A new kitchen style
Homeowners are starting to move away from the very sleek, minimalistic look to a more warm and welcoming look that mirrors their own styles. This has seen the birth of a new kitchen style: a merge of modern and traditional elements.
The modern traditional style mixes colors, textures and materials. It's now common for contrasting materials to be used next to each other; textured timber or stainless steel with marble, or mirrors, marble and timber together on the kitchen island. And bronze, pewter and brushed nickel are starting to replace chrome handles. A kitchen renovation by Art of Kitchens that combines timber veneers, mirrors and timber recently won the 2014 HIA Kitchen of the Year by Art of Kitchens.
This style is also being reflected in kitchen shelving; while integrated appliances are still popular they are being combined with open-shelving units so homeowners can display precious or interesting knick-knacks to reflect themselves. Open shelving can be customized to make the kitchen feel alive and welcoming whilst without impacting functionality. Open shelving has the added benefit of being lighter on the budget and, if you have the right skills, installed by you.
Imperfect, touchy-feely and textured materials such as granites, engineered stones and materials that imitate raw finishes are popular as well as being easy to maintain. Popular in kitchen benchtops are materials with slight imperfections and textured finishes. Caesarstone Concrete Finishes and the new Silestone Suede Texture ranges are great examples of this.
High-gloss timber with smooth finishes is being replaced with textured timber finishes that characterize natural forms are popular and add an extra dimension to the space. Companies such as Laminex and Danzer have a great range of textured timber veneers.
Increasingly kitchens have a range of vibrant colorsmixed with subtle tones allowing for more artistic options. Both Pantones and Laminex's new seasons predictions reflect a greater range of vibrant colors to reflect your unique style: "The soothing tones of jades, pinks and purples with the grandeur colorsof Chinese regal reds and bold hues of gold, create balance and a laid-back ambiance. "
Another trend becoming popular is using wallpaper your kitchen. Subtle use of the right wallpaper can help to balance other materials in the kitchen as well as providing additional contrast, texture and interest.
It's worth investigating what's new in kitchen technologies as it's likely they have changed dramatically. There have been great innovations in all aspects of kitchen design in the last 10 years, not just kitchen appliances. Companies such as Blum have made huge advances on internal cabinet hardware and shelving systems.
Ideabooks and visual bookmarking
There's also been many innovations in how we go about planning our kitchen renovation. Websites that allow you to develop ideabooks (or scrapbooks) such as Pinterest and Houzz are a great method to keep all your ideas in the one spot. Simply find photos that appeal to you and add them to your Ideabook.