Charlie Smallbone Picks the Top Kitchen Trends for 2024

Published: January 12, 2024

This article was originally published on January 12, 2024; it was updated January 21, 2024.

Charlie Smallbone Picks the Top Kitchen Trends for 2024

“When it comes to kitchen design, discussing the latest trends can be tricky,” said Charlie Smallbone, founder of Ledbury Studio. “Unlike other areas of the home, such as furniture or decor, kitchens require a significant financial investment. Therefore, homeowners are more likely to choose timeless and durable materials and designs that will withstand the test of time, rather than embracing short-lived fads that quickly become outdated.

Here, Charlie Smallbone identifies six long-term trends that align with the need for durability and sustainability.

1. Transitional Design: When Old Meets New

transitional open kitchen with island

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Transitional design, a blend of classic and contemporary styles, is a great example of a long-term trend. This design aesthetic combines the warmth and elegance of traditional materials with the clean simplicity of modern design. The result is a timeless and versatile style that appeals to a wide range of tastes and preferences. Ledbury Studio’s Hampstead kitchen embodies the spirit of transitional design, with its modern interpretation of a classic Shaker kitchen and marble worktops.


2. Magic Metallics: Harnessing the Beauty of Metals

kitchen island with dining counter
“Our second trend is closely linked to the first, as metals have always played a key role in transitional kitchens – although primarily in smaller details such as handles or faucets,” said Charlie Smallbone. In this kitchen, metals go beyond hardware and get a starring role in the design. Copper-fronted kitchen cabinets are made by individually aging and patinating sheet copper to achieve a beautiful verdigris effect. This approach combines the traditional warmth of copper with an on-trend aesthetic resulting in an entirely new look, which nonetheless won’t go out of style for many years to come.


3. Feel Factor: Exploring Texture and Tactility

kitchen with island

The rise of tactility in kitchens is not just a passing trend but a reflection of our desire for a more sensory and immersive experience in our homes. This has resulted in the popularity of tactile elements like fluting and reeding, which also add movement to surfaces and, when used sparingly, bring a subtle level of interest without overpowering the overall design. This technique is particularly useful for giving a contemporary kitchen a softer look and can be applied to various materials and surfaces. This kitchen boasts many show-stopping features, as well as some more subtle additions that lend serious weight to the overall design. “Take note of the delicate reeded oak on the ends of the island,” said Smallbone. “It adds texture and depth to the otherwise flat surface.”


4. House Party: Bring the Bar Home

bar in kitchen
What could be better than coming home after a long day and heading to your own home bar to make your favorite drink? Or hosting friends and offering them a variety of perfectly chilled beverages instead of relying on what’s in the refrigerator? That’s why many people are now opting to include a home bar as part of their new kitchen. This kitchen features a generously proportioned home bar with a stone Italian Ambra countertop that provides ample preparation space. There’s even room underneath for a pull-out wine rack and a compact wine cooler. But the true highlight of this bar is the glass cabinet. It has fluted glass doors (another on-trend feature) and can be illuminated from within, creating a visually appealing display and adding mood lighting in the evenings.


5. Breakfast Cupboards: The Best Way to Start the Day

kitchen with island and pantry closet

If breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, it’s no surprise that a breakfast cupboard is becoming a must-have in the kitchen. Whether it’s freestanding or built-in, a breakfast cupboard is designed to provide space for storing breakfast essentials and keeping them conveniently in one place. For this kitchen, the design brief was for a contemporary aesthetic, which was achieved by combining book-matched walnut veneer and hand-patinated zinc panels edged in walnut. The addition of aged-brass handles adds an elegant finishing touch. The spacious breakfast cupboard that pays homage to Edwardian homes while incorporating a modern edge. Inside, there are shelves for a microwave and breakfast items, with pan drawers below and fluted glass cupboards on either side, illuminated from within.


6. Back Kitchen: Double the Fun

back kitchen

A second kitchen is gaining popularity because it serves multiple purposes. It can offer additional prep or cooking space, double as a laundry or utility room, or provide storage for various items. Its versatility depends on its size, but its primary function is to relieve pressure from the main kitchen and provide a place to hide everyday clutter. This is particularly beneficial in open-plan kitchens where the main kitchen is always visible.

Photo credit: Ledbury Studio



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