Happy New Year from the Complete Home Team. We hope you all had wonderful summer breaks, and that you're refreshed and excited for a year of renovations, redecorating and redesigning. We definitely are.
It's been an interesting couple of years for the humble kitchen. Since starting work in this industry I feel like what I learnt about kitchens as a kid and teen has changed so much; traditionally kitchens have been about food, its preparation, mess and cleaning up this mess. It seemed very simple at first. But the world is changing, and with that kitchens are changing too.
Apparently we have bid farewell to the formal dining room, and taking its place is the previously humble kitchen. The kitchen has become the hub of entertainment, conversation, dining, and design. And of course, home designs now accommodate for this; kitchens are open plan, they flow onto the living room, or even into the outside area. Kitchens also allow far more space - long benches that run around the room, large islands with a lot of room surrounding, and endless storage options for all those many appliances we have (rice cookers and pizza ovens take up a lot of room).
But not only is the space affected - the design itself has changed. Design in the kitchen is expected to impress and relax guests, so clean lines and minimalist colours are constant favourites. Other things are added - interesting lighting above eating spaces, bar stools along benches, and nearby music consoles. Kitchens now have to balance an appearance of effortless cool.
This is due to the change in entertaining at home; apparently the dinner party's of the 1980's are out (who would have thought) and casual (but perfect) dinners are in. With the years of the GFC, eating out has limited appeal. So instead we invite friends over for a casual stir fry or a bottle of wine with finger food. Casual entertaining is the current favourite and our kitchens reflect this.
So what are the essentials to having a kitchen that looks amazing but also makes guests feel relaxed and "at home"?
- What I've learnt from designers is that white is an absolute favourite - white Caesarstone benchtops, and glass topped tables work a treat. Easily wiped down, hard wearing, and with tables that look that good (and wear so well) naff tablecloths are no longer needed. Just a very simple set of placemats.
- Large windows, hopefully showcasing your beautiful backyard, to let a lot of light and air into the room.
- Pop up powerpoints in your benches will also be a lifesaver with the amount of appliances we can run these days.
- If simple white isn't interesting enough for your, consider coloured or patterned glass splash backs - there are many beautiful options nowadays, from pale pastels to striking brights.
- Consider a tap worthy of the new millennium; there are heaps of taps now that not only give filtered water, but instant boiling, chilled, hot, cold, and sparkling filtered water (and with security locks so your kids wont touch the boiling but can happily enjoy the sparkling). Consider Zip or Billi.
For more information on kitchen designs, check out our designers and their projects at Complete Home. Also take a look at the Outdoor designers for some future alfresco inspiration.