Kitchen Trends for 2018 Focus on Family and Functionality

It’s the most valuable space in any home — the kitchen. It is also one of the top rooms for upgrades and renovations in a house. The kitchen has to be highly functional, efficient and comfortable because it serves as command central for the family. Of course, you want it to be stylish too, so we’ve pulled together some of the latest kitchen looks and products for 2018. These are great inspiration for an un update or an entire kitchen overhaul.

Understated sophistication

For chic sophistication, you can’t do better than this Biefbi Cucine design. A neutral look highlighted with stunning backlit gold accent cabinets above the sink area, the kitchen is calm and sleek. The warm yet modern space features cabinetry with unobtrusive handles and more than ample workspace. Long and spacious, the island has counter seating at each end. Glamorous metal barstools are softened with the addition of a fur piece on each one that adds texture, comfort and flair. The mixing of materials is a trend that’s here to stay and Biefbi’s kitchen does it very well.

The golden cabinets are a glamorous touch that is not an over-the-top element.View in gallery
The golden cabinets are a glamorous touch that is not an over-the-top element.

At the other end of the space, the custom refrigerator is flanked by a unique lighted wine tower. The design of the wine storage unit is versatile, allowing you to hang glasses as well as shelve your favorite bottles. The lighting turns it from a storage component into a design element that adds interest. Under lighting along the bottom of the refrigerator and the cabinets makes them look like they are floating. Another trend in this look is the matte finish on the cabinetry. It’s a softer and more natural look than floor-to-ceiling shine.

Matte gray cabinetry pairs well with the light wood of the floor and interior of the wine tower.View in gallery
Matte gray cabinetry pairs well with the light wood of the floor and interior of the wine tower.

Small kitchens don’t have to sacrifice style or function, and this design by Lev2 is a great example. The compact space features classy dark woodwork and metallic accents, as well as a large refrigerator and chic sink area. The design makes the most of the space by taking the cabinetry all the way to the ceiling, something that many kitchen designs overlook.

Dark wood and glittering metallic fixtures and accents make for a chic space.View in gallery
Dark wood and glittering metallic fixtures and accents make for a chic space.

Family-friendly and functional

In what can only be called a happy kitchen design, there is plenty of work space, lighting — and pizza! Monogram Canada’s kitchen by design celebrity Sarah Richardson is big for demonstration purposes, but could easily be scaled for a more modest home. The highlight of the space is an indoor pizza oven that can be integrated into the kitchen wall, with easy installation and no venting required. The remainder of the space is a combination of green and white that is family friendly and bright. Pops of red enliven the space, from the light cords to the accessories and bar stools.

Tiling includes larger subway tiles along with a smaller honeycomb type.View in gallery
Tiling includes larger subway tiles along with a smaller honeycomb type.
Ample counter space and small shelves enhance the functionality of the kitchen.View in gallery
Ample counter space and small shelves enhance the functionality of the kitchen.
Green cabinetry is a bold but chic choice for a family kitchen.View in gallery
Green cabinetry is a bold but chic choice for a family kitchen.

Casual and Easy Feeling

A second kitchen from Monogram Canada was also created by Richardson, including the wallpaper that is of her design. In contrast to the bold green and white kitchen, this one features light and airy tones that create a casual, almost vacation-like feeling. From the globally inspired pendants above the island to the woven barstools and leafy wall covering, it is light and welcoming — and very functional. Plenty of counter space, a Long Island and a chef’s range are some of the highlights of the space.

The island and cabinetry offer plenty of storage space.View in gallery
The island and cabinetry offer plenty of storage space.

The accessories that you choose for your kitchen can help emphasize the feeling you are trying to achieve. Here, neutral vases hold tropical greenery that help extend the airy feeling. Plants, both potted and cut types, are very popular in kitchens for promoting a feeling of well-being and bringing in another natural element.

The neutral vases allow the greenery to take center stage.View in gallery
The neutral vases allow the greenery to take center stage.

