More versatility in contemporary kitchens

The clinical look of ever-popular white is softened by woodgrain laminate.
The clinical look of ever-popular white is softened by woodgrain laminate.
Dark cabinetry offset by natural materials and accessories introduces a country feel to a modern...
Dark cabinetry offset by natural materials and accessories introduces a country feel to a modern house.
Kitchens are the heart of a home; that’s not news. The open plan kitchen/living area is where everything happens, and the sterile, clinical kitchen is giving way to a more welcoming and liveable space where a variety of materials, colours, and textures sit side by side.

Karen Musk, senior design consultant for Palazzo Kitchens in Dunedin, is enjoying this new versatility and the challenge of designing to each client’s style and needs.

Come and meet her at Palazzo’s stand (no 26) at the Great Kiwi Home & Living Show. Whether you need a small corner of your living area in which to heat takeaways or a workspace capable of large-scale catering, Karen will be able to advise you.

Manufactured in Germany, the Palazzo range is up with the latest international trends.

“Classic white is still popular but the look can be softened by adding warmer, more natural elements like wood and amazingly natural wood-look laminate,” she says.

Natural prints and natural shapes in furniture design complement this look.

Laminates come in an almost infinite variety of textures, patterns and colours. They are a tremendously versatile option for walls, benchtops, and cabinets, and Karen often mixes and matches them in the kitchens she designs, so each one is unique.

Cost-effective matt-textured laminates are increasingly popular for benchtops as people tire of wiping fingermarks off shiny surfaces, but polished granite, famously durable, is still popular. Other desirable benchtop materials include engineered stone, acrylics and stainless steel.

As the kitchen becomes an extension of the living area, more colour is appearing. More New Zealanders are now comfortable with pops of colour for shelving, a splashback or a feature wall. For cabinets, there is a trend to the more neutral and moody shades; charcoal and black are also extremely popular at the moment.

Practicality and environmental concerns have seen a downturn in interest in the traditional ceramic butler’s sink, double sinks and waste-disposal units. One popular alternative is a single large sink with a smaller plugged ‘eco sink’ suspended over it as needed.

The right appliances are crucial. “Induction cooktops are definitely a popular choice, being fast, safe, and extremely easy to clean, and gas is making comeback as more people go off-grid,” Karen says.

Fridges, freezers, and dishwashers now come with many special features. While fridges are getting larger, dishwashers, which may be hidden behind cabinet fronts if required, are catering for half as well as full loads.

With features to suit every need and every décor, today’s kitchen is truly a versatile and integrated part of our living space.

Add a Comment