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5 Kitchen Design Trends that will be huge in 2021

The pandemic stopped lots of things in the past year, but home improvements isn’t one of them.

It seems that money that might’ve been put aside for holidays (and weddings!) is being spent on homes instead.


According to the 2020 Renovation Nation Report by, UK homeowners have spent £55billion on home renovations projects - an average of £4,035.70 per home since the beginning of lockdown in March.


And kitchen renovations made up 22% of those projects.

While we can’t predict what will happen in 2021, we DO know what will be popular when it comes to kitchen design.

Here are 5 kitchen trends that will be hugely popular in 2021:

Kitchen floor plan - Designed by Elliotts Living Spaces Romsey, 2020
1. Open kitchen shelving

It seems that traditional wall hung kitchen cabinets are starting to make way for open shelving instead!

The popular continental trend is now influencing UK kitchen design. Searches for kitchen shelving on Google have risen steadily since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Open shelving creates a sense of space, whilst offering a way to personalise your room with items you love to display”, says Victoria Anderson, Elliotts Living Spaces Manager.

“We are designing more and more kitchens featuring rustic shelving, and I think this will only grow in 2021. It helps create more of a “living” space.”

PICTURED: This Symphony Urban Inline kitchen from our budget-friendly Everyday range features open box shelving in black to tie in with the sink and appliances.

This Symphony Urban Inline kitchen features open box shelving in black
2. Pantry units

Not something you’d usually associate with modern kitchens, but pantry units are making a comeback.

Searches for freestanding pantry cupboards have increased by 250% in the past year, and we think they’ll be a growing part of kitchen design in 2021.

“Pantry units are a place for everything! They’re one of the best storage solutions for busy kitchens”, says Victoria.

“With flexible internal layouts, you can create storage to suit you. From baskets to drawers, and spice drawers to shelves, each one is different and personal to how you use your kitchen.”

We feature Laura Ashley pantry units across all our showrooms. This one at our Ringwood showroom is part of our Premium Laura Ashley Helmsley kitchen.

Laura Ashley pantry unit - Elliotts Living Spaces Ringwood

Image taken from the 360o tour of our Ringwood showroom.

3. Glazed units

Glazed units aren’t what they used to be. They’re better. Whether you’re opting for a traditional or contemporary kitchen, glazed units are a great option for sociable spaces.

“Glazed units help two spaces become one by blending the kitchen into dining room furniture”, says Victoria.

“So if you want your kitchen to feel more like a “living space”, having a few glazed kitchen units will help create that. I recommend using clear-glazed dresser units for traditional kitchens, or smoked black glass for more modern kitchens.”

We worked with a client’s mood board to help create this modern shaker kitchen in Hampshire. Opting for two glazed units using black smoked glass helped create the idea of a “living space” while blending in with the black of the appliances.

Shaker kitchen with glazed units

4. Concealed extractor fans

Let’s face it, extractor fans can be really unsightly but are a necessity in most kitchens.

But manufacturers like NEFF are helping to change this, and we’re now able to conceal extractor fans within a kitchen design. We expect this to become the norm in 2021.

“A lot of customers want to avoid the big, bulky, stainless steel eye sore of a conventional extractor fan,” says Victoria.

“Concealed extractor fans are much more pleasing on the eye (if you can even spot them) and are perfect for open plan living.”

So how do you conceal an extractor fan?

Venting hobs are growing in popularity and are perfect for islands where there may not be the capacity to install an extractor overhead. This one by Siemens is on display at our Romsey showroom. 

Siemens venting hob, on display at Elliotts Living Spaces in Romsey

This ultimate entertaining kitchen was designed with a concealed extractor fan in the ceiling. With the aim of this design all about the clean lines and aesthetic, this NEFF extractor fan was the perfect choice.

Entertaining kitchen using concealed NEFF extractor fan - designed by Victoria Anderson
5. 4-in-1 kitchen taps

“Tea remains an iconic part of British culture, with 50 billion cups drunk a year on average.”

- Hazel Detsiny, VP of marketing at Unilever UK & Ireland.* 

We’re not surprised!

Delivering hot, cold, filtered and boiling water, 4-in-1 kitchen taps may be one of the biggest trends we’ve seen this year. And it’s only going to continue in 2021.

“Having instant boiling water eliminates the need for a kettle, which ultimately frees up surface space”, says Victoria.

“A lot of 4-in-1 taps now come in a wider range of colours and finishes, so they fit in with our most popular colour palettes. Our customer’s have been loving the matt black and brass options.”

By switching to a 4-in-1 tap, you’ll also save on energy costs in the long run. 

According to Quooker…

Costs to run a 4-in-1 tap vs kettle

We have Quooker and Franke 4-in-1 taps on display across all our showrooms.

Having spent more time in them this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, 2021 will be the year that we want more from our kitchens.

Ultimately, we’ll want them to become more of a living space. Freeing up surface space by creating more storage and kitchen tech will go some way to achieving this. As will opting for shelving that showcase the items that we love.


Kitchens will become even more multi-purpose, having also played the role of home office for some this year.

We’ve got plenty more design inspiration at our four Elliotts Living Spaces showrooms.

Take a tour from the comfort of your own home, here:

Tour our Fareham kitchen & bathroom showroom

Tour our Lymington showroom


Tour our Ringwood kitchen & bathroom showroom

Tour our Romsey kitchen & bathroom showroom

Thinking about creating your dream living space in 2021?

We’d love to help you create it!

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