A well-designed kitchen is essential in any home, especially if you’re a keen entertainer who loves cooking for family and friends. So what are the ingredients for success?
We spoke to Koraly Symeou and Patrizia Romeo, interior designers at Porter Davis‘ World of Style, about the new must-haves in kitchen design and what you should know before designing the heart of your home. “The kitchen is my favourite room to design. It’s the hub and the centre of everyday living and so a well-designed, functional kitchen is a must,” says Koraly.
Kitchen design trends continue to change as new colours, materials, accessories and fittings come to the fore.
Design Idea #1: Mix & match cabinetry
First impressions matter when you walk into a space, so consider your overall colour scheme before you turn to the specifics. Many homemakers are moving towards lighter, brighter kitchens, with light timbers in particular on-trend as they instantly create a natural, fresh look.
Add depth to your kitchen by introducing a secondary colour. Light oak works well with grey tones. “These colours can be mixed with white or light grey cabinets. It’s rare to use one colour throughout a kitchen now,” says Patrizia. “Particularly in bigger, three-sided kitchens, timber all the way through can appear heavy. Break things up with a secondary colour to add depth and definition.” Light oak, such as the new Classic Oak by Laminex, works well with whites and light greys while light walnut suits mid to dark greys.
Design Idea #2: Oversized island bench
If you’re going to change one thing about your kitchen’s design, consider incorporating a generously proportioned island bench. The Porter Davis Smart Living range for first homebuyers allows for some upgrade choices, so if entertaining is a priority of yours, installing a large kitchen island could be a feature worth its weight in gold to you.
The versatility of this feature is a drawcard to many buyers – add stools for casual dining, or create a relaxing space to sit and have a cup of tea with friends. A large kitchen island allows the bench to double as prep space for cooking, as well as extra space to entertain.
Take it to the next level by extending the island to include seating, as seen in the modern and glamorous Mont Albert.
Design Idea #3: Marble-look stone
Savvy home builders, especially first homebuyers, are constantly searching to achieve that luxe look for less. It’s no surprise then that we’re seeing a move towards more marble-look stone bench tops. “White-based stones with grey veins are popular and we’re also seeing a grey base with white veins, too,” says Patrizia. Either way, be sure to consider how these decisions complement your overall colour scheme.
Design Idea #4: Appliances & wall towers
The latest kitchens, space permitting, use wall towers to house appliances. Wall towers are hidden behind laminated doors and can incorporate wall ovens, an in-built coffee machine and a steam oven or microwave. “These kitchens also have space for a warming drawer, so while you’re cooking you can put plates in the drawer and keep dishes warm, so you avoid serving hot food on cold plates,” explains Patrizia.
Quality appliances are an important consideration for many home cooks.
If you don’t have the space or budget for a wall tower, think about investing in top-quality appliances instead. “We’re seeing wider ovens – 750mm instead of the traditional 600mm ovens. I think cooking shows like MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules are inspiring a lot of people to choose great appliances for their kitchen so they can entertain and prepare interesting, healthy home-cooked meals,” says Patrizia.
Design Idea #5: Finishing touches
Different finishes in tapware and hardware are on-trend, so expanding in finishes with brushed gold, gunmetal and matte black will certainly make a statement in any kitchen. “Chrome cabinet handles and tapware were trendy for so many years, but we’re now seeing black, gunmetal and bronze add a luxe finish to tapware and kitchen mixers,” says Patrizia. “This finish can be carried through to the tapware in a powder room, bathroom and ensuite.”
Think about the tapware you want to use in your kitchen, and carry this through to other parts of the house. Koraly says that your kitchen shouldn’t just be functional; you can bring character, colour and texture through the fixtures and styling. Think about complementary artwork, ambient lighting, decorative pieces and unique pieces of furniture.
“Kitchens are one of the most used spaces in any home, so have some fun in them,” she says. Curious about which kitchen design still might suit you best? Take our quick and fun ‘Find your style’ quiz to find out!
Let our interior designers provide you with personalised style advice for your next project at our ID Studio.