The kitchen once had a single purpose: food prep. Nowadays, it has become the heart within our homes. Its where we gather and create delicious and nourishing food together. Its where good conversations are had, and lifelong memories are made with our most loved ones.
The pleasures of the home kitchen can be vast if it is embraced and making your kitchen the family hub that you would like it to be just requires a little bit of thought.
DINING ISLANDS TO CREATE THE FAMILY HUB!
We all know that kitchen islands provide a great spot for casual dining, added workspace and additional storage. Although we are seeing the island take on a whole new meaning; developing into what we could now refer to as the ‘dining island’.
Kitchen islands are featuring an extended dining area, sometimes in the form of split-level areas, meaning that you have the storage benefits of an island, along with the addition of integrated dining. While we are entertaining, we as Kiwi’s like to mix the intimacy of both cooking and socialising with our family and friends, and what better way of doing so than with built-in island seating.
For a curated feel, showcase vases, sculptural dishware (and that colourful Tagine you picked up in Morocco) or even your everyday used items out in the open. Floating shelves or open shelving incorporated into cabinetry allows your handpicked collections to be out and displayed. Include handmade and sustainable statement pieces to add an artistic touch.
COLOUR AND FINISHES
We see the return of warm woodgrain cabinetry into our kitchens, a timeless and versatile material that we love. The key is to select a considered palette of finishes and materials that are associated more typically with living and dining room furniture – Think beautiful mid tone engineered timber veneers in walnut and oaks, showcased as feature statements which will lift any space and offer a dimension of character. By introducing a timber element into the area, it enables us to bring in a raw earthy tone which can set the mood for the rest of the home, creating a calm and welcoming environment.
While there will always be a place in our hearts for all-white-everything and it continues to make its mark, the real trend will see whites included in darker colour palettes with more emphasis on matte natural finishes, timbers and industrial tones. Black continues to trend, especially when paired with organic elements. It’s also ideal as an accent in lighter toned kitchens as a way to add drama without making your kitchen appear too dark.
BENCHTOPS AND SPLASHBACKS
When it comes to benchtops and splashbacks, it’s all about honed or matte leathered finish stone. Marble continues to make a strong appearance, and with plenty of engineered stones and porcelain sheeting now available on the market resembling
marble, including Carrara or concrete, we can be sure to see an upsurge of its application in the kitchen. We are beginning to see it being used to cover entire walls in place of splashbacks, or in the form of an upstand; which still offers a seamless look and is the obvious more affordable option.
Handmade textured tiles are here to stay and very much included in the forecast. Including characteristics such as colour variations or tones, unevenness and imperfect edges can introduce an organic feel to the space and add a layer of interest.
An easy way to add your own personal touch in your kitchen is through your hardware and fittings. Taps, sinks, handles and lighting have seen a movement away from chrome and black as we see precious metal finishes such as gold, pewter, gunmetal and brass being included in our kitchens, adding a luxe element to the space. Mixing these warmer accents with materials such as concrete look benchtops, rustic timbers and marbles will create a lasting impression.
Keeping with the seamless kitchen theme, pendant lighting has been in for quite some time and while they certainly aren’t out, linear lighting is definitely in. Ceiling fixtures that span the width of the island bench can feel fresh as opposed to the traditional vertical drop pendants. Clean lined, simple fixtures with exposed bulbs can really emphasize this trend.
Along with linear lighting, woven natural fibres such as rattan, wicker and bamboo have played a big part in our interiors for some time. These natural fibres are making their way into the home in a different form: lighting. Natural fibres provide a great way to incorporate texture and design interest in to any space and are surprisingly versatile, working well in traditional, modern, and bohemian rooms.
Whether you decide to go with a natural fibre finish or a combination of glass. Combining these in slightly different shapes and forms, clustered and placed at varied heights can give the eye a focal point of interest.