Kitchen bench tops
One of the interesting things changing in kitchen designs is the thickness of the bench top.
In the past, thicker (or ‘apron’) bench tops were in fashion, but what’s becoming more the rage now is a thinner bench top, of around 12 – 20 mm.
Overall, the trends are towards a minimalistic, or even industrial-style look; or generally a simpler design that lends a sense of space to the kitchen.
Glass splashbacks are still popular behind sinks and stoves. But, while bench tops in glass used to be a popular statement, that trend seems to be passing now, the preference being for the thinner bench tops.
Kitchen colours: The main colour groups to choose from in kitchens are:
The most popular colours are still the white and off white tones. The dark shades are generally not popular.
Increasingly, people are going for a two-tone kitchen – meaning not just two colours, but a combination of two different textures. For instance, a smooth white or off-white colour, combined with another material – like a natural toned laminate ribbon finish, or a timber veneer – used on doors or benches.
Textured materials in the kitchen
A textured look, created by using different materials, is a popular trend. Rather than just using one material like polyurethane for the cabinets, now people are playing more with textured materials to add a bit of warmth and individual style to the overall look.
On Cabinets: In line with European trends, textures on cabinets might include some rough natural elements, like unfinished wood or stone in places. In sleeker designs, they might just add the combination of a couple of colour tones or materials, to highlight or complement the design.
On walls: Popular choices are wallpapers with texture, exposed brick, brick or other cladding, or even textured paint on walls and surfaces in new kitchen designs. The overall effect is to bring highlights of richness and depth to kitchen spaces, using the textures as a feature.
Size and space
The trend is now leaning towards efficient use of the whole room for the kitchen. Rather than just covering it in cabinets, the aim is to have a simpler kitchen with a bit of space, and then use the textures or different materials we’ve mentioned as a feature.
Big drawers and doors – the bigger the better – are IN! There is simplicity in lines that bigger drawers and doors create for the eye and a lot of people are looking for these sorts of designs right now.
Display cabinets are not so popular these days. People are choosing to hide stored items behind doors, to achieve sleek lines instead of cluttering the spaces. If open shelves are used, it’s more for practicality than for display purposes. The overall look is all about cleanliness – using big cabinets, big doors and big drawers to put things away and out of sight.
The height of bench tops and work stations, and the functionality of where you’re placing things, has always been an important consideration in kitchen design and can’t really be called a “trend”. But it is still an integral thing that people are certainly not ignoring.
Ease of access makes life in the kitchen so much easier, and designers are coming up with all sorts of new and inspiring ways to achieve this. Smooth, light touch, gliding drawers, and clever rotating cabinet, rack and pantry designs put previously hard-to-get-at spaces within handy reach, and without physical strain. For some great ideas, come in and try out some of the range in our showroom and see what works best for you.
For wine lovers, the popular addition now is a wine fridge, rather than just wine racks. If wine is still stored in racks, people are putting those racks behind doors, in keeping with the desire for sleek lines and a dust-free, non-cluttered look. There are wine fridges now available with glass fronts and LED lighting, similar to commercial fridges, for those who’d like a bit of a different look.
A lot of technology is coming through these days that allow us to use lighting creatively for both aesthetic appeal and functional purposes, especially in our kitchens. You can go to great lengths to design a fabulous kitchen, but the finishing touch – to show it all off and make it work – has got to be the lighting!
With its energy efficiency and different look, LED lighting is getting a lot of attention and is being used in an ambient way. It is also used increasingly for functional lighting, under cabinets and kickboards, inside cabinets, and so on. Of course, it’s important to make sure the main workstation areas are able to be well lit when in use. But the option of reducing to ambient lighting for other times is also favoured.
There’s nothing like good lighting to highlight and support your entire kitchen design. Smart lighting choices and positioning really puts the cherry on top of your fabulous new creation!
Call us at Impala if you have any questions or ideas you’d like to discuss. We’d be more than happy to assist. You may find or next blog post, which explains the difference between custom-made kitchens and standard modular kitchens, useful in helping you choose the perfect kitchen design for your needs.