Tactile surfaces and clever use of colour are among the popular trends in contemporary design. We asked the kitchen experts to share their latest innovations

It’s at the heart of the home. The room we come to when we’ve taken off our coats and shoes, to start opening the fridge and consider our next meal, or what we’re going to feed the family.

The kitchen is a place where couples do their bonding and chatting, over the stirring of pans and the chopping of vegetables. It’s where children gather to ask thorny homework questions, where friends come to confide over a glass of wine and where birthday cake candles are blown out.

In these times, fewer and fewer people choose to eat in their dining rooms, so the kitchen needs to be all things to all men – and women. A place where you can grab a quick coffee, or a mid-week bowl of pasta, or on special occasions, lay the table with all your best china, light the candles and invite your favourite people to join you.

All of this is why it makes sense to ask an expert when it comes to getting this most valued room just how you want it.

THE BATH KITCHEN COMPANY

James Horsfall of the family run Bath Kitchen Company was called to a family home in Bathwick, undergoing a complete makeoever. He said: “In this sprawling Georgian home, the kitchen is the one area that brings the whole family together. Our challenge was to create an open, social space, while ensuring the cook has pride of place and is always involved in the fun.

“The central island plays many roles. One side is a dedicated cook’s zone with everything at their fingertips – from the Wolf range cooker and Sub-Zero fridge-freezer, to prep sinks, a spice shelf floating above the island and an integrated dishwasher. Elsewhere, the family can do homework at the island, watch television or just mingle about, chatting.

“Tucking the range cooker into the existing Bath Stone fireplace creates a lovely classic-modern touch. The bespoke half-moon shaped dining table – seating up to ten people – is easy to serve and always involves the cook in conversation. Design-wise, straight lines are tempered by softened corners and chunky handles. And the dresser-style cabinet connects the kitchen to the home.

“The island and table tops are made from single slabs of white quartz. This is neatly contrasted with the maple cabinetry, painted in a dark Farrow & Ball Hague blue – an unconventional yet very English colour. Antique copper-finish handles and red cooker handles add a pop of colour, while the natural wood floor provides a warm, rustic welcome.”

Visit: bathkitchencompany.co.uk

HOBSONS CHOICE

Richard Keyes, head of design and sales said: “One of our favourite recent projects is this bulthaup b3 kitchen in horizontally book-matched cherry veneer, stainless steel and kaolin white. Working collaboratively with the clients, who own a period townhouse and property development company Berkeley Place, we were able to create a kitchen / dining space that was stylish, highly functional and complementary to the period architecture.

“The kitchen boasts cooking, cooling and extraction technology from Miele, alongside what is quickly becoming a ‘must-have’ feature – a boiling hot water tap by Quooker. Hobsons Choice also supplied the dining area, consisting of a bulthaup c2 table in kaolin (to complement the kaolin tall units) and Carl Hansen & Son CH20 chairs in oak and black leather. Created using a laser-welded laminating process, the table appears seamless, as if honed from a solid block of material while being incredibly hardwearing and easy to clean.

“As with every Hobsons Choice kitchen, the client’s lifestyle, cooking preferences, storage needs and style of property are all carefully considered to create a space that fulfils every need. The result is an intelligently designed, perfectly installed kitchen that makes life better for the client while adding value to their home.”

Visit: hobsonschoice.uk.com

IN-TOTO BATH

While timeless white kitchens will never go out of fashion, there is a growing trend for injecting bold colours and mixing textures and patterns as customers express their personalities in their homes and seek an individual kitchen. Pair with stone-effects or two-tone woods and accessorise with golds, coppers and, the latest trend – a return to brass.

Playful colour choices doesn’t have to mean brash or overwhelming designs though, as the phrase ‘less is more’ is becoming more dominant, especially as open-plan living continues to grow in popularity.

Vicky Elmore of in-toto Bath said: “We are seeing a demand for fewer wall cabinets, with clients instead choosing open shelving to accompany streamlined base units and islands.”

In-toto has nine new colourful options for its matt lacquer carcase collection, allowing blasts of colour to be injected into the kitchen. Create a point of interest in your kitchen with bespoke open-shelving in vibrant and evocative accent colours.

Eye-catching, sophisticated and contemporary, matt lacquer carcases are available in 16 shades, ideal for displaying decorative items and blending open-plan spaces.

New hues for 2017 include, on-trend lime green, elegant telegrey and vivid platinum blue – perfect for pairing with contrasting accessories to express your style. In-toto offers a variety of design possibilities, including a choice of worktops in the latest high-quality materials and finishes, inspired storage solutions, and harmonising lighting options helping you to create a kitchen that is individually tailored to your lifestyle and tastes.

Visit: intoto.co.uk/showrooms/view/bath

Schmidt Kitchens

Schmidt Kitchens is a relatively new arrival on the Bath scene and is one of Europe’s leading Kitchen Brands, headed up locally by Leroy McKenzie. Schmidt offers a wide range of colours and finishes with units that look good in both kitchens and living spaces, which suits the current trend for blending the two into one functional environment.

Customisation is key to the Schmidt design philosophy, focussing on dimensions, aesthetics and function. Schmidt reports that the company is also seeing a demand for stylish, elegant designs which converge with technology that is revolutionising the way our kitchens integrate with our busy lives.

Visit: schmidt-kitchens.com

Main image: A family kitchen in Bathwick designed by The Bath Kitchen Company