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Refined kitchen design

Although rarely adhered to in its strictest sense, ‘Minimalism’ has had a profound influence on current kitchen design and planning. Paring things down to a minimum is now an established trend and is likely to continue well into the next decade.

Australian design trends tend to follow what is happening in Europe which indicates a strong minimalist line is here to stay. Highly decorative styles are generally found in projects where a sense of times past is sought, as with the renovation of period homes, but in the new home sector, minimalism or modernism prevails, with patterns, colours and textures appearing as the new decoration.

According to Barbara Churcher from Degabriele Kitchens, clever techniques can create the impression of modern design. “The minimalist look is a reflection of the desire for uncluttered simplicity and a renewed focus on quality materials for their beauty and ease of maintenance.”

“Kitchens have become the focus of a home, the centre of a casual living and entertaining area often connected to the outdoor areas,” said Barbara. “Laminate and Polyurethane finishes are amongst the technologies employed, along with the new engineered stone products such as Caesarstone and Essastone.”

By definition, traditional styles experience little change; however tones have become lighter with a greater use of sophisticated neutrals to create understated elegance.

The use of bold colour options is generally applied with caution so as not to date a kitchen prematurely. “In domestic interior design, the colour cycle is always the fastest mover.

DegabrieleAs the kitchen is a more permanent fixture of the home, strong colours are generally reserved for areas that can be easily updated such as splashback tiles or wall colours.

“Currently, neutral shades are favoured. These will change overtime but a marked departure from neutral to bold is not foreseen in the mainstream for some time,” said Barbara.

The popularity of ‘square-edged’ design with its emphasis on the horizontal is a hallmark of modernism that has been around since its inception. Barbara believes that as we tend to tire of “sameness” she can foresee a move toward subtle organic shapes, within the same context.

As we head into the next decade, bigger will not necessarily mean better. “There is a point when a kitchen becomes too big to function well. But, as the role of kitchens extends into living, entertaining, home office, even children’s studies, the demand for more space will continue accordingly.”

“Technology has increased storage and work capacity within a given space so that tasks can be carried out with a minimum of movement,” said Barbara.

Emerging trends and innovations in appliances include:

  • ‘Smart’ refrigeration with internet connectivity
  • Ovens that sense weight then program cooking times and temperatures accordingly
  • Steam ovens for low-fat healthy preparation of dishes
  • Wine storage with varied temperature refrigeration to cater for everything from champagne to burgundy

Other trends that are likely to gain in popularity are:

  • Walk-in pantries or sculleries, not only for storage, but as an out of sight messy preparation area, complete with sink and sometimes cooking facilities
  • Technology being incorporated into kitchen design such as sound, vision and internet connectivity
  • LED and compact fluorescent lighting are making serious inroads as an alternative to halogen lighting, due to the low heat output and low energy requirements

Degabriele Kitchens was established in 1978 as a family business and has become one of the largest manufacturers of quality, custom-built kitchens and furniture in Sydney. Degabriele Kitchens offers an exclusive twelve year guarantee.