With the average kitchen setting you back around $19,000, according to the latest HIA Kitchens and Bathrooms survey, it is important to get the look and design of your kitchen just right. Keeping on top of the latest trends can ensure that your kitchen is stylish in 2016 and for years to come.
Start with knowing what’s out
Sydney interior designer Jo Taylor says the trend in 2016 is moving away from glass splashbacks, aluminium kicks and island benches with waterfall sides. Stainless steel appliances, sinks, tapware and handles are only going to date your kitchen.
Dark sinks and tapware are replacing stainless steel says Taylor. Introduce black tapware in a monochrome setting to instantly update your kitchen. Franke does a black sink made out of Tectonite, which can endure high temperatures and repels liquids and dirt from its surface. Black or white ovens are also in, she adds.
The kitchen is no longer simply where food is prepared, it is the place where the family gets together at the end of the day to eat, talk, watch television, do homework or just relax. Design trends this year will reflect this with open-plan kitchens blending into the main living space.
“Kitchens are becoming the entertainment centre of the house,” says Nick Travers from Techne Architecture and Interior Design in Melbourne. But don’t let all that activity mean lots of mess. Kitchens need to be “kept clean with everything hidden in the butler’s pantry”.
Clean lines and simplicity
“Over the next year I think less is more when it comes to kitchen design, with the use of few materials and finishes,” says Anoushka Allum, interior designer and decorator from SmartSpace Interiors in Sydney. “I think we are moving away from these really heavy thick looking stone benchtops, some being as thick as 50-60 millimetres of late. The trend coming out of Europe is very much streamlined, which works well in modern handleless kitchens using very few materials. With products such as Neolith from CDK stone, benchtops can be 12 millimetres thick, delivering a beautiful modern look that is super streamlined.
Porcelain countertops will be popular in 2016 predicts Taylor. Otherwise known as sintered compact surfaces, porcelain countertops are made of a high-density ceramic that is extremely hard and resistant to scratches, stains and high temperatures. Slabs are very thin and can be installed over an existing benchtop. They come in a wide variety of colours too.
More kitchens will go high tech with integrated coffee machines, steam ovens and invisible smart device charging hotspots.
Corian now offers the possibility of charging your phone or tablet wirelessly through a transmitter hidden beneath the surface of the countertop.
“If you have a big kitchen and budget isn’t an issue, steam ovens are great,” Taylor says. “Miele do a good one that can be an oven and a steam oven.”
Karen Akers, a Sydney based boutique interior designer, thinks one of the biggest trends this year will be the use of texture and pattern, adding both warmth and individuality to a kitchen.
“This can be achieved through the inclusion of wooden panelling, architectural profiles on doors, stone benchtops and patterned splashback tiling. Texture can also be created through using two material types for cabinetry, veneer timber combined with painted surfaces.”
Travers says his company is looking at bringing in the “aesthetic and theatricality of Melbourne’s best cafe design” into the kitchen design of several residential projects. “There is refined detailing, fresh and robust materials – natural stone, metals (brass, copper, powder coated steel, etc), ceramic tiles and colour – lots of subtle textures that complement each other.”
Senior interior designer, Narelle Cuthbert, from Plus Architecture, says a key design trend emerging in 2016 is the clever use of two colours in the kitchen.
Cuthbert paired the white satin 2 pac joinery with the Pantone colours of the year, Rose Quartz and Serenity.
“The duck-egg blue tile provides the feature, with the subtle rose-gold coloured grout revealed upon closer inspection,” Cuthbert says. “Rose-gold tapware and accessories completes the high-end look. Both the tile and grout provide pattern and textural relief to an otherwise all white kitchen.
“Duck-egg blue also pairs well with metallic accents, deep magenta, coral, lilac and crisp white. Rose gold/magnolia pairs well with subtle tones, such as blues, greens and yellow, and can be a striking contrast to crisp white and cool greys. Both colours exhibit a hue with a touch of colour to provide warmth and subtle depth.”
Investing in coloured appliances is a good way to update a tired kitchen and inject some colour without overspending.
“Coloured appliances on show are hot right now,” Freedom senior interior decorator Alex Butta says. “Check out the DeLonghi Icona range in sky blue.”
Metallics is a trend that was going strong in 2015 and shows no sign of disappearing any time soon.
“Incorporate hints of rose gold, brass and copper through your kitchen” Butta says. “These metallics work well with many cabinet colours, and bring warmth to the space.”
Trish Khoury from Grace Interiors says you can add these colours through pendant lighting, handles, tapware and accessories, such as clocks, pots and pans and utensils.
“Personally, I like the metallic trend, it’s versatile across different styles from French Country to Scandinavian. I’ve used copper in a recent project with great impact.”