, mantelpieces and shelves; if stone covers sets of drawers, the doorframes are from stone, or the posts for the table lamps, or even the baseboards/mouldings, together the details will form a visual language that carries through the rooms nice and harmonious.
Another important thing to consider when the kitchen bleeds into the living room is definitely the ventilation, and the lights.
What to consider when choosing a worktop and designing the kitchen?
Stone worktops are very beautiful and durable – for example quartzite and quartz are a 7 on the Mohs scale (marble is a 2-3, while granite is a 5-6) but no material is indestructible and without the need for maintenance. That’s why when choosing stone worktops you need to consider the inhabitants, their habits and lifestyle. Intensive use requires a harder material. Acidic or abrasive supplies shouldn’t be used for the cleaning and maintenance. One happy client who’s kitchen sees baking almost daily shared with us her trick for always keeping her stone worktop clean – before starting to bake she covers the stone with cling film!
The quality of the cabinets under the worktop matters. The scaffold needs to be fixed and steady, even and sturdy, to carry the weight of the stone. You shouldn’t climb on the stone worktop when reaching for something from the upper cabinets – the stone is weaker at the sink and stovetop openings and might not be strong enough to carry you without breaking. You should avoid heavier pots and pans clunking into the edges of the stone worktop – a sudden, strong hit can scratch the stone and with bad luck a piece can break off.
What should the lighting in the kitchen be like?
Since here in the Nordics it’s dusk or dark for a third of the year you need to consider the placement of lamps and their brightness. Often in addition to ceiling lamps you see wall fixtures, spotlights under the upper cabinets or led strips.
A relatively new thing is using small diodes on the lower surface of the upper cabinets for night light or carving a groove under the worktop for a coloured led strip. A mood lighting like that can feel very modern and practical while the LEDs use barely any energy.
If we consider how colors affect our mood and behavior then what kind of shades (walls, lamps, furniture) would you recommend for the kitchen?
All light and pastel (even pale) tones are very suitable for kitchen, though traditionally white, gray and black are used the most often for kitchen furniture. Gray in itself has so many shades, anything from wet asphalt to warm greige or colder blue-gray. All kinds of colours can fit very well with wood and stone, maybe only the brightest tones need a little more consideration. Maybe I could mention here that yellow, orange and red are considered to increase the appetite, while pink, light lettuce green and summer sky blue decrease it.
What should we consider in the current times of cooling economy when we need to pay more attention to affordability?
When talking about savings or affordability we can’t pass the saying, “we’re not rich enough to buy cheap things”. That sentence holds both justification for spending on stone worktops and more general wisdom… One that applies to all renovations and life.
Home and kitchen design is typically not a small project but an investment the length of which is measured in decades. When making price the first priority the end result might not always be what you were hoping for. When we consider the smallest details you can think of for example a cupboard door and how you can feel the difference between cheap produce and real quality. It’s similarly logical that a metal doorknob is probably going to be a surer choice than flimsy plastic. It’s a little more complicated with furniture, worktop stone, sinks or taps. If you don’t have experienced and objective friends around to ask advice from, it’s better to consult the furniture company or an interior designer before buying. If you visit several makers and specialists you might find out that the option that seemed more expensive at first is actually the more reasonably priced one.
I probably don’t need to specifically remind us that an unskilled worker can destroy even the best of materials with wrong methods. We at Granitop maintain the highest quality from the moment of placing an order, through production schematics, the actual production and transport, to the installation process by maximum oversight at all times. For sure the same rule can be applied to bring peace of mind into the renovation process and a quality kitchen into the empty space – when it comes to production and assembly the most important factor is not the price but your trust in the professionals.
Can you recommend some smart solutions a beginner interior designer might not think of?
There’s a lot of smart solutions and these days you can find inspiration anywhere. Good places to look for solutions are Instagram and Pinterest (all of social media really), as well as interior design magazines and forums, and the blogs of interior designers and architects. The most well known furniture companies and stone worktop makers also tend to have pretty informative websites with plenty of free inspiration to get you up to date on the current trends of the trade.
If you do your homework and get familiar with different options then naturally you’ll also need to check the background of any potential collaborators. Are the company’s social media accounts reserved for a few hired influencers or actual clients, is the product being adorned with paid likes and references or comments and photos from real people…
Which materials and solutions are in fashion now and in the near future?
Uniqueness and practicality are the most important when it comes to interior design and choosing furniture. To bring out some specific bigger trend I could mention that there’s less and less cupboards under the worktop. They’ve been almost completely replaced by drawers. Drawers are of course more comfortable to use and clearly there’s product development based on market demands and ergonomics behind this development.
From the 2022 summary we can see that the previously well loved stones are still going strong. A strong newcomer to the best-selling list is Terrazzo. These stones that contain both bigger and smaller pieces of natural stone (typically marble) have a beautiful, unique pattern from which you also won’t be able to tell any stains apart as readily as from for example honed white marble (Bianco Carrara C).
Our last year’s biggest hit, limestone Jura Grey is still receiving love (with both honed and polished finishes). Also very popular is the symbol of durability and hardiness of kitchen worktops, the black granite – Nero Assoluto, that we sold quite a lot with flamed and brushed (F&B or the so-called leathery finish) last year thanks to out spring campaign.
In 2022 we added several different marbles to our selection (Bardiglio, Mystery Grey, Fantastico Arni); but naturally the throne still belongs to the most famous white marble in the world, the Italian Bianco Carrara C.
In 2023 we are answering the requests of our clients and beginning the sales of the limestone-like ceramic stone from the Bricmate Norrvange -series.
When picking the style and materials you should consider that trends change quickly, even several times a year, but you won’t really renovate your kitchen or bathroom every year. That’s why you shouldn’t be scared or too lured by the amount of options. In the end you should simply pick what you like the most and what fits the best. To cite one of our clients, “if we’re doing it then we better do it properly. My wish was both a beautiful and practical end result. It’s not like I’m building a museum for home”.
This article was published in an interior design magazine in a shortened form.
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How can I get a price offer for my kitchen?
You can use our price calculator to calculate the total price of your worktops together with fitting. Once you have selected a stone you like and entered correct measurements, you can also submit your order via the calculation system. You can also send us a plan of you kitchen that includes all measurements and we can make you a price offer based on that.
Where can I see some actual stone samples? Do you have a showroom?
Our measuring technicians have samples of all the stones in our product range. You can make a preliminary choice using the photos in our blogpost galleries and price calculator sections of our web page. Stone samples are available in the showroom(s). We also have sent samples of materials to more remote areas by post.