These kitchen trends are cooking up a storm

Redecorating the kitchen may seem a complex task, but it can equally be a rewarding one. There's so much potential to turn a drab space into a stunning area that's a pleasure to cook in. Plus, if you design the space appropriately, you can even turn it into a area for getting the kids' breakfast down them in the morning or entertaining guests by evening.

Open-plan kitchen and living spaces are still very much popular, but what other trends are making waves among home decorating professionals?

From fantastic materials to particular kitchen layouts, there's a wealth of ideas to inspire you when turning your kitchen space into a fresh new area.

Modern industrialism

Love concrete, wood and slightly unruly finishes? If these factors, coupled with straight lines tickle your fancy, you might just be a fan of the industrial interior design trend.

While the industrial trend is still very much hip, it's taken on a softer look for 2014.

For instance, rather than wood stained with deep hues, lighter shades are becoming increasingly popular. This material looks excellent in both small and large spaces and pairs well with concrete, large windows and patterned kitchen splashbacks.

Use wood wherever possible – from cupboards to your kitchen island and breakfast bar stools – and keep the walls classic with a coat of Resene Quarter Drought.

Serious about shades

Want to achieve a unique look in the kitchen without venturing down the path of overly wacky designs?

Rather than adopting a whole slew of colours in the hope your kitchen will be the Picasso of the house, take a more refined approach.

Select a single colour – whether it's a deep blue or classic maroon – and use varying shades of it in your kitchen for a unique, yet sophisticated look.

Keep the walls fresh with Resene Quarter Friar Grey and opt for simple, white tiles as your flooring option. Choose a kitchen island with a marble or soapstone countertop in a neutral hue. 

Then, use varying shades of your selected colour for kitchen cabinets, breakfast bar stool coverings and key kitchen tools, from the toaster to the kettle. This look requires a little bit of bravery, but by varying a colour just slightly, you'll feel a lot more confident about the end result.

A redefined space

It might be time to redefine your most important room with a fresh new kitchen island. 

Homeowners adamant on turning their kitchens into multipurpose spaces would be wise to consider their kitchen island options. 

Perhaps your current kitchen island is an aesthetically pleasing colour, but the overall space doesn't feel right. If you've got some room to play with, a freestanding kitchen island could be a smart move. 

Glossy black countertops are incredibly popular, and add sophistication without making the entire space closed-off. Pair an ink-black countertop with warm cream walls and glass cabinets with brushed stainless-steel fittings for a truly luxury feel. Walls painted with Resene Coconut Cream will keep the space spacious yet sophisticated.

The colour may even inspire your next cooking pursuits – Thai green curry or Singaporean laksa, anyone?

Alternatively, you may ditch the polished look, and stick with stone countertops and wooden flooring for a more organic feel.

No matter the colour scheme you settle with, be sure to arrange the space properly. If you're spending money re-doing your kitchen, you may as well get it right first time!

A centrally-located kitchen island invites family members into the space, turning the kitchen into a lively communal space for the whole household. Plus, it opens the space up – there's nothing worse than feeling crammed into the kitchen, behind a corner bench. Turning your kitchen island into a focal point with carefully placed lighting will reinvigorate the space, giving you a fantastic new look.

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