10 Emerging Kitchen Trends to Try In 2021

We’ve previously discussed the biggest bedroom decorating trends of 2021, but what about your kitchen? According to a report by social media marketing firm VAMP, our kitchens have become the focus of our homes like never before. If you think about it, it's the space where you socialise, eat and cook, and it serves as the bonding area that ties your home together.

So, to help you update your kitchen, we’ve rounded up the 10 biggest kitchen trends of 2021. You’ll notice we’re shifting away from interiors being so sensible and restricted, and moving into territory that’s detailed, lively and full of personality. You’ll also realise risk-taking has become all the rage, especially when it comes to the colour and material being favoured.

Whether you’re renting, you’re living in a small apartment or you have a kitchen big enough to host a dinner party for all your friends and family, here are the kitchen trends you need to jump on.

10 biggest kitchen trends in 2021

1. Floating shelves

Not only has Pinterest reported a 130 per cent increase in searches for ‘kitchen floating shelves’, but there are currently over 151k hashtags dedicated to this interior trend on Instagram and more than 30 million on TikTok at the time of writing, proving just how in-demand this trend is.

They’re practical, easy to install and will help cover any bare spaces on walls. Moreover, they’re the perfect spot to display your most attractive kitchen appliances, eye-catching dinnerware, coloured glassware, plants, candles or cookbooks. Whatever you choose to display, it’ll make your kitchen feel more like a living space than a working one.

2. Mismatched dining chairs

It may seem like a strange and difficult look to execute, but when done properly it can really add value, and masses of personality and interest to your dining space. So, how do you do this? One important thing experts agree on is keeping a consistent height among your chairs.

You should also take into consideration the overall style of your dining space - do you want all your chairs to be different in style but be complementary hues? Or, do you want them to all be the same style but varying in colour?

It also makes for a great excuse to go to a thrift shop or scroll through an online marketplace where you’ll find trendy singular chairs at low prices.

3. Round dining tables

What do round tables have over rectangular ones? When seated, everyone can see everyone else, conversation can flow, and it creates for a cosier and more intimate gathering - something we definitely took for granted in a post-COVID world. They can also turn the smallest nook into a dining space because they’re typically small and able to fit in places where a rectangle table won’t. When you’re not entertaining at the table, fill the table with a striking centrepiece like a plant or ceramic vase.

4. Herb and vegetable gardens

As we all spent more time indoors during 2020, we picked up new hobbies like growing our own herbs and vegetables. It was a soothing mental health practice and served as a simple way to reap the benefits of being out in nature without having to leave the house. People also realised hit’s a great solution to cutting down on their food and plastic waste, and saving money. Even those living in the smallest of spaces are able to jump on the trend. Here’s a complete guide on the easiest herbs and vegetables to grow in a small apartment.

5. Warmer, organic materials

Traditionally, kitchens have been styled with crisp white cabinets, silver hardware and slabs of stone - materials that make for a chic and sleek kitchen, but generally give off a ‘cold’ vibe. Now, we’re moving towards a warmer and more organic direction with curved islands, wood grains and composite stone.

It doesn’t mean you have to ditch the minimal, sleek kitchen look entirely - trends like ‘Japandi’, which saw a 100% increase in searches on Pinterest and has over 3.7 million views on TikTok, combines the natural and organic elements of Japanese style with a Scandinavian aesthetic. For a more rustic appeal, try 'Cottagecore', which has been crowned TikTok’s top interior trend of 2021 with 6 billion hashtags dedicated to the trend on the social media platform.

6. DIY composting

In conjunction with DIY herb gardens, composting at home became a valuable hobby people invested their time in. If you think about it, every time you throw away your banana peel, apple core, egg shells or meat trimmings, that’s a valuable piece of food that could be recycled via composting. To help get you started, make sure to check out our practical guide to DIY composting.

7. Statement pendant lights

We’ve officially moved away from stark, simple strip lighting and shifted towards oversized and detailed pendants. Large domes made from rattan and metal are in high demand, as are bamboo cloches and glass spheres. Before purchasing, ask yourself this: will the lights be purely decorative, or do you actually need them as your primary source of light?

You’ll also have to consider how low or high you want to hang them. Generally speaking, it’s best to have at least 90cm distance from the top of your bench to the bottom of the hanging light.

Because oversized pendant lights are quite dominating (and thus work better in a subdued kitchen) you can opt for mini pendant lights if the rest of your kitchen is quite bold. There are an abundance of styles available, so it won’t be a difficult task finding one that suits your needs and aligns with your taste.

8. Contrasting cabinet colours

If we learnt anything from 2020, it’s to enjoy life and live a little. Injecting colour into your kitchen with contrasting cabinet colours is a great way to add a pop of colour and personality into a space that should be all about love and enjoyment. You only have to look towards designer Susan Alexander’s New York City apartment for inspiration, whose kitchen cabinets are covered in mismatched coloured contact paper “to make them more vibrant”.

But you don’t have to go to this extreme, either - you can still keep the colours subdued and subtly incorporate this trend into your kitchen. Why not have uniform darker cabinets below and lighter ones on top? Or white cabinets below and warm timber ones above?

9. Organisational pantry hacks

While butler pantries are not a new trend, there’s definitely been a greater focus on making pantries more decorative and organisational. Some good pantry hacks include using baskets or trays to group items, storing ingredients in stylish transparent containers, including strip lighting under shelves and using a label maker.

Not only will these make your pantry look Instagram-worthy, but an organised one will make cooking dinner easier and save you from buying groceries that you already have hidden somewhere amongst all the mess.

10. Eco dining tables

According to an eBay report, searches for ‘eco furniture’ and ‘sustainable furniture’ more than doubled year-on-year. Eco rejects plastic and any other artificial materials including toxic paint and linoleum.

A great way to minimise your use of these materials is by replacing your dining table with a beautiful wooden one - a timeless interior trend that is currently splashed across Pinterest. And just like your mismatched dining chairs, you can find a sturdy secondhand wooden dining table on an online marketplace like Facebook or Gumtree.

Looking for more kitchen inspiration? Here are 8 ways to refresh your kitchen without a renovation.

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