Darren James shares what’s hot in the world of kitchen design right now…
1. The ‘Social’ & ‘Living Room’ Kitchen + Technology. Following closely with our evolving social structure the open plan kitchen integrated with the living space continues as a trend and is growing even stronger as technology and other smart solutions transform the kitchen. Flat screen TV’s, internet connections for laptops and cleverly concealed docking stations for portable music devices allow us to function and perform different activities in the space simultaneously. (watch out for is touch screen computer incorporated into the benchtop – allowing the chef/cook to email and even jump on oline
to view receipies whilst preparing dinner).
2. The Professional ‘Gourmet’ Kitchen – with the growth in popularity of shows such as Masterchef it is a no wonder that we are spending more time in the kitchen whether entertaining or nesting in the home. And home owners are demanding all the bells and whistles (similar to that of a chef). These days kitchens can hold everything that a chef could want.
3. Hidden work spaces / Reveal and conceal. The demand for hidden work spaces and clever concealment continues to grow and where space permits butlers pantries and scullery’s are still sought after to hide the mess. Appliances these days can be beautiful elements in a living space, but we are seeing more and more appliances being concealed – refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers and even the hood (ranghood) are commonly being hidden behind cabinets, sliding doors and lifting panels. Eg. Work spaces such as cooking zones and appliances are hidden behind large sliding and retractable doors. Mechanical pop up mechanisms are being incorporated into becnhtops to conceal items such as down draft rangehoods and can even conceal the storage of specific cooking utensils which are revealed only required when cooking.
4. Integration & Automation. Automation is an important element of this look. Thanks to technology the kitchen can transfer from a stunning furniture piece to a fully functional working space with the simple press of a button. Manual drawers, doors, sliding mechanisms and lifts are all being automated with electronics. We are even finding ways of hiding the kitchen sink. An example is a benchtop surface covering the hob and
sink area which is motorized to slide out.
5. Changing shapes. The use of miters in the joinery give the illusion of thin cabinetry and benchtops , variable and in some cases adjustable benchtop heights for different work zones, irregular shapes in cabinetry and lots of cubes – different widths and different heights.
6. Light it up. LED lighting is seen everywhere for both ambient, feature and practical purposes particularly highlight design cabinetry features (underhsleves, hidden inside door fronts and drawers. Island bench featurelighting. Often forgotten in kitchens.
7. Eco and honest. The green movement looks set to continue in the kitchen. There is a growing trend with home owners taking responsibility for what they have their homes – beyond just buying energy saving appliances and water saving taps. The emphasis is on sustainability. Eco friendly products, recycled materials, materials that can be recycled without losing their properties and materials that can retain value for a long time.