The kitchen is the heart of a home, the place where the party inevitably ends up and the space that accommodates everything from culinary adventures to entertaining and socialising with family and friends.
A well-designed kitchen that is as stylish as it is functional can truly make a home. Now, more than ever, clients are looking for open plan kitchens that are sleek and easy to clean. There is also a move towards built-in smart appliances and personalisation.
Olya Yemchenko, Senior Brand Communications Manager at home appliances brand Gaggenau, says the design of a kitchen “is pinnacle to how a space is used and the overall functionality”.
“Open plan kitchens are increasingly popular as many people opt to integrate it with the other living areas,” she says.
To accommodate this “hunger for integrated”, Gaggenau has expanded its modern kitchen design offerings.
“Bespoke kitchen design requires appliances that are built-in and operate in harmony with their environments, showcasing sleek aesthetics and reflecting personal cooking styles and preferences,” she adds.
“Colours, cabinetry and splashbacks all contribute to the personal style of the kitchen but it’s important to take into consideration the large appliances that will feature, such as ovens, dishwashers and fridges”.
These appliances are usually integrated within the cabinetry, so it’s crucial that the kitchen’s design and layout incorporate the style and size of each appliance.
Gaggenau clients are seeking out kitchen appliances that offer a combination of different cooking methods such as Gaggenau’s Combi-Steam Oven. The latest models feature three standalone functionalities including a convection oven for traditional fan forced cooking and baking, the ability to combine hot air with different humidity levels and a steam oven with adjustable pressureless steam. It also has a fully automatic self-cleaning system, 13 heating methods, TFT touch display, sous-vide function, LED lights, full surface grill behind glass ceramic, core temperature probe, automatic programs and a handleless, automatic side door opening.
Tony Tan, one of Australia’s most respected chefs and culinary teachers, says
when he needs things done fast, it is ideal to have appliances that offer a combination of different cooking methods such as Gaggenau’s multifunctional Combi-Steam Oven.
“My Gaggenau Combi-Steam Oven allows me to roast and to steam, achieving amazing results in a single appliance,” he says.
Vastly expanding cooking options by combining humidity (steam) with convection (dry heat circulated by fans), this innovative appliance cooks more evenly while retaining the essential nutrients of your ingredients. Once found only in professional kitchens, the Combi-Steam Oven was introduced by Gaggenau into the private home 20 years ago.
“It’s perfect for your kitchen design and you can create a space that is smart with excellent flow where every meal is a pleasure to cook,” Tan says.
Other appliances in hot demand include Gaggenau’s Vario Cooling 400 series, an impressive collection of fully integrated, built-in, modular fridge-freezers and wine climate cabinets.
“The progressive design of this range presents a statement in any kitchen, while maintaining integral professional capabilities,” Yemchenko says.
The Vario 400 cooling series is the first modular system made from fully integrated built-in appliances. This means refrigerators, freezers, fridge-freezer combinations and wine cabinets can be combined in countless variations to form an elegant cooling wall. The final look can be completely personalised to your client’s taste. They can choose stainless steel cladding, glass, or even have the refrigerator disappear behind their kitchen furniture. The doors can come with or without handles, but an assisted opening mechanism means a gentle push is all it takes to open them.
Marketing, Strategy and Innovation Director at Zip Water, Mike Abbott agrees that sleek design and function remain a top priority for consumers when designing their dream kitchen.
“Personalisation has also been a big trend, with people wanting to customise their kitchen to suit their personal tastes,” he says.
Abbot says a perfect example of this in action is the Zip HydroTap which offers instant boiling, chilled and sparkling water at the touch of a button. The smart tap that gives homeowners the freedom to create preferred settings for energy modes and usage within a few touches using an optimised menu. It also has enhanced hygiene control thanks to the addition of SteriTouch on the new antimicrobial touchpad, providing an added layer of safety and protection by preventing the growth of bacteria.
“Zip HydroTap also comes with seven options of finishes, including matte black and brushed rose gold. This combination of technology and design provides the ultimate personalised experience,” Abbot says.
The smart appliance has simple, intuitive controls including continuous flow to fill bottles.
“Zip HydroTap is fast becoming a standard feature in luxury kitchens. All-in-one taps that deliver filtered boiling, chilled and sparkling, plus hot and cold water instantly are becoming a must-have item for many homeowners,” he said.
“The right tap can instantly elevate a kitchen, providing a beautiful focal point in the heart of the home, adding another layer of decorative interest to the room”.
When it comes to choosing the colour palette for kitchens ABI Interiors believes many homeowners are up for introducing some bolder colours.
