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Mindfulness and connectivity

Kitchen trends for 2022: Smart, feel-good living spaces

Many exciting lifestyle movements emerge every year. The resulting trends also have an impact on interior design. As living and dining spaces, kitchens in particular are influenced by new lifestyles and eating habits, because this is where many aspects of life intersect. Discover the 2022 kitchen trends that will shape the interiors of tomorrow.

Minimalist kitchen design by Max Vakhtbovych on Pexels.

Kitchens that incorporate everyday mindfulness into their design are one of the big trends for 2022. (Photo: Max Vakhtbovych on Pexels)

Enthusiasm for sustainable kitchens

One of the most popular trends of the past year has been the desire for sustainable products that will stand the test of time . In an era characterised by the climate crisis and the Fridays for Future movement, more and more people are not only interested in the topic of sustainability, but also want to actively do something for the environment – such as adopting a more sustainable lifestyle. As a result, timeless, high-quality designs in kitchens are becoming increasingly important, as are traditional craftsmanship and locally made products.

Another key development is the rapid pace of digitalisation. After many hours spent in front of the computer, whether at home or in the office, it’s not surprising that we long for natural surroundings when we turn away from our screens. And we should be able to find that homely, comfortable feeling in our kitchens, too. Natural materials like wood, combined with surfaces that are pleasant to touch, earthy hues such as olive green or terracotta, and a sprinkling of minimalism make the kitchen a space for cooking, eating and living.

Mindfulness in daily life and sensory design

Everyday life involves quite enough hustle and bustle. In the future, creating a calm atmosphere in the kitchen will be even more important when it comes to retaining a feeling of balance. Excessive consumption belongs in the past – today, we’re far more interested in limiting the objects around us to a few important ones that we truly value. In terms of kitchen design, the mindfulness trend is reflected in monochrome colour schemes and a minimalist interior style. Furthermore, appliances like refrigerators, freezers and dishwashers are hidden behind built-in cabinets, and extractor hoods are integrated into a harmonious, pared-back overall look and only pulled out when actively in use.

But calming kitchen designs can do even more: the cross-sensory effect used in sensory design refers to concepts that have been thought through from every angle. What this means when applied to the interior design of kitchens is that monochrome, earthy colours and the presence of a limited number of objects produce a calm mood and involve all the senses. In a so-called sensory kitchen, we engage with our own sensory perceptions after a hectic day by enjoying the feel of surfaces, inhaling pleasant aromas and tasting healthy food. A perfect holistic sensory design concept for the kitchen may also extend to a comfortable room temperature or soothing sounds, such as running water or soft background music.

Sensory Design Kitchen by Becca Tapert on Unsplash.

In sensory design, all the senses are actively targeted, for example with different tactile properties, colours, aromas, sounds and tastes. Warm, earthy tones in the kitchen create a relaxed atmosphere. (Photo: Becca Tapert on Unsplash)

The connectivity megatrend is making kitchens smart

At first glance, digitalisation and the connectivity megatrend would seem to stand in contrast to mindfulness in everyday life. And these developments look set to continue to find their way into kitchens through smart appliances that connect people and technology. Digital products, specially developed for high-tech kitchens, are emerging as an important, rapidly advancing interior trend. They include refrigerators with integrated food-ordering systems or voice-controlled microwaves. However, digitalisation and connectivity don’t necessarily have to be a source of stress – instead, they can increase efficiency and save time.

As a complement to this technology, functional and modular furnishings are still popular as they provide a high degree of flexibility in everyday kitchen activities and are often space-saving as well. These characteristics can be seen in pull-out worktops, adjustable kitchen tables or corner cabinets that offer storage space in the smallest of niches. According to experts from the German kitchen industry association, Arbeitsgemeinschaft Die Moderne Küche e.V. (AMK) – sponsors of the international kitchen show LivingKitchen at imm cologne – flexible furnishing systems will make the kitchen a particularly attractive location for working from home in the future. Accordingly, 2022’s kitchen trends include pull-out drawers for laptops, height-adjustable kitchen base units and extra built-in lights to provide enough illumination to work by.

Smart Design Kitchen by Cleyder Duque on Pexels

In 2022, as a result of the connectivity megatrend, kitchens are being fitted with the latest technology. (Photo: Cleyder Duque on Pexels)

Social design: the kitchen as the green heart of the home

The German trends and future research company Zukunftsinstitut highlights urban farming as a particularly innovative and at the same time social trend for 2022. It predicts that the role of the kitchen will be extended in the future to become a place where we grow our own food . The desire for local produce and healthy eating is still on the rise. Whether herb gardens, indoor gardens like the successful Kickstarter project Click and Grow or vegetables grown in buckets, there will be more greenery on balconies or patios next to kitchens, on windowsills or in any available corner. The kitchen is therefore set to become a green oasis. But that’s not all: throughout our neighbourhoods, there will be more communities taking care of their urban farming projects together.

Kitchens will also be increasingly used as social spaces for cosy get-togethers. A large kitchen table or spacious island units like the one featured in the Baccarat kitchen from Scavolini are ideally suited for this. Cleverly dividing up the space between workspaces and dining areas makes the kitchen a flexible room and a social meeting point for everyone.

Worktop with kitchen plant by Marcin Galusz on Unsplash.

Plants and herbs on windowsills, in indoor gardens or hung on walls are bringing urban farming into the kitchen. (Photo: Marcin Galusz on Unsplash)

Gender-neutral in the kitchen

Female empowerment and gender-neutral design continue to be highly influential topics in modern society. After all, gender roles have long since ceased to be as rigid as they once were. For example, everyone is interested in cooking nowadays. According to experts from LivingKitchen sponsor AMK , the focus for men when it comes to kitchen design is on cutting-edge technology such as electrical appliances, induction cookers, high-tech fridges and temperature sensors. Many women, on the other hand, want their kitchens to have a warm, feel-good atmosphere, with wooden materials, decorative accessories like pots of herbs and glass containers filled with foodstuffs proving popular. Nevertheless, interests are increasingly converging – at the moment, chiefly as regards saving space, ergonomic design and using space flexibly. As the Zukunftsinstitut predicts , gender roles at work and at home will continue to merge.

Kitchen trends for 2022 demonstrate variety

People are increasingly concerned with sustainability, outdated role models are slowly eroding, the trend is towards openness and freedom for all genders. Flexible kitchen furnishings and modules as well as home-grown food are transforming the kitchen into a versatile domestic haven, where people also enjoy spending time socialising. A new sense of appreciation is also playing an important role, because excessive consumption is no longer in vogue. The connectivity of high-tech products is helping us to live and cook more efficiently and save energy.

Find out what lies ahead for kitchen trends in 2022: with exciting insights, trends and inspiration, the imm cologne magazine newsletter always keeps you up to date.