Hardware is no longer just a functional addition to a kitchen — much more than simply a component to help people use a product with ease, they are as integral to the look and feel of our properties as appliances. Martin Canning, Head of Category at Häfele UK, explains why 2021 will be the ‘year hardware will wow.’
This year has seen an abundance of textures and colour palettes flood the kitchen market — from contemporary, minimalist styles to the resurgence of retro schemes which put a modern twist on designs which hark from the 70s and 80s. It has forced manufacturers to think very differently about the ways in which hardware can complement current spaces — delivering a finishing touch which wows, but which also enables a room to work seamlessly.
As we move toward 2021, there are a variety of different hardware trends emerging which will put hinges, flaps and handles at the very centre of kitchen design.
In recent years, for example, we’ve seen homeowners come to prioritise the hinges they select for cabinetry just as much as the doors and drawers themselves. As a result, hinges have become a hot topic — manufacturers are delivering them in a variety of finishes to make them a special feature within a kitchen, able to seamlessly tie into any look and feel and provide that special edge to a space.
And while for many years door hinges have been placed inside a cabinet, hidden away from view, we are seeing a shift towards visible, heavy duty products placed on the externals of cabinet doors to create a new design feature.
At the other end of the market — and to create a completely opposite finish — concealed hinge fittings are also surging in popularity. Used in partnership with ultra-thin doors, they remove the hinge from view entirely to cater to the minimalist design concepts we’re seeing more of whilst also offering a fraction of extra space within a cupboard.
With space at a premium, homeowners are additionally realising they can maximise storage opportunities by making the most of the height in their kitchen. Flap hinges, compared to traditionally favoured side-hinge options, complement this style perfectly. Enabling a user to reach inside a cabinet from all sides, flap hinges like the Free Space range from Häfele, remove the need to manoeuvre around open doors and offer a uniform, vertical gap pattern between wall units.
Meanwhile, hinges like the Grass Tiomos range offer the perfect mix of stylish design and maximum stability. With an adjustable soft-close feature, it can be tailored to units, cabinets and layouts of any shape or size. Grass’ latest versions, the Tipmatic and Tipmatic Plus, also offer a ‘touch to open’ option, making kitchen use more effortless than ever before.
Light coloured cabinetry and fittings dominated the market for many years, but 2020 seems to have drawn that trend to a close. Instead, homeowners are opting for either darker, muted options or bold, outlandish colours. Both approaches require complementary handles to bring the schemes to life and create the dramatic look desired.
In spaces where dark grey or even black cabinetry is being used, we are seeing homeowners opt to bring out warmer tones in their handles. Brass, copper and even wood design soften the harshness of these matt cabinet finishes and are popular amongst homeowners who are able to reflect these elements in their appliances, lighting and soft furnishings.
Anthracite and black handles and wirework remain popular, for multiple styles of kitchen. They too are being used in conjunction with black cabinetry to create a continuation of colour and retain a minimalist style, but are also being used to strike a contrast against bolder design schemes. Increasingly, we are even seeing pastel green and bright pink kitchen doors become mainstream; often teamed with white worktops such as Minerva Carrara White and splashbacks like those from AluSplash, homeowners are then turning to black or anthracite handles to create a striking contrast in their colour palette.
Customers are increasingly using hardware to achieve greater definition in their homes. 2021 will see more attention placed on the ways in which hinges and handles complement emerging design trends and as such, merchants will be tasked with supplying the very best ranges on the market to help them achieve designs which stand out from the crowd.
For more information on Häfele’s portfolio, click here: https://www.hafele.co.uk/en/products/handles-knobs/7cf0028ac9f0bbc41b8a34ef7858d86a/