“As we spend more time indoors, adding colour to interior spaces is becoming popular to enhance mood and bring colours of nature indoors,” ABI Interiors Co-Founder Luli Farrell said.
Abi Interiors specialises in high-end, statement tapware and has just released a new Aura Collection which stars their statement Elysian Kitchen Mixer in six new earth-toned colours that “merge art and function”.
“After spending so much time indoors, we realised we needed to find a way to integrate the natural and built world. Biophilic design helps build a bridge between those two states, and we wanted to contribute to that connection with this range,” Farrell explains.
“In the Aura Collection, the combination of organic shapes and natural colours helps deliver a sense of nature into our spaces,” she said.
“Fixtures can become art too. It’s a small detail that does not require an entire overhaul of your house while still making a lasting impact”.
When it comes to selecting kitchen finishes, such as benchtops, it’s no surprise that in our post-covid world, the ability to sanitise a surface has never been more important. Independent distributor of timber and decorative surface materials Forest 1 has seen this reflected in recent kitchen renovations, with a growing number of Australians opting for easy to clean kitchen finishes, such as stone benchtops.
“Though easy to clean, stone can be expensive to install and fix,” Forest 1’s Marketing Coordinator Mia Piotrowski explains.
“Laminate has come a long way in the past few years, meaning more people are utilising this material throughout their home to create beautiful spaces”.
Piotrowski says a great example of this is EGGER’s new PerfectSense Matt Laminate and Panels which offers the latest in surface technology.
EGGER PerfectSense Matt is resistant to stains, scratches, heat and chemicals, and is incredibly hygienic with its antibacterial surface property in accordance with ISO22196.
“With minimal cleaning effort, EGGER PerfectSense provides users with a low-maintenance solution, ensuring that a pristine finish is always achieved,” she says.
PerfectSense reduces the need for cleaning with its superior fingerprint and smudge resistance, making it the perfect surface finish for the kitchen.
“For designers and architects that look to achieve a dark aesthetic, the anti-fingerprint property of PerfectSense Matt is particularly advantageous, leaving fingerprints unseen while also withstanding coarser scratches”.
The collection began with solid colours and now includes material reproductions, partly with a pearlescent effect that especially enhances matt decors.
EGGER PerfectSense Matt offers nine beautifully curated decors as panels expanding to eleven in the laminate.
Mia also noted that design is no longer just about looks these days with more and more people incorporating sustainable products into their designs. With a mission to reduce its carbon footprint and minimise waste, each EGGER PerfectSense core is made from 80 percent renewable resources, while 67 percent is composed of by-products within the sawmill industry.
According to Caesarstone, another emerging kitchen trend in kitchen design is the rise of the alfresco kitchen. Caesarstone said people are designing spaces where the alfresco kitchen becomes a natural extension of the interior kitchen. To create an uninterrupted flow, customers are wanting to use similar materials and colour palettes for both cooking areas.
To meet this desire Caesarstone has released an all-new outdoor quartz surface known as Caesarstone Outdoor. The new range means that the very same surface can be used for both interior and exterior kitchens.
Caesarstone Outdoor relies on a newly developed resin to create a quartz surface with an unprecedented level of resistance to harsh weather conditions, enabling homeowners to seamlessly link indoor kitchens to alfresco kitchens, BBQ areas and poolside bars.
Caesarstone says the initial release of three colours ensures most architectural styles and colour palettes are well served. The Palm Shade is a classic look of white marble; Clearskies a beautifully soft Beton grey and Midday emulates the tinted white of a concrete base.
As with all other Caesarstone surfaces,Caesarstone Outdoor requires no sealing and is highly durable, being non-porous, stain resistant and scratch resistant.
In addition, Caesarstone Outdoor is UV resistant so will not fade. Another plus is ease of maintenance, simply clean with soap and water.
According to Caesrstone, independent testing has revealed that this new surface outperforms the more traditional outdoor materials such as granite, ceramic, concrete and stainless steel in terms of performance and resistance to weathering.
Another major trend Caesarstone has seen in kitchen design is the evolution of the island bench. Island benches are now often designed with multiple levels so that they become truly multi-functional and offer maximum storage to keep the kitchen clutter free. This also means homeowners can cut much or all the wall cabinetry in the rest of the kitchen to keep things sleek and minimalist.
On-trend kitchens may look simpler and more refined than ever before but behind the sleek, stylish, and deceptively simple open plan facade, you’ll uncover an impressive range of built-in smart appliances offering personalisation and functionality on a level never seen before in the home kitchen.