Kitchen Trends 2020: Soft Minimalism and How to Achieve It
Sleek, strict minimalist kitchens were all the rage in the 90s and they’re back with a bang in 2020. But today’s version is softer and more sophisticated than its predecessor, says Carole Whiting, director at Carole Whiting Interiors; “The emphasis is on natural materials, beautiful textures, matt finishes and integrated appliances”.
Is a new-look minimalist kitchen on your clients’ wish list? Here are the seven elements you’ll need to get the look, including exciting new releases from Winning Appliances, Australia’s leading kitchen and laundry specialist.
1. Luxe appliances
Sleek and chic appliances are key to achieving the new-minimalist look. The latest ovens and coffee machines feature matt-black or charcoal finishes, touch-screen controls and pared-back detailing to blend in seamlessly with minimalist kitchen styling, such as Fisher & Paykel 45cm Compact Built-In Combi-Steam Oven
and Fisher & Paykel 60cm Built In Coffee Machine
.“There’s less focus on the hardware today – logos are discreet, knobs and handles are restrained, and there’s less stainless steel,” says Whiting. “Black glass is prevalent in cooktops, with induction styles streamlined to look like flat, glass plates.”
Today’s high-end appliances offer more flexibility too; innovative products such as Fisher & Paykel’s Integrated Column Fridge and Freezer allow you to position your fridge and freezer side by side or separately; and Fisher & Paykel’s DishDrawers can be installed anywhere within your cabinetry as either single or double drawers.
2. Concealed storage
When a kitchen aesthetic is all about clean lines and simplicity, clutter is a major no-no. Today’s soft minimalist kitchens feature smart storage galore; think generous banks of floor-to-ceiling cupboards; deep drawers with customised interiors; and storage nooks to conceal everyday essentials such as the toaster and kettle.The working parts of the kitchen are often hidden away in a separate butler’s pantry that houses everything from open storage, a second fridge and dishwasher to bench space for cooking prep.
In homes that can’t accommodate a butler’s pantry, appliances are often integrated into cabinetry, for example Fisher & Paykel Integrated Double DishDrawer Dishwasher and Fisher & Paykel’s 368L Integrated Column Freezer – a design concept that’s particularly appealing in kitchens that open directly on to a living space.
3. Matt finishes
Unlike the high-gloss surfaces we saw in the 90s, today’s minimalist kitchens feature matt finishes in both cabinetry and appliances. Textured, woodgrain joinery finishes add extra softness and visual interest.Contemporary good looks aside, matt finishes offer another key benefit – fingerprints, scratches are dirt are far less noticeable than they are on glossy finishes, which makes it easier to keep the kitchen looking pristine.
4. Natural touches
“Timber is a great material to add to a kitchen as it provides warmth in tone and feel,” says Whiting. It’s also an ideal way to balance out the pared-back lines and palettes of a minimalist kitchen.The latest trends see dark and mid-tone timber accents used in sections of open shelving at the end of a kitchen island, floating shelves, joinery edging and island facades – a design technique that not only draws the eye to these practical areas but adds natural appeal.
Smeg’s Dolce Stil Novo Aesthetic built-in ovens, which feature warm copper detailing, complement these timber touches perfectly.
5. Slender lines and curves
Slim is in when it comes to material profiles, with chunky benchtops and shelving giving way to sleek and slender lines for an altogether more refined aesthetic.Curvy accents provide an appealing contrast to these crisp lines – think curvaceous tapware and shapely, linear pendants.
“Big, feature lighting above workspaces is not as common as it once was, with feature lighting now more often seen in interesting wall sconces,” says Whiting. “We’re also seeing LED lighting built into joinery – for example beneath wall-mounted cupboards and bulkheads – which provides practical illumination for cooking without drawing attention to the fittings themselves.”
Reinforce the aesthetic with luxe appliances with minimalist detailing, such as V-Zug’s stunning range of built-in ovens, cooktops, dishwashers and rangehoods. “The simpler the appliance face the better,” says Whiting. “V-Zug appliances have flush handles that only pop out when needed, sleek black finishes and their induction cooktops look like flat glass plates that sit discreetly within your benchtop.”
6. Asymmetrical elements
Another feature of many modern, minimalist kitchens is off-centre styling where, for example, designers position a pendant light or extractor above one end of a kitchen island rather than in the centre. Sure, it might be breaking the so-called ‘rules’ of symmetry, but the result is a dynamic and unexpected view through a kitchen – particularly when enjoyed from an adjoining living or dining space.
Artwork, a display of collectables on an open shelf, striking pendant lights – these personal touches add warmth and soul to a minimalist kitchen and help create a sense of cohesion with adjoining living spaces.