STAND OUT FROM THE PACK WITH ARTFUL PATTERNS AND TEXTURES
Neale Whitaker examines the latest trends in kitchen design.
There was a time when, if I’d said “let’s talk kitchens”, you might have turned the page, quick sticks. What was there to talk about? You had an island bench and some integrated appliances. Probably a microwave, a handful of dust-collecting gadgets du jour and something tricky to clean that made pretty ordinary coffee. Not so today. Kitchens hover just south of Pokémon Go and north of turmeric lattes on our obsession spectrum. Prada, Burberry, Dior, Gaggenau, Miele. Spot the odd names out? There aren’t any. We’re talking kitchen couture.
“Kitchens sell houses” is the mantra real-estate guru John Mcgrath drummed into me when we judged The Block together. While powder rooms and walk-in wardrobes have arguably joined the list of desirables, it’s still largely true. A great kitchen will add value to your home, but our desire to personalise it has never been stronger. Take a look at the Kitchen and Bathroom pages in the latest issue of Vogue Living. From bronze-clad cupboards to raw-steel bench tops and copper sinks, it’s the most eclectic and individual collection of kitchens we’ve ever published.
So what’s on the kitchen checklist for 2016? Every second year, the Eurocucina fair in Italy runs concurrent with Milan Design Week. Think of it as kitchen Fashion Week. The major trends that emerged this year will influence kitchen design for several years.
White is back from style Siberia – which has to be good news – while all the colour action is now in shades of blue (teal in particular), chalky olives, taupes and greys. Bench tops are either pencil-thin or platform-thick and there’s an intriguing range of quartz surfaces that mimic other materials, such as Dekton Trilium (my favourite), which looks like oxidised metal. The clash of metallics with aged timber or poured concrete is desirably on-trend, and after years of soft-close, handles are back, big time. Morocco-based Popham Design kickstarted a trend in handdecorated, encaustic tiles that shows no sign of abating, adding a joyful, artisanal contrast as either flooring or splashbacks.
But the deal-breaker is the butler’s pantry. A real-life butler may be the stuff of a privileged past, but his spirit lives on in these spaces that are designed to do a kitchen’s heavy lifting. If kitchens sell houses, butler’s pantries sell kitchens.