Neil Horton, commercial director for the UK and Europe for Bushboard looks at work surface inspiration for the rest of 2018.
Ultra-thin, super-slim whichever way you describe it the standout trend for 2018 with consumers is thin and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Texture, as well as slim dimensions, subtler colourways, and a break away from perpetual granite in favour of marbles and marble-esqs, are top predictions for 2018/19.
Trend Influences: Clutter-free kitchens with large areas of clear and textured worktops and the must-have breakfast bar – inspired by TV Dramas and reality shows are high on the customer wish list. Many consumers want to achieve the super-luxury look they see in films, on TV and social media but don’t have the enormous budgets. Manufacturers in all sectors of the kitchen market have risen to this challenge creating surfaces, furniture, appliances, and accessories that emulate the upper levels of design at a fraction of the cost. In the worktop area, brands like our own also offer clear benefits over real stones, marbles, solid woods, concrete, steel, or copper, not just the cost savings.
Looking Back: The last few years have seen consumers choosing chunky, thick work-surfaces featuring significant contrasts in colour and textures. Favourite combinations have been cream, white or ivory units teamed with dark wooden flooring and dark coloured tops perhaps with a splash of orange, copper, blue or red. Standard worktops are 40mm thick, but deeper materials gave tops the chunky look of being 60-100mm or even 150mm thick.
The Future Is Here: This year customers want far thinner worktops, with empathetic textures that remind them of nature, in more subtle colours with marble-type veining and lightening details. There is still a significant demand for surfaces with sparkle, but natural veining that is less densely patterned than marble and in different shades of white, grey, and sepia browns are tipped as a top trend. Thickness is anything from 22mm to 12.5mm.
Manufacturers in the UK have responded to this demand with some fantastic and innovative materials, designs and colours including natural shades, ceramics, and incredibly realistic wood effects.
Financially unpredictable times bring conservative, classic choices to the fore as customers seek value and longevity. Woodgrains that look like, rustic just-sawn wood also feature species that separate its ranges from the rest of the market has been key to Bushboard’s success with Omega worktops. Examples like Graphite Oak and Stamford Oak with perfect end grain square edging that also offer ultra matt textures – meeting the demand for hipster rustic, an artisanal style that says country but not twee.
Favoured colours in kitchen furniture are predicted to be soft greys, bluey greys, white and naturals with stainless steel continuing to lead in appliances.
Consumer spending may show signs of weakening in kitchen furniture sales, but laminate worktops continue to do well through all channels as they offer consumers a unique opportunity to enhance, update and prolong the working life of their kitchen at an affordable cost in a straightforward way.
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