A popular wood-based panel products manufacturer and supplier suggests there are three prevailing kitchen trends to be aware of, whether building from scratch or upgrading an existing space.
- Colours and combinations
“There’s also a move towards more individuality than ever before in kitchens,” says Jason Wells, Brand & Marketing Manager at PG Bison.
“There was a time when the trend in kitchens was to do everything in white – doors, carcasses and appliances. But over the years, we’ve seen white appliances move to a stainless-steel finish and now even matt black, pastels and limited-edition designs in partnership with fashion designers or artists.
“Kitchen cabinets, carcasses and countertops have also evolved, from the all-white approach through one-tones into a more complex palette. With the availability of fresh new colours and designs to compliment modern spaces and lifestyles, kitchen design is becoming more and more sophisticated.”
He adds that pale greens, blues and darker grey and carbon solid colours are in vogue.
“We’re seeing designers mix and match solid colours and wood grains to create visual interest through the combination of tones and textures,” he says.
“For example, matt grey pairs beautifully with a textured natural wood. Gloss white, which also remains very popular, can be used with a solid colour and a wood-texture as accents for a stylish three-tone space. We’re definitely seeing designers mixing more finishes, so using a combination of matt, gloss and texture to create a beautiful and tactile experience.”
Customers and designers are also upping the sophistication and feeling of luxury in kitchens by using coloured carcasses instead of the traditional white “inners”.
International design shows, such as The Block Australia, Grand Designs and Amazing Interiors, have also popularised kitchens with character and retro colour palettes.
- All the shades of grey
“We’re seeing a huge trend towards kitchens in darker colours, particularly in matt finishes,” says Wells. “As a company, we have even expanded the range of greys we offer to meet the market demand. We have added Folkstone Grey, Dunblane Grey, Storm Grey and Kalapana, as well as some textured designs with a grey undertone.”
The availability of matt surfaces has made the use of darker tones in kitchens more fashionable. Matt surfaces don’t reflect light in the uniform way high-gloss surfaces do. This subdues the darker tones and prevents them from making a space feel oppressive.
“Matt shades tend to scatter light randomly, reducing reflections to negligible levels,” says Wells. “This means they’re easier on our senses and experienced as calming. They are therefore ideal for creating calm in living and working spaces. Soft matt surfaces also provide a counterpoint to the glare from the many digital devices we tend to be surrounded with in our daily lives, and they echo many natural, untouched materials, which human beings tend to find soothing.”
Wells says that matt products are versatile in that they can be used to introduce much darker colours effectively either as a base or as an accent feature.
“We’re seeing designers opting for much darker greys and charcoal colours in a matt finish and accenting it with a wood-grain or stone-finish design.”
For example, the company’s premium matt product, MelaWood SupaMatt, adds a touch of “elegance to any setting with its silky-smooth look”.
- Nature-inspired surfaces
Marble is enjoying a huge revival. However, it remains too pricey for many people’s budgets. Thankfully, Wells says, improvements in digital scanning and printing, as well as in manufacturing, mean that ultra-realistic finishes are now available in high-pressure laminates (HPL) and melamine-faced boards (MFB), with options that capture the look of marble, granite, stone and timber, in a diverse range to suit every taste.
HPL is used for countertops (including the supplier’s Formica LifeSeal Worktops), while MFB is typically used for cabinetry.
“These are not the options of old, which weren’t necessarily a realistic reproduction of the original material,” he says. “Modern products look incredibly true-to-life and we’re seeing designers incorporating touches of marble- or timber-look into kitchens in all sorts of interesting ways, from centre islands to shelving and backing in cabinets with glass doors and internal lighting. There’s a world of possibilities available, without the hefty price point.”
PG Bison’s Azzano and Caldera designs mimic white marble with a black vein and a dark marble with lighter texturing respectively. Both are proving very popular in the market.
“For people who aren’t sure where to start, check out our 360° showroom online where we’ve loaded a range of kitchen designs in different styles (www.pgbison.co.za/inspiration-gallery#residential) to help narrow down what you like,” says Wells.
“If something appeals, users can then choose to edit the design in a free kitchen design tool to customise it for their own space and needs.”