Colour-blocked kitchens are the hot new trend
The style guru The kitchen is the control room of the house – and steals the show when it comes to design
If you watched the kitchen reveals on The Block a few weeks back, you would already be aware of the current trend of colour blocking. Tracy Smedley, director of marketing and retail at Freedom Kitchens (freedomkitchens.com.au), calls it the “tuxedo look”, and I can’t think of a better way of describing it. That means contrasting base and wall cabinetry and, yes, on The Block it has been used to brilliant effect. It’s a thing. On both The Block and Love It Or List It
Australia (my new show on Foxtel), kitchens steal the show. No other rooms are such deal-breakers in a sale or renovation, or better barometers of the way we live today. Hard to believe there was ever a time when the kitchen was behind closed doors.
On The Block, I always say that when the kitchens are installed, it’s as if the homes’ hearts have started beating. Kitchens are the nerve centres – the control rooms – of modern homes and it’s not a stretch to describe contemporary life as, quite literally, a kitchen-sink drama.
When I attend Milan Design Week, a visit to the showroom of Italian kitchen manufacturer Boffi (boffi.com) is a priority. It’s the kitchen equivalent of Dior, Prada or Gucci.
What Boffi does today, the industry will do tomorrow. If there’s such a thing as a kitchen hemline, it’s here. Italian maestro Piero Lissoni’s designs for Boffi – like this year’s brass, onyx and marble – are the Hermès Birkin bags of the kitchen (and bathroom) world.
And the presence in Milan of brands such as Miele, Smeg, Caesarstone and Silestone demonstrates the relevance and importance of kitchen design.
Closer to home, Tracy Smedley identifies predominant kitchen trends in Australia. Black is the new normal (can’t bring myself to say the new white) in cabinetry; metallics – gold, brass, copper and gunmetal – are a sophisticated choice for tapware and sinks; and contrasting textures, such as matte cabinetry offset by concrete, timber or marble, make an important design statement. Clockwise from top, the “tuxedo look” of contrasting walls and cabinetry is a big design trend this year; glazed, hand-cut subway tiles make a statement splashback; and splashes of Tuscan pink offset the vertical blue tiles at Moby 3143 cafe in Melbourne.
Feature tiles are the new go-to for splashbacks (yes to glazed, hand-cut subway tiles), but storage is still king.
Whether it’s a generous butler’s pantry, clever dividers or pull-out drawers, the kitchen devil is in the detail. We might want our kitchens to look amazing but they still have to earn their keep.