Designer    Focus 25 Jan 2018

Papilio’s prophecy – Material Trends for 2018: natural timbers, brass, faux marble, and copper

As the second of a four-part prophecy – including predictions for colour, material, aesthetic, and appliance trends – today we take a look at what the bespoke kitchen design company based in Frome, Somerset, says about materials.

Natural unpolished timbers and attractive veneers
With consumers more mindful of the use of materials, there will likely be an increase in the use of characterful veneers, such as Pippy Elm and Walnut, for 2018. These materials add texture and intrigue to the kitchen, and when working in a bespoke manner can be used for everything from statement wall veneers to unique cabinetry and shelving. The use of high-quality wood to create statement rooms is going to be big.

Brass has been hot for the latter part of 2017 but this will continue into 2018 with the material being paired with warm colourways and acting as statement features within the kitchen. Don’t just think about taps; you can create striking focal points with brass doors, door handles, ovens and sinks – it’s all about thinking outside the box. Mixed metals are still a key trend too and mixing with metal appliances can work well. Smeg has a range of coloured metal appliances in black, white, red, blue, mint and more which look great mixed with other metals like brass, silver and bronze.

Faux marble and stone
Unlike the prior marble trend, the newest products, such as Neolith, use a revolutionary manufacturing process. Taking 100% natural materials, then processing them with extreme heat and intense pressure ensures the most durable surface material available in the market today. We say ‘extreme’ heat and ‘intense’ pressure because NeoLith slabs are cured at about 2,200° Fahrenheit (1200+°o Celsius), and compressed to over 5,900 pounds per square inch. In comparison, quartz countertops are only cured at about 200° Fahrenheit, and like other countertop surfaces, this results in a surface finish that can be easily damaged by something as simple as a hot pan. The range includes finishes in silk, satin, river washed and polished.

Iridescent Copper
The trend for metals like copper and brass continues, but a shift towards treating the metals to achieve interesting patinas is becoming more popular. It seems as though metals have been a ‘trend’ since the beginning of time itself with new metals becoming the focus every season. Why can’t we get enough of it in our homes? Reflective surfaces create a lighter room and a sense of opulence even when you use smaller focal points such as pans or storage containers. There are various ways to achieve a more popular patina finish by oxidation, chemicals and heat, all of which give dramatic and different finishes.

Read what Papilio predicts to be the aesthetic trends of 2018 here

Papilio |