For the past three years I’ve visited London in early December. In 2012, by chance, I was walking on Wigmore Street and started to notice a number of high end Kitchen & Bath showrooms. I stopped into several stores to look around and spoke with staff about trends and what’s popular in London. Most of the major brand names of cabinet and appliance manufacturers have a location somewhere along the 8-10 block stretch of Wigmore Street that I visited.
Every showroom featured contemporary, clean-lined layouts in the front windows and throughout the store. The most prevalent layouts were subtle in color (white and off white cabinets) with light colored stone, manufactured quartz or solid surface countertops.
One large showroom did feature a beautiful traditional walnut layout (located at the back of the store). The large island was done in a white painted finish. The designer I spoke with said that the traditional styling is usually done in country estate homes or large older homes. By far though, contemporary styling is selected by most clients, whether the home or flat is in a contemporary or traditional styled exterior.
This past year I made the same journey and noticed some changes. Most showrooms featured a display with rustic wood finishes (done on a variety of wood species) on the plainly styled cabinet doors & drawerheads. Additionally, more gray colored cabinets were shown on display (gray is popular in the United States as well).
Countertops were shown with complicated edge detailing (recessed edges or layered reveals). The countertops are manufactured quartz or solid surface materials. Beautifully grained Carrera marble is also very popular.
Again, staff members I spoke with confirmed that contemporary styling is the most prevalent selection. One woman asked me if styling in the United States is still “over the top” with lots of fancy moulding (as seen on American reality TV programs). I told her we utilize much less than four or five years ago. She told me that moulding is limited to a simple crown, if that.
The showrooms I visited were all high end cabinet & design stores. The quality of the products was evident with walnut interior drawers, high end interior fittings, innovative lighting options and excellent finishes.
It was fun to visit these beautiful high end showrooms and learn more about what’s popular in London.