The kitchen is widely regarded as the centre of the home. It is the place where family and friends gather to celebrate and enjoy valuable time together. With the continued success of reality cooking shows on television it has also become popular to have a kitchen that has the very latest in design and technology - so that you too can create restaurant quality dishes in your very own home.
In April, some of our residential designers were lucky enough to attend EuroCucina in Milan, Italy. This renowned international kitchen fair is held every two years and showcases the very latest in kitchen trends and design to an international audience from the world's leading brands. This year's event attracted more than 120 exhibitors and over 400,000 people from all around the world.
Metricon's Senior Residential Designer Ricky D'Alesio considered his experience at EuroCucina was a "truly amazing and eye opening experience", adding that this year's event "set the stage for new and innovative products for kitchens. No expense was spared by exhibitors, each stand was unique and each exhibitor pushed the boundaries".
Above: The latest kitchen trends at EuroCucina 2016
Ricky says that in terms of the top kitchen trends that he noted at this year's event there were two distinctive themes that stood out. The first kitchen trend he noticed was the kitchen space integrating or merging with living zones, while the second was about the use of technology in the kitchen. Ricky says that "technology is becoming a very integral part of kitchens and is influencing how we use the kitchen space."
Some of the other kitchen trends that Ricky noted at EuroCucina 2016 included an emphasis on minimal design, such as fine line doors, thin top bench tops and kitchens without handles and minimalist clean joinery. There was also lots of natural stone and porcelain on show, especially in kitchen door fronts and bench tops.
When it comes to kitchen trends the increasing use of technology was evident with technology appearing more widely in kitchen designs, with examples including iPhone docking stations and induction cooktops integrated into kitchen bench tops. Another noticeable trend was the use of metal or metallic finishes in kitchen door fronts, overhead cupboards and shelving. This year it seemed that metallic finishes were everywhere in kitchen design.
Above: innovative kitchen design ideas at EuroCucina 2016
In terms of what we can look forward to in Australia there are plenty of new and exciting things coming our way in kitchen design, with Ricky noting the trend for "more use of open shelving in kitchen design. The whole idea of showing off items in these spaces was a highlight. There was also a trend to incorporate overhead joinery or shelves above island benches."
It was also refreshing to see a focus on bringing the outside in, with an emphasis on "incorporating greenery into both the kitchen and bathroom space, with green the standout colour of the show." When it comes to materials Ricky noticed that "3-6mm stone panels were used in abundance. The Calcutta stone or lookalike porcelain was the hero of the show".
Ricky says that it is important to attend these sorts of events because it allows Metricon to remain market leaders in the home design and building industry, "looking beyond our own backyard and opening up our mind to European trends ensures we push the boundaries further in kitchen and bathroom designs."
For further ideas on kitchen trends, you might also be interested in how tiled splashbacks are making a return in the kitchen and why Butlers' Pantries are a great addition to any modern kitchen.
If you want to be kept up to date on any all the latest in kitchen design ideas then please sign up to our newsletter. For further inspiration on kitchens then make sure you head over to the Gallery on our website, or our Kitchen Inspiration Pinterest page where you will find plenty of stunning images that will inspire you when bringing your own beautiful kitchen to life.