Trends in Contract Kitchen Design

Key looks and must-have features in 2017

Each year sees new trends in fitted kitchen design within new build housing and renovation schemes, as developers seek to meet consumer expectation for the latest looks and must-have appliances.

Barry Casement, managing director at Lanzet – one of the main kitchen suppliers to the UK’s property sector, designing and supplying fitted kitchens to property developers of all sizes, explains what trends to expect in 2017.

“Many of the trends affecting the contract kitchen sector reflect what’s happening in retail kitchen sales. But unlike other areas of interior design, where there can be major shifts in neutral to bright colours and key new looks led by big brands like Dulux, Farrow and Ball and high street retailers. Changes in contract kitchen design and looks tend to be more subtle and longer term.

“We have identified five key trends we expect to have most impact in 2017.

  1. Mix and match colour combos 

Mirroring the retail kitchen sector, mixing two colours within a single kitchen design is big news in contract kitchens and this trend will continue apace in 2017. The main colour combinations in high demand are anthracite and white, taupe and porcelain and also painted wood with natural woodgrains. You can adopt other complementary colours, such as navy blue and soft grey, for a softer contrast.

Popular home interest web portal Houzz calls this trend “Tuxedo kitchen cabinets”, which, put simply, explains the monochromatic effect. The idea is to apply two complimentary tones, one light and one dark. The combination often denotes different areas within the kitchens, often with one hue for the island unit and another for walled units.


  1. Dove Grey

One shade of grey, not fifty, is currently dominating when it comes to colour (those that aren’t white or cream of course) and that’s Dove Grey, a pale grey. It is frequently requested as either a high gloss or matt door and when paired with white walls and light grey flooring this is a kitchen that ticks all of the boxes in terms of being ‘on trend’ but is still a look that will offer longevity.


  1. Clean lines in traditional homes

A more minimalist look is in high demand for both traditional and more contemporary homes.

appliances are now integrated into this overall look, hidden behind doors to give a uniform look. Statement canopy hoods have made way for integrated or telescopic extractors preventing a kitchen looking cluttered and busy.

Clean lined, minimalist kitchens are particularly sought-after for homes with more open plan living.

Sleek in-frame solid timber doors, painted to order, are becoming the kitchen design of choice in homes at the higher end of the market, which also deliver this look. Shaker is still being specified teamed with modern handles and sleek, lighter worktops. Slab in-frame doors are also becoming popular, especially as a design combination with shaker style doors.

  1. Thinner worktops moving away from laminate

Laminate or granite have traditionally been the worktop of choice but solid quartz and technological innovations in granite and natural stone-effects are becoming hugely popular, especially as there’s a preference for thinner worktops; down to 12mm with quartz compared to 40mm with laminates. The bestselling solid worktop is a 20mm quartz however with some laminate suppliers now offering a 25mm square edge this is also becoming popular.

  1. Storage and appliances get even cleverer in 2017

Home buyers want hi tech and smarter homes, but this doesn’t mean developers are having to spend more to meet this need as high tech becomes more mainstream.

  • Another minimalistic trend is extraction solutions that are flush to the ceiling and remote controlled as opposed to large ceiling mounted extraction hoods hanging above a hob on a cooking island.
  • Banks of appliances, or as some interior designers term it ‘the cube’, is a popular way to house ovens, microwaves, coffee machines and steam ovens within a ceiling to wall scheme.
  • Increased energy efficiency is on the up and will continue in 2017. Combination taps are still in high demand, but not just for boiling water; these now also include a carbonated option for instant sparkling water and chilled still water.
  • Similarly appliances with unique cleaning and energy-saving properties are trending. Such a dishwashers which retain the water from the final rinse cycle then releasing during the first wash of the next load thereby reducing water consumption and energy required.
  • Self-cleaning, Pyrolytic ovens are an increasingly popular choice, as are steam ovens incorporated with microwaves as a healthier and improved way of cooking and reheating food without losing moisture or nutrients. And thanks to the Great British Bake Off – slide and hide ovens are in high demand.
  • LED lighting within the kitchen design is also a key requirement in 2017 to reduce household expenses in new build properties and refurbishments.
  • And for power, we’re fitting more kitchens with chargers and ports directly inside drawers and cabinets to enable tablets and mobile phones to be charged without being left on show.

Fads To Forget

So finally, having reviewed what’s trending, Barry Casement also considers the ‘fads to forget’ in 2017. He explains:

“Sparkled granite is one fad to forget.  Homeowners looking for quality are no longer limited to granite countertops. Instead, they’re going for quartz, marble and butcher block countertops.


“Short cabinets are being superseded by taller units that offer the sleek look that helps to make a small kitchen look bigger and brighter.

“A third fad to forget in are the more traditional oak wood finishes.”