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Kitchen designs of the future

You’ve watched enough home renovation shows to be confident your knowledge of current kitchen trends is second to none. But learn what the experts think about kitchen designs of the future.

Liam Murphy is a man who knows his pilaster from his plinth.

A 30-year veteran of the kitchen design and manufacturing sector, he is familiar with the principal of the kitchen work triangle and recognises that clever design is of critical importance when it comes to producing a workable kitchen space that is both elegant and functional.

Murphy founded his multi award-winning company Kitchens by Design (KBD) in 2007 as an alternative to established kitchen companies that had a greater focus on trying to shift product than they did on good design.

It works by allowing homeowners to work with seasoned interior kitchen designers to offer a package that includes plans, elevations, plumbing and electrical details as well as a schedule of materials and finishes. Clients can then either choose to have KBD project manage the build or renovation on their behalf or take the design to market and source their own quotes.

Typically charging anywhere from $1,700 to $3,500 to design a kitchen, Murphy has noticed a number of design trends come and go over the years but says convenience, clever colour usage and customisation are the key words of the future.

While in previous years clients were opting for a more industrial look – selecting stainless steel appliances, white cabinets and bench tops – in the latter part of 2018 Murphy says he is witnessing a complete reversal.

“Clients now are experimenting with more earthier-type colour palettes. They’re going for wood veneers, natural looking bench tops and more integrated looks. They are also choosing to hide appliances behind joinery to make them appear more like furniture.”

Murphy’s observations are in keeping with some of the larger kitchen design specialists who say modern kitchens are evolving from rooms of purpose to developing personalities of their own – particularly when they are housed in relatively small locations.

Minimalism is out and clever and creative ways to offer the illusion of space is in.

Owing to the amount of storage space they offer, together with their innate ability to declutter a space that never quite seems big enough, the walk-in butler-style pantry is expected to remain ever green, say designers.

From a hardware perspective integrated appliances and concealed small appliances are key with a streamline hidden kitchen accessible for most budget types.

Induction cooktops and integrated pantry units, range hoods and gas hobs with pitt cooking are likely to prove popular while freestanding ovens are bucking the integration trend, demanding grand feature status independently.

When it comes to all things cabinetry, designers say oversized knobs and profile doors are the looks of choice this season.

They say large round timber cabinet knobs are becoming a force to be reckoned with, either being colour-matched to existing cabinetry or being applied in a contrasting colour as a means of adding character.

Murphy appears to be right on the money in terms of finishes with tactile natural stone and engineered quartz stone expected to prove popular among those wanting to build on-trend kitchens.

Having grown in popularity significantly since making an early appearance on high profile renovation show The Block, many are predicting matte finishes for doors and benchtops will continue to dominate over the next few months.

Bringing a natural warmth to the kitchen, the matte texture is credited by many designers as helping to make the sometimes “sterile” kitchen space feel more natural and organic.

No matter what your motivation for designing a kitchen, Murphy says it’s always important to design for the style most suited to your needs – and not just to keep up with the Joneses.

“For some homeowners it can be important to design for trends. But I think trends are most relevant when you are designing for investment or to sell. If you are designing for yourself we would encourage you to go for a classic design with personalised elements.”

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