Interior designer Claire Kneebone takes us through this year’s kitchen and colour trends.
Lately, colour trends have focused on what we view in nature and this year’s hot colour is no different, as Pantone Greenery follows last year’s warm tones, which filled the hottest interior fit outs.
Last year, the common themes were of nature, natural light, greenery and flowers translating into the colours, themes and concepts we want to live and immerse ourselves in. In previous articles, I have spoken about how, as humans, we are often quite unconsciously aware of the details we are drawn to or reject in a space but we do recognise when we enjoy being in a space and how it has the potential to make us feel elated or calm and relaxed. These are the idiosyncrasies that, when successfully implemented into a space, have the power to create an intimate connection.
Image credit: Italia Ceramics
The kitchen, for me, is the most intimate and enjoyable space of the home. Often filled with your loved ones, chatting over delicious smelling morsels sputtering on the stove, open bottles of wine on the counter top, fresh vibrant vegetables bobbing in the sink water, doors opened out onto a warm summer’s night where people are standing around the BBQ, proudly charring meat. This chaos is what makes cooking, feeding, and feasting a wonderfully generous and ceremonious experience, one that has brought people together since the beginning of humanity.
Kitchens and adjoining entertaining spaces have been transformed in their functionality; they have almost reverted back to the style of the Victorian era when there was a front-of-house and back-of-house layout of the service areas. This has allowed the kitchen to be a minimalistic, sculptural space with clean lines, streamline aesthetics and rids the showcase space of clutter. Butler’s pantries and larders are more commonly integrated into the spaces, often incorporated alongside the laundry, meaning these spaces become the working quarters where the chaos of the kitchen and preparations of the household take place behind the scenes.
As a consequence, the layout and space allocations are taking up larger percentages of the floor space in the home, with lavish wine rooms, cellars and service areas that mimic a somewhat commercial kitchen rather than that of a residential one. People are increasingly entertaining in a more extravagant way thanks to the rise of foodie culture. We are seeing the need for more storage spaces and integrated appliances. These utilitarian items are now concealed in sophisticated floor to ceiling joinery units, creating walls of secret cupboards and drawers, transforming the modern kitchen into a beautifully crafted sculptural element.
This attention to detail inherently ties into the type of finishes we are now seeing more commonly in the residential kitchen. Solid and veneered timber paneling is a prominent detail brought into the joinery, cladding walls of hidden storage and under bench drawers. This versatile material is an effective way of bringing warmth and texture into these spaces, with trends moving towards darker stained, burnt and tarnished finishes being more accepted than the traditional all-white benchtops and cupboards.
Image credit: Italia Ceramics
These warm tones of the timber are a bold contrast to the other more durable surfaces, where we are seeing the use of more matte finishes used for the benchtops and splashbacks such as formed concrete and natural stones. There are an array of interesting coloured and beautifully patterned natural stones available that we haven’t seen used in such interesting applications before. Previously, benchtops were inconspicuous. Now, it is the showcase piece of the room and flows into other parts of the house, cladding walls and joinery to accentuate the natural and organic grain of the stone, displayed like a piece of art.
More luxurious finishes like brass and mirrors are subtle highlights that can bring a contrast to these more textural finishes while lighting is increasingly incorporated to make these spaces visually spectacular. The use of recessed LED lighting under shelving and kickers bring a subtle but impressive glow to a space, where the use of bespoke pendant lights over island benches are changing the idea of the residential kitchen into a stylish hub: a place where individuals, families and visitors are drawn to; a place that represents the owner’s personal needs and desires.
Header image credit: Italia Ceramics