The kitchen has always been called the heart of the home, providing a comforting space where people gather to cook and enjoy food. Yet it is an ever-evolving room, growing and changing in response to peoples’ lifestyles and tastes.
There is no denying that over time the kitchen has become an even more vital part of the family home. In fact, in a recent G.J. Gardner Homes survey in New South Wales, more than half of people (58 per cent) said the kitchen was the most important room in their house.
While once solely used for cooking, kitchens now make up part of the living area and have become a meeting place for families, as they are no longer closed off from the rest of the house. We find people really want a home where the kitchen, living room and dining room all flow together to create a space in which the whole family can come together to cook, work or relax.
Not only have kitchens transformed into more open plan and spacious living areas, but interior trends have also changed to embrace modern lifestyles. Where once there would have been wooden bench tops and vibrant, garish colours, today’s kitchen features are softer and use more neutral colours.
Kitchen islands have become one of the most popular features today, adding complexity to open plan living and offering a new way for people to socialise in the kitchen. Along with their trendy and stylish look, kitchen islands also provide functional access to the kitchen and sought-after extra storage and bench space.
Another contemporary feature, which is becoming increasingly common, is the butler’s pantry. Having an enclosed, out-of-the-way pantry to house all manner of ingredients is every cook’s dream, offering a touch of extravagance to the family kitchen. While a butler’s pantry can be a bit of an indulgence, in our experience people also find it extremely practical, as it provides additional storage and bench space to keep all those small messy appliances that would otherwise be cluttering up cupboards or lying out in the open.
On top of these modern conveniences, people often look for something special to add that extra touch of luxury and style. Lighting can transform the kitchen from ordinary to a truly sophisticated space. Under cabinet lighting is not only functional, but helps illuminate an area that would otherwise be shadowy and dark. Pendant lights over island benches also add to the designer look and, depending on the fitting, can act as an aesthetic focus of the kitchen.
As for counter tops, light benches are the most popular style choice, as they offer a bright and clean look and go with any surrounding décor. People need to keep in mind though that while natural stone benches like marble and granite look beautiful, they are too porous, which means you have to be extremely careful when it comes to spills and stains – something you don’t want to be worrying about in today’s hectic lifestyle. Quartz, however, offers both a stylish finish combined with stain resistant and hygienic properties, making it the best choice for bench tops.
Another interesting trend we have noticed is that people increasingly want the biggest and the best appliances to make their dream kitchen complete. Double door and French door fridges are extremely common these days in family homes. They provide more than enough storage space and get rid of the need for a second fridge downstairs or in the garage, while also coming with features like filtered cold water and the convenience of an automatic icemaker.
With more and more importance placed on the family kitchen and lifestyles becoming even busier and more varied, we can easily expect to see designs evolve over the next few years to encompass more new and exciting trends.
The information provided in this article is of a general nature only and in no way constitutes legal or professional advice, or specific advice in relation to any finance. In all cases we recommend you receive professional financial advice for your own personal circumstances.