In anticipation of Decorex Joburg 2015, Decorex asked some of this year’s kitchen exhibitors what trends to look out for in coming months
The heart of the home
One of the biggest trends in kitchen design over recent years has been the shift from purely functional workspace to social living room, says Heidi Arenstein, owner of Future Classics, a Morningside-based kitchen and furniture design company. According to Arenstein, “The boundaries between living, working, dining, playing and relaxing are becoming increasingly blurred and, as a reflection of this, today’s kitchens are predominantly open plan, leading directly into and being an integral part of the home’s main living areas.”
The magic of marble
Marble’s effortless elegance and enduring appeal, is thankfully, no longer the preserve of those with diamond-encrusted pockets. Cool monochromatic marbling signals the desire for ‘real’ materials. “An unapologetic hand is evident where today’s marble surfaces are applied,” explains Lisa Aspeling, advertising manager for kitchen and surfaces giant, Caesarstone. “Engineered marble – such as the polished quartz Calacatta Nuvo and Frosty Carrina ranges from Caesarstone – is no longer reserved for choice accents and, instead, is being used in vast swathes to clad everything from walls to entire kitchen islands.”
The power of touch
“The global yearning for ‘honest’, natural and tactile elements is interpreted in kitchens in the release of authentic materials that have texture and depth to them,” says Philip Richards, brand manager at Blu-line specialist kitchen architects. According to Richards, raised cut veneer – where there is a distinct texture – as well as certain metals and worktop textures, like flamed granite and concrete, are very popular. “Porcelain stone, used as door and cladding finishes, as well as matt textured glass are also the most current materials being used. And customised aluminium doors are another new trend offering that essential luxury element,” he says.
An integrated approach
“The modern kitchen is a collaboration of various zones all needing to work in harmony,” maintains Richards, explaining that cooking and prep functions need to be able to be performed in conjunction with the social and activity functions that are demanded by the modern kitchen. “Whether the space is small or large, attention must be given to the allocation of critical kitchen tasks, achieved through breaking the kitchen into various zones,” he says. “Looking at the internals of the kitchen, then, functional cabinetry does not only mean having drawers instead of shelves but, rather, having those drawers equipped with the necessary internal divisions to maximise storage and ease of use.”
An exercise in efficiency
“With living space at a premium nowadays, compact kitchens are an increasing reality, presenting the challenge of creating functional yet beautiful small workplaces fitted with hardworking multifunctional tools,” says Clinton Soutter, national sales manager for Franke SA. “The key here is to not allow space restrictions to limit the possibilities of design and to create kitchens in which performance and aesthetics are in perfect harmony,” adds Soutter.
For more of 2015’s biggest kitchen trends, not to mention the chance to see the very latest state-of-the-art kitchen products and appliances, be sure to visit Decorex Joburg, from 6-10 August at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand.