It’s important for builders’ merchants to keep abreast of consumer trends, Becci Pell, Marketing Communications Manager at Häfele UK, spoke to kitchen experts from some of Häfele’s retail customers and suppliers to get their valuable insight for the coming year.

Here are some of the styles, materials and fixtures that are set to be high on homeowners’ wish lists in 2019:

1. Styles


Earthy, neutral colours have already cemented their place as a design staple, but the trend is heading in a bold, new direction this year; merchants should expect to see a sharp increase in demand for natural clay coloured units, which look set to be the latest must-have for homeowners. Dramatic dark blues and greens will also remain popular but with a new contrast companion; mixed metal. Fay Branch, of Kingsey Kitchens, explains: “Painted Shaker is still very popular but the latest colour schemes reflect bolder, more contemporary looks.”

Smart Home

As smart tech continues to break into the mainstream, incorporating it into the home in an aesthetically pleasing way will become more of a major consideration for kitchen fitters and designers. We can expect to see increased demand for concealed, integrated solutions from consumers looking to benefit from the latest innovations without their chosen aesthetic being disrupted. Peter Baxter of Accuride International Ltd explains: “We expect this desire for comfort combined with clear and neat design will drive appliances to become more hidden, such as coffee machines and toasters being integrated or stored away”.

2. Storage

Sleek & Sophisticated

The open plan look, which naturally works best when combined with an uncluttered aesthetic, remains enduringly popular, so merchants can expect to see increased demand for clever storage solutions which keep items behind closed doors and make the most of every inch of space. Fay tells us, “we’re being asked to incorporate more internal storage solutions, such as baking cupboards and corner larders”. Emma Mcloughlin of Regal Kitchens adds: “More thought is being put on internal mechanisms for storage solutions as it’s important that the working space remains clutter-free”.

3. Materials

Stainless Steel

As cooking shows grow in popularity and homeowners increasingly opt for entertaining at home, demand for kitchens that recreate a professional style continues to grow. Nikhita explains: “Stainless steel seems to have made a comeback and still remains the bestseller in appliances. This look can be softened and made more appealing by pairing the steel with lighter woods, marble, or neutral colours.”

Mix and Match

This mix-and-match of materials is going to be a huge trend in itself for 2019. Merchants can expect to see an increase in demand for edgy surfaces, like bold wood grain or concrete-effect, which will match with matte kitchen units to create a highly-desirable contrasting finish. Nikhita said: “with the trend for minimalism embodying a tranquil philosophy, the use of natural materials and simplicity in patterns, lighting and colours is the perfect combination.”

4. Lighting

According to Alison Reuben, of Bluebell Fitted Furniture, throughout 2019 we can expect to see increased demand for “more stunning lighting designs, which are easily accessible and great value for money, too.”

The popular industrial and minimalist finishes will remain firm consumer favourites, but this year will see them teamed up with more edgy designs to really maximise lighting’s potential as a decorative feature.

5. Finishes

Globally, homeowners are demanding more individual styles to make their kitchens as unique as their personalities – and the industry is responding by offering an ever-increasing array of finishes for cabinetry, appliances, brassware and more. Tony Wilson of GROHE explains how this trend is being reflected in the taps market: “[A tap’s finish] can affect whether a product looks contemporary or traditional in design. Chrome is still a popular choice, but fashion-inspired finishes, such as copper, brass and rose gold, are also hugely in demand.”