Brits turn to nostalgic classics for lockdown kitchen renovations, Magnet research reveals

Homeowners are increasingly choosing traditional kitchens with retro features like a service hatch as they opt for a more “nostalgic” feel in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, research from Leeds-based kitchen retailer Magnet has revealed.

A poll of over 2,000 homeowners found that modern kitchens are being shunned as more people look to create a home environment that is “calming, safe and secure”.

In the results, 38% chose country farmhouse as their dream kitchen of choice, pushing the once popular, urban-inspired ‘slab’ kitchen into second place with 30%. A hybrid, modern classic style received 16% while stark monochrome received just 9%, highlighting that traditional trends are definitely making a comeback. 

Once considered old-fashioned, we’re now seeing the return of retro kitchen staples like walk-in larders, according to the study. Nigella Lawson’s walk-in larder featured prominently on her recent BBC show, Cook Eat Repeat, suggesting she agrees with the 70% of Brits who would lust after a walk-in larder in their kitchen.

But there are more retro-chic comebacks as the retro chic service hatch was given the thumbs up by (27%) who wanted to see it return. These vintage kitchen additions have not only become your average homeowner’s first choice, they have also become increasingly popular in celebrity’s homes too, as cleaning influencer, Mrs Hinch, has included a service window in her recent kitchen renovation. 

Beth Boulton, from Magnet, said: “As the last twelve months have been difficult with the country spending more time at home than ever before, renovations and house projects have been at the forefront of peoples’ minds. It’s also during these unpredictable times that many homeowners look on the past with nostalgia and will be wanting to create home environments that feel calming, safe and secure and the softer lines and textures of traditional kitchens can help with this, as well as the more retro features that are remembered from parents’ and grandparents’ homes from years before.” 

Magnet has created an online quiz all about retro kitchens to help see how key trends from the last 100 years can help you choose your dream kitchen today.

But, Brits aren’t fans of every single retro kitchen feature as 36% of the nation voted traditional tiled worktops with bacteria prone grout, as the worst look of the last 100 years, alongside dark wood kitchen units (27%) and veneer-trimmed cabinets (14%). 

And, we’re not scared of a challenge as almost three quarters of the nation actively look to move into a house that they considered outdated so they can put their mark on it.

Beth continued: “It’s fascinating to see that traditional style kitchens are the nation’s choice over contemporary, modern designs. With the majority of people actively looking for a new home that they think needs renovating, it’s an interesting contrast to see that people would still go for a classic look. As smart designs and appliances are becoming increasingly available in kitchens across the country, it’s intriguing to see former trends such as walk-in larders are still desired in homeowner’s kitchen design plans today.” 

Like fashion, kitchen trends can make a comeback, resulting in one in five Brits saying they would keep their kitchen longer than 10 years with the hope that it’ll come back in style, but over a quarter of people get a new kitchen every 5 to 10 years.

For more info and retro trends from the last 100 years, please have a look at the full blog page on Magnet’s website.

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