Kitchen design - what's cooking for 2017?
Kitchens are just as susceptible to design trends as any other aspect of our home interiors, but this doesn't mean they all look alike.
On the contrary, designers are inclined to move away from "popular" ideas to forge new looks for their clients.
But in any given year there are certain trends that are directly related to changing lifestyles and priorities. And today, it's all about architectural cohesion.
Award-winning kitchen designer Davinia Sutton Christchurch says she likes to follow through with the architect's original vision. "I think it's critical that a home reads cohesively, while taking a client's tastes into account," she says.
Sean Monk and Michelle Gillbanks of Kitchens By Design in Auckland agree it's all about bespoke solutions, with kitchens fully integrated into family living spaces. Monk says fewer sculleries are being specified, as homeowners look to have everything they need right at hand.
However, there is a definite moody ambience coming through, says Sutton. "There are still dark elements appearing in kitchens, along with natural raw materials, such as stone and timber, and honed and textural finishes. We are using a lot of engineered timber veneers, and joinery is often designed to resemble pieces of furniture, rather than built-in cabinetry."
Monk and Gillbanks say sleek timber veneers are in hot demand. These are often mid-toned, with earthy colours punctuated with vibrant colour accents. Drawers and doors are usually sleek and handle-less.
Kitchens are also greening up. Monk says clients are wanting to bring nature into the kitchen with "hanging walls, greenery and herb gardens".
Modern technology is another key influence. Charging stations and cooktops integrated within the benchtop are in demand. So, too are dual-fuel appliances that combine induction and gas cooking options.
"There is a real move towards time-efficient appliances that make our lives easier," says Sutton. "For example, Miele has just introduced the first inbuilt pressure cooker, which is being very well received.
"Homeowners have become very educated on culinary lifestyles in recent years. They are looking for appliances that offer health benefits, such as steam cookers and appliances that will process health foods. And of course they like to have a coffee zone."
Sutton says wine is often displayed in a more glamorous way, with LED lighting and backlit bottles. And Gillbanks has noticed an increased demand for open shelving, so clients can showcase homewares.
While most new kitchens are contemporary in design, there is still a demand for traditional, bespoke kitchens with a lot of detailing. "Many clients, especially those in older homes, want exactly this look," says Sutton. "People are still drawn to that traditional character."
EXPECT TO SEE MORE:
Raw, organic materials, including stone benchtops and timber veneers
Large-format porcelain slabs
Fine stone veneer drawer and door fronts
Softer metallic finishes
Inbuilt pressure cookers
Coffee zones and integrated coffee machines
Non-stainless steel appliances
Traditional bespoke kitchens
EXPECT TO SEE FEWER:
Glossy paint finishes in contemporary kitchens, apart from small colourful accents
Modern kitchens that are all white
Shiny metallic finishes