An artful shelf creates a personal view in this tasteful kitchen.
Go blue with textured tiles to light up a kitchen island.
Lighting geometry is all the rage for kitchens in 2020.

Stepping into a new decade is exciting. There is a positive vibe of hope and adventure as we prepare to conquer new challenges on the world stage. This can also be intimidating. However, no matter where you live or what is the focus of your work world, home is your respite, the personal space to shape however you please. I see the kitchen as the hub of the home as most of us do, and I am always eager to hear about products, materials and colour palettes that are new and inspiring.

Let’s begin with an inviting kitchen that is featured in Farrow & Ball’s Recipes for Decorating by Joa Studholme. Contemporary flat faced lower cabinets are matte black. No handles are showing – there’s a trend toward hidden or unobtrusive openers, which allows the finish on the cabinets to take center stage. The only detail is the thin line of warm wood taken from the countertop that frames the doors. Our inclination for natural materials continues to grow as we choose wood tones from ash to oaky brown and smoky grey. A rustic wood table is a contrast to the sleek lines of the cabinets, a nod to the easy mix of time worn with modern. The dusty blush of Pink Ground is a delightful backdrop for the open shelf. There are pros and cons for open shelves in the kitchen, but this example underscores that the kitchen sits open to other rooms and focuses on more than food. Plants, artwork and lighting make this a very individual space.

In other news, Pantone’s colour of the year for 2020 is all about blue. Inspired by the sea, blue takes a central position with browns, dried seaweed, driftwood and sandy whites, creating a coastal theme. The cool blue kitchen island shown here spotlights another trend, the move to make the kitchen island a focal point by decorating the underside. The patterned tiles evoke the movement of waves under a sunny sky.

It’s not always necessary to renovate the entire kitchen in order to give it some updated appeal. Lighting can lead the way to a modern moment. shows off a kitchen with stunning geometric chandeliers that hang over a traditional table island. Mixing up metals continues to capture our imaginations. Here the copper chairs and cabinet handles contrast with the cool nickel faucet. Neutral wood and light or white countertops are favoured going into the new decade. Engineered quartz and natural stone are both excellent choices.

If your kitchen space is large enough or you can free up space on a wall, think about building one large floor to ceiling cabinet or pantry. It’s one way of getting appliances off the counter. Put in an electric outlet. Have shelves that move in and out. Lighting also a good option. Having extra space to put away non-perishable food, large bags of pet food, and seldom used items frees up your kitchen to work more smoothly.

Enjoy scouting out the next big decorating items but don’t fall prey to making decisions based solely on what the trendsetters say. Always keep in mind that your home is meant to please you and be your oasis.