Last year, the kitchen industry saw a surge in the popularity of metallic accents being used.
A year on, this trend shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Charlie Smallbone, founder of Ledbury Studio, says: “Metallics came to the forefront in kitchens last year and I see this continuing for some time yet.”
But which metals are making the biggest impact and how are they being used? “Bold metallic accents have become more popular as homeowners become more adventurous in terms of design ideas in the home,” says Caple’s product manager, Luke Shipway.
“This has enabled kitchen designers to embrace the trend and they’re even introducing mixed metals within the same hub of the home.”
Shades in particular that have seen a rise in demand in the kitchen include warmer shades such as gold, with sales director at Aga Rangemaster James Cunningham saying: “We anticipate a growing trend for warm, metallic colours such as coppers or golds, which add a touch of luxury to kitchen design.”
As an alternative, darker metallics are also gaining momentum – ideal for homeowners who don’t want gold or brass, but still want to embellish their kitchen with a shade that isn’t chrome.
“Gold, copper and brass have already struck a chord with consumers but we’re seeing particular interest in the darker metallic finishes of gunmetal and smokey mirror metallic at the moment,” says Franke’s communications manager Jeanette Ward.
Whether homeowners prefer to opt for warmer shades or cooler tones, there’s enough choice on the market to please all, allowing for the ultimate in kitchen personalisation. “All of these options bring an instantly recognisable and sophisticated dynamic to the kitchen and give consumers the chance to find a look that feels right for them,” adds Bertazzoni UK and Eire’s managing director, Maurizio Severgnini.
A ‘less is more’ approach is favoured by many industry experts, who suggest that metallic accents are best used when focused on one area of the kitchen, creating a subtle yet stunning focal point.
Director of Eggersmann UK Daniel Bowler says of metallic accents such as brass to “limit their use to an island or splashback for visual impact”. Charlie Smallbone similarly adds: “What’s important is that the metallics used are not just there for the sake of it or because they add a bit of design edge. They must be executed properly.”
One kitchen essential in particular has become a core staple in the metallic trend, with Abode’s marketing manager Leanne Adamson noticing how taps are now available in a wider range of shades and finishes. “Until recently, kitchen tap finishes other than chrome in the modern setting and perhaps gold for a traditionally-styled space haven’t really been available,” she says. “However, modern metallic finishes are now a popular way of adding warmth and luxury to the kitchen, turning the sink area into a focal point.”
Manufacturers such as Insinkerator have taken note, having released its hot water tap in metallic shades such as Rose Gold and Brushed Gold, giving homeowners the opportunity to have a tap that fits in with the rest of their kitchen. “The Brushed Gold finish of the L Shape 3N1 complements natural tones, while adding warmth to a white or grey kitchen,” says Insinkerator’s Europe and Russia marketing communications manager, Anna Kaarlela. “The Rose Gold finish of the J Shape 3N1 adds a soft pink hue to the kitchen that works equally well in both modern and traditional kitchen settings.”
This love of luxe in the kitchen extends beyond the likes of appliances and taps, with surfaces and cabinetry also experiencing a metallic boost. “From worktops to shelving, metallic finishes will be a big trend in the kitchen this year, combining brilliantly
with other trending materials such as stone and timber for an industrial-inspired look,” says Daniel Bowler.
Similarly, tiles are a popular way to give your kitchen that much sought-after shine, with Peter Vann, director of Ceramique Internationale, saying: “Metallic tiles have long been popular in the kitchen as their reflective surfaces create focal points and can make spaces appear bigger.”
He continues: “As technology has progressed, we are seeing metallic effects used in different ways – for example in combination with stone textures, or as hints within marbles and other patterns. We are also seeing the spectrum of metallic colours expand beyond silver and gold – with platinum, copper, zinc and iron finishes becoming more prevalent.”
Scaling it down even further, finer touches such as handles and hinges on cabinetry can also be given the metallic treatment, complementing an array of materials and shades in a homeowner’s kitchen. “Metallics are a must in the kitchen if you want your space to feel expensive and timeless,” says Massimo Minale, founder of Buster + Punch.
“The use of solid metal handles and hinges can give your cabinetry the finishing touches that ensure it feels well put together,” he adds.
With near enough every aspect of the kitchen available in a metallic option, does the future look bright for this eye-catching accent? Daryl Southwell, national sales manager for The 1810 Company, thinks so. He says: “We anticipate that the current demand for metallic finishes will be a lasting trend for the year ahead and, as such, we will continue to develop our product ranges and innovations accordingly.”
Charlie Smallbone agrees, adding: “Metals in the kitchen that look good have a reason to be there, and will last.”