The kitchen is well and truly the heart of the modern home, and many people focus on it first when undergoing renovations. Whether you're building a new home from scratch, gutting your existing kitchen and starting over or are simply looking for inspiration to add a few new additions to this room, here's a look at what's currently hot in the world of kitchen design.
Forget Formica and tile – the hottest new surfaces for kitchen counters are granite and quartz. Granite has a beautiful, strong natural colour palette and an incredibly tough and durable surface. It resists scratches, stains and heat, so it's the perfect choice for your new kitchen. It's also a great protector against mould and mildew, keeping your kitchen cleaner and safer.
The speckled and swirled finish of granite adds a point of difference to both traditional and modern kitchens, so don't be afraid to branch out from the typical tiled finish when thinking benchtops!
Quartz benches are similarly strong and hard-wearing, with resistance to abrasions and a hygienic, non-porous surface.
Neutral colour schemes
Kitchens in soft, neutral colours are still incredibly popular. Consider painting walls in an understated cream shade like Resene Thorndon Cream and let stainless steel appliances do the talking with sleek, silver accents on cupboards and other furnishings. If you like a seamless, uniform approach in your kitchen, hide appliances under cleverly designed drawers and cupboards to keep them out of sight.
If you have the ability to splash out on one big luxury item in your kitchen, make sure it earns its place as a cooking wonder too. Chef's stoves and ovens are popular among foodies who want to create gourmet meals at home quickly and easily. They're also larger in size than standard appliances, meaning you can entertain the masses from the comfort of your own home.
Large fridges and freezers can also revolutionise the way you cook and store food. If you often cook at home and love preparing meals for others, a bit of extra space can be a godsend. Many new fridges now come with built-in ice makers and dispensers, so those who love a cold drink should look into these appliances.
Coffee makers, blenders and juicers are smaller devices that still pack a serious punch when it comes to simplifying your kitchen processes.
Wide open spaces
Modern kitchens are no longer relegated to a closed-off room tucked away at the end of the house. These days, they are often placed right at the heart of the home, with living and dining areas combined into one free-flowing space. This allows hosts to entertain and mingle with guests while preparing a meal, so no one's left out at a dinner party.
Pops of colour
In contrast to the trend for neutral colour schemes is the one for small hints of colour. These can show up on bright splash backs or feature walls painted in a contrasting hue.