Here are some of the materials and surfaces we’ll be seeing in the not-so-distant future
When you were a child, in your mind’s eye, what did a futuristic kitchen look like? Probably more like a cartoon than real life. Reality of course is much different, but somehow no less impressive. So, here are just some of the materials that will be making it big in future kitchens.
“Hot” already, kitchen sinks and countertops made from the same solid surface material show no signs of disappearing in the future kitchen. Made from a single, solid material like Corian or Durat, this worktop setup creates a seamless surface, in a single volume. The sink and countertop are smoothly connected with no visual seams and edges. Available in a range of colours and textures, solid surfaces offer a wide variety of décor solutions and are also easy to maintain.
Designing kitchens with recycled materials is a responsible and beautiful decision. Things like aluminium scrap, post-industrial plastics and even paper, are being made into innovative and interesting-looking worktop materials. Low maintenance and even used in past aerospace applications, paper countertops like Richlite are made of recycled-paper composite. If you are looking for a stone substitute, materials like Alkemie are composed of no less than 60% aluminium scrap.
If there is one thing that won’t change in the future, it is the kitchen’s status as the heart of the home. So, it’s increasingly important to consider the comfort of what’s underfoot. Stone and tile flooring are beautiful, but can be hard on our joints. Future kitchens will increasingly use flooring materials that give more spring to our step. Sustainably harvested, cork is already a big favourite in high-end restaurants and is appearing with more regularity in homes. More surprisingly, rubber floors are also being used more frequently, adding a cool and industrial edge to homes.
There is no doubt of the benefits of having plants indoors. Using typically unused surfaces like walls to grow them is a great way to keep the air clean and our minds clear. That is why green walls, or vertical gardens, are increasingly making an appearance in kitchens. Requiring no more maintenance than other houseplants, living walls are available in a range of configurations to suit different kitchen spaces – and are a great way to grow your own.
Carbon Fibre Finishes
Grundig have recently demonstrated how fascinating materials like carbon fibre can be used in kitchen appliances. At this year’s internationally renowned IFA, Grundig introduced the new combi refrigerator which uses carbon fibre doors. Already popular in aerospace, civil engineering and motor sports, carbon fibres have a high chemical resistance, temperature tolerance and strength, as well as a low thermal expansion. Innovative materials like this pave the way for better and more sustainable kitchens in the future.
By using new technologies and looking to other industries for inspiration, kitchen materials and surfaces of the future will create spaces that boast more comfort, durability and sustainability.