Not a fan of a full-wall tiled backsplash?  You don’t need to have one. This is a nice example of how a shelf — which adds space for storage or display — can divide the space and allow for different wall covering options. The under lighting keeps the counter well illuminated and functional. The wall above the shelf also provides an opportunity to hang art in the kitchen.

Metallic accessories add a little shine to the mainly matte space.View in gallery
Metallic accessories add a little shine to the mainly matte space.

A professional cooktop with four burners and a griddle fit comfortably at the end of the kitchen, surrounded by plenty of workspace for cooking. A powerful stainless still kitchen hood provides the right about of ventilation for the powerful cooktop.

The combination cooktop/range provides a professional cooking experience in a compact space.View in gallery
The combination cooktop/range provides a professional cooking experience in a compact space.
In the corners, the shelf takes advantage of otherwise wasted space.View in gallery
In the corners, the shelf takes advantage of otherwise wasted space.
Coppery rose gold hardware adds warmth to the gray cabinetry.View in gallery
Coppery rose gold hardware adds warmth to the gray cabinetry.

At the other end of the kitchen, a vertical section features louvered cabinet doors, which really do add to the vacation-home feel of the kitchen. Tall doors with large, vertical handles are highly useful giving you an instant view into the cupboard. A slim section of open shelving up the middle allows for displaying treasured pieces or keeping tableware within easy reach.

The warm wood of the open shelving mimics the rose gold of the hardware.View in gallery
The warm wood of the open shelving mimics the rose gold of the hardware.

Sleek and modern

In the modern realm of the design spectrum, this Bauformat kitchen features a sleek look that is devoid of hardware on the cabinetry. The large island features a sink and cooktop as well as lighting along the underside of the countertop — and inside the drawers. This is truly a modern kitchen design perfect for those who are looking for a minimalist space that still has all the latest amenities. The darker matte finish on the wall of cabinets allows the appliances to stand out and channels a masculine vibe.

The island's design makes it appear that it is floating.View in gallery
The island’s design makes it appear that it is floating.

Traditional but Tech Savvy

Lovers of traditional design will find inspiration in this space by Bloomsbury Kitchens. The custom design company creates spectacular English-inspired kitchens for customers that include eye-catching features such as this hood, which is the focal point of the space. While the counters and appliances may be the latest innovations in technology and materials, the overall style is traditional, including the pearl-draped chandeliers that hang above the island. Copper accents and accessories help create an old-world ambiance.

The latest modern technology can be incorporated into kitchens of even the most traditional design.View in gallery
The latest modern technology can be incorporated into kitchens of even the most traditional design.

Customizable cooking

For some homeowners, the kitchen is all about the cooking conveniences. Thermador has all kinds of components that can be incorporated into islands and countertops, all driven by how people prefer to cook. From grills to woks fryers and even teppanyaki cooktops — the individual appliances and their configuration can be customized.

On top and underneath, the island holds most all of the appliances you would ever need.View in gallery
On top and underneath, the island holds most all of the appliances you would ever need.

Wall oven units also offer far more than just baking. From a professional series of steam and convection ovens to microwaves and warming drawers, these too can be customized. With more cooktops being placed in islands, the wall ovens are increasingly popular, particularly in kitchens that trend toward the sleek and modern.

Wall units are more flexible in many kitchen designs.View in gallery
Wall units are more flexible in many kitchen designs.

More options for small spaces

Italian kitchen company Bertazzoni, located in the heart of Emilia-Romagna, the country’s food and cooking region. The stylish and high-quality ranges have a long history but also feature technology that modern cooks want and need. The look is professional and fits with most of today’s kitchen designs. Presented by Distinctive, this cooking area is compact but also very functional.

A streamlined hood with built-in lighting helps maintain an open feeling.View in gallery
A streamlined hood with built-in lighting helps maintain an open feeling.

