It’s hard not to fall in love with striking details when you’re designing a home. Here are the top five kitchen trends Shannon’s specifying at the moment

1marble

Marble was absolutely massive last year with everyone and everything in on the act. We saw beautiful calacatta and carrara benchtops and splashbacks, and literally everything else, too – candles, clocks, coasters, coffee tables and more. Luxe veined marble was the ‘must have’ material to bring that bit of bling. There are some gorgeous genuine and faux marble tiles available, but I think because it’s now such a saturated market, the marble look may fade away in the years to come. Refined marble is still a hot-ticket item right now but look out for a bit more of an organic coloured and veined stone look with onyx and granite starting to make
their way into our spaces this year.

2shiplap

Shiplap is the grooved timber panelling that has been very on trend for the past couple of years. It might be because I see bare plasterboard every other day but I’m sick to death of it, and bevelled cladding is a breath of fresh air. Painted shiplap brings a hint of character to a cooking zone and even paired with plain plasterboard, it will add loads of charm to an otherwise blank surface. This simple finish is perfect for adding that last layer to a practical kitchen that needs that something extra.

Image courtesy of Urban Couture Design + Homewares

3natural finishes

We live in an increasingly fast-paced world, where everything needs to happen five minutes ago and that one chance to relax is a constantly shrinking opportunity. So when we come home after a hectic day in the office or on the tools, we want our home to be a bubble of peace. Yes, I’m aware that a screaming three-year-old can quickly destroy said bubble, but let’s pretend that a home can be a place of peace and serenity. Natural finishes in the hub of the home create a calming palette and the right balance is key to a peaceful relationship between the elements in a space. Timber brings warmth and life to a room, and polished or honed concrete and stone can balance this perfectly for an earthy feel. Tumbled brass and tarnished copper bring that raw element whilst still having a hint of toughness needed as a contrast to softer tones. With the right amount of layering, all these elements will come together to help achieve that zen-like feel we all need in our homes.

4bold colour combos

The Dulux colour forecast this year sees us diving into a world of bold pinks, blues and browns. About time, too! If I see another home that’s white on white on white, I’ll keel over. Personality in a space is paramount, and nothing can bring that in like colour can. We saw hints of feature colour in the kitchens on The Block last year, and I’m excited to see where we head next. Be it lush green on the walls of your open cooking/dining zone or that hot apricot seat that you saw on Instagram, colour-bombing your life will bring a smile. Desert colours are hot to trot, and I love a two-toned wall or pastel hits in a kitchen. Soft pinks and deep blues see us steer away from the ‘safe’ neutrals but not all bright colours are winners. Make sure they’re muted and deep, and balance striking colour with softer shades and subtle tones.

5clever appliances

Smart design is crucial to any space, and that not only applies to the room as a whole but the specific elements. Kitchens are ever-evolving, and it’s good to see cleverly designed appliances making their way into our lives.

Neff’s ‘Slide&Hide’ ovens let the oven door open and retract into the unit to free up space, which is very handy in small kitchens. It’s such a simple and brilliant idea. We saw the ovens pop up on The Block last year and they made a huge and lasting impression. Smeg has a great range of chic induction cooktops and ovens that almost disappear into a like-toned benchtop and cabinetry, great for that minimalistic and seamless look. While we’re on the topic, induction is another trend that went from strength to strength last year. Sleek, super efficient and easy to clean – it’s easy to see why the induction cooktop has risen to the top of keen entertainers’ wishlists.

Rangehoods have been a necessary evil for ducting our cooktops, but the emergence of downdraft systems provides the opportunity to get rid of overhead cabinets or a bulky exhaust fan above a cooktop. Gaggenau (pictured) and Bora integrate their gas and induction cooktops with an inclusive ventilation system to extract smells and vapours from the cooktop. Great if you want that sleek minimalist look, doing away with visually intrusive rangehoods.