H. Miller Bros predict 2021 kitchen-living trends


Hugh and Howard Miller of bespoke kitchen company H. Miller Bros (www.hmillerbros.co.uk) share their 2021 kitchen design trend forecast, providing an insight into the materials, design and functional kitchens they are designing for customers from their Liverpool-based workshop.

‘The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that our kitchens have never been used as much as they are today,’ says Howard. ‘Our customers report that they are changing the way they live, work and socialise within their kitchen space. We are designing kitchens for new clients with a renewed focus on practicality, functionality and beauty. Our existing clients meanwhile are enjoying their kitchens more than ever before, baking their own sourdough, cooking meals and eating together.’

Room dividers, screens and defining areas within open-plan layouts

The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown brought families together and reminded us of the value of spending quality time together. The shift towards more family-orientated, open-plan kitchen layouts is a well- worn trend and these layouts were put to the ultimate test during lockdown. Multifunctional spaces need features that help to define and differentiate cooking, dining and living areas while preserving the open-plan nature of the space.

We are increasingly providing slatted screens and open shelving as partial, see-through room dividers within our kitchen designs. Their multi-faceted, textured surfaces can help to reduce echoing noise and maintain a calm, restful environment when the whole family are all doing their separate things together.

Slow cooking

Faced with a lockdown, it seemed like everyone simultaneously thought “let’s make our own bread”. We love lining drawers with special storage for specific aspects of cookery and we are currently creating a bespoke baking drawer for the serious home baker complete with integrated digital scales, niches for rolling pins, baking trays, mixing bowls and baking parchment. Other designs we are being asked to incorporate are storage and displays for pickling, fermenting, jam making and areas to store vegetable boxes.

Heightened awareness of nature and positive environmental impacts

Houseplants have seen a huge surge in popularity. They lift the soul, especially in these strange times. It’s easy to incorporate niches and hanging rails for houseplants and herbs into our kitchen spaces at the design stage.

Using materials such as rattan, cork, hemp, bamboo, clay, lime-based paints and designer recycled plastics in our designs is an increasing trend, as consumers are increasingly concerned to use environmental-friendly materials. Off-white colour schemes, and material palettes complement those materials, as they are calming, natural and safe.


Miller Bros are using more textural materials such as cork within cabinetry frames, which provides an interesting and delicate finish.

Another material we love working with is Japanese Shoji paper. We began using it for bespoke lanterns and light boxes, as well as sandwiching it between sheets of glass to make sliding doors and cabinet fronts. The soft glow it provides when light passes through it is incredibly beautiful and inviting within a kitchen space.

Revival of iconic modern designs and period modern styles

Interiors inspired by early modernism, art deco and the 1950s have been trending over the past few years. Extending that trend, we are designing with circular shapes and rounded edges as well as incorporating fluted surfaces. Brass door handles and trim features combined with dark timbers are a nod back to the opulence of the art deco.

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About Hayley Gilbert

Hayley Gilbert is a freelance interiors journalist with 20 years’ experience in the industry. Specialising in all things kitchens, Hayley has contributed to a wide range of consumer titles such as Beautiful Kitchens, EKBB, KBB, Grand Designs, House Beautiful and Ideal Home, as well as national newspapers including The Sunday Times.... @HaylGilbert / hayleygilbertblog.wordpress.com

  Email:  Hayley Gilbert

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