The same size kitchen can have a more traditional look with a colorful range, larger hood and a bright, light wall covering. Pale wood on the lower cabinetry also makes the design more traditional. It’s a great example of how a few tweaks can totally change the style of a contact kitchen space to suit a family.

Bold finishes on a major appliance make it the focal point of the kitchen.View in gallery
Bold finishes on a major appliance make it the focal point of the kitchen.

Distinctive also presented a small kitchen with an induction cooktop and an almost invisible hood for ventilation. Tighter spaces can appear larger with cabinetry that does not have hardware to break up the look. A solid, neutral backsplash also contributed to a roomier feeling.

More options like this make living in a smaller space much easier.View in gallery
More options like this make living in a smaller space much easier.

Thanks to ingenious planning and specially designed appliances, it’s possible to have everything you need on one kitchen wall in a small space. KOMPAKT makes this design that fits six major kitchen elements in a sox-foot linear space. You can have a dishwasher, sink, two-burner induction cooktop, hidden range hood, oven, and refrigerator/freezer. For kitchens with a little extra space, there is a washing machine option too.

The KOMPAKT kitchen design can also incorporate a small television.View in gallery
The KOMPAKT kitchen design can also incorporate a small television.

Retro Fun

For those who prefer a retro kitchen, Gorenje makes a limited-edition refrigerator that is inspired by the old Beetle wagon — the famous Volkswagen van. The exterior is a throwback design, but the fridge itself uses today’s latest  appliance technology, including a fan system that distributes ionized air to equalize the temperature all parts of the refrigerator.

"Park it in your kitchen" is the tagline for this cool refrigerator.View in gallery
“Park it in your kitchen” is the tagline for this cool refrigerator.

Versatile Kitchen Countertops

The choices for kitchen countertops are wide-ranging, however engineered quartz is very popular due to its durability and design options. One of the brans is Vicostone, which can be used in any room of the home, but is most seen in the kitchen. This design show how the stone can be used for a thin-look countertop versus a thicker countertop, both in the same colorway and on a single island configuration. The versatility of the surface material allows for more interest and variation in a kitchen’s design.

The upper section of this island feels more substantial thanks to the deeper Vicostone top.View in gallery
The upper section of this island feels more substantial thanks to the deeper Vicostone top.
The material can be used to make an island look heftier at a lighter weight too.View in gallery
The material can be used to make an island look heftier at a lighter weight too.

Special Details

The difference is in the details and nowhere is this more true than in the kitchen because it’s often the little touches than make the space more function. Under-cabinet lighting is definitely one of those details and rather than just adding a light strip on the bottom shelf to illuminate the countertop, Cabinetlab has made shelving that integrates a super-stylish lighting strip along the bottom of each level. The company was founded by a leading Toronto design-build firm called SWKB to fill a need for “high quality, locally crafted, small batch custom cabinetry.”  This is a fabulous detail, whether you want to illuminate display items or have a little extra ambient lighting.

The way the light continues through the corner is extra cool and turns the light into a special design element.View in gallery
The way the light continues through the corner is extra cool and turns the light into a special design element.

A really hard-working part of the kitchen is the sink, especially the faucet, and it is often overlooked.  There are a multitude of designs to choose from, depending upon your preference for a level mix handle or a pair of traditional faucet knobs, and now you can add a hands-free version to the options. Blanco’s Solenta Senso kitchen faucet has a state-of-the-art motion sensor that lets you turn it on and off without having to touch it. Hands dirty from cutting chicken or kneading dough? You can turn it to clean hands and utensils without having to touch it. The faucet can be battery-operated or powered by an AC adapter.

The design can also be purchased without the hands-free technology.View in gallery
The design can also be purchased without the hands-free technology.

These are just some of the trends for kitchens in 2018, however it’s heartening to see that many of them are more about function as well as form. The latest innovations are all designed to make a space that is already the hub of any home become more comfortable and usable, not just for cooking but also for entertaining or regular family time.