No longer just a functional space, the kitchen is one of the most occupied rooms where cups of tea and aspiring Master Chef contestants are made.
“The kitchen is the heart of the home” may be the mother of all clichés but it’s true nonetheless.
Frank Laria, design director at the Mint Kitchen Group, and Graeme Metcalf, industrial designer at Dan Kitchens Australia, share their favourite kitchen trends for 2018.
5 hot kitchen ideas to watch
1. High-quality vinyl flooring
Although solid timber floorboards will continue to be a popular, Frank says high-quality vinyl options will make their mark this year.
“Vinyl options are great for more economical flooring. It’s laid in planks and scattered lengthways to give the impression of real timber at a fraction of the cost. It’s also soft underfoot and quick to lay,” he says.
2. Marble splashbacks
Not ready to embark on a total makeover? Opting for an attention-seeking splashback is one budget-friendly kitchen idea that will transform your space in a major way.
“For anyone looking to inject something more luxurious in their kitchens – besides changing the bench-top material – should consider adding a grey mirror, darker than a standard mirror, or a marble splashback to create impact,” says Graeme.
3. Ultra-compact surfaces
“We’re definitely seeing a rise in the use of porcelain-type products and sintered surfaces (Dekton) used in both bench tops and splashbacks,” says Frank.
“Although reconstituted stone, like Essastone and Caesarstone, is still highly sought after, these newer products are becoming popular because of their bullet-proof properties – they’re heat, stain and scratch resistant so they’re able to be used in many different applications and even in alfresco areas,” he says.
4. Thin and thick bench tops
Although popular in Europe for the last few years, combinations of thin and thick bench tops are a new kitchen trend that’s just starting to take off in Australia.
“Thin bench tops, 20mm thick or thinner depending on the material, are installed in a floating or shadow-line fashion with a gap between the doors or drawers,” says Graeme.
“A thicker bench top tends to be used on the island in combination with a thin bench top. It’s a very modern and sharp aesthetic and allows for a lot of expression in kitchen design.”
5. Blue and black colour palette
Natural-looking kitchens (think grainy-satin textures, warm lighting and plenty of greenery) are on the rise, but blues and blacks will also have their moment this year.
A dark blue kitchen with gold or brass fittings, or black with stainless-steel appliances paired with rich-toned timber floors, are top choices for those who dare.
“It’s a very striking look when done well, but can also be overpowering for some,” says Graeme.
“Black looks best when paired with warm-toned woods, light-coloured walls, brushed metals and plenty of light” he says.
Just like getting bangs, however, maintaining a black kitchen is hard work – it shows dust and marks so before going all in, consider your OCD, the extra cleaning time and opt for dark-matt laminates which won’t show fingerprints.
“This style will be around for a few years yet, but I suspect the visual impact and maintenance may tire with people over time,” says Frank.