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The nine most popular new kitchen design trends in Australia right now


There's no denying that the kitchen is the hub of any contemporary home. If you utilise open plan living spaces (like all Metricon's designs do), you undoubtedly spend a tonne of time in or around your kitchen. And, when guests drop in for a visit, it's where you sit or stand to catch up these days - not the living room.

Therefore, your modern kitchen design must be top-notch. Think of how often you visit a friend's home and take notice of their kitchen style – it can be such an eye-catching feature. Similarly, real estate agents will always tell you that the two rooms that sell homes are the bathroom and – you guessed it – the kitchen.

So, if you're looking to create a contemporary kitchen filled with features, fixtures, fittings, and appliances that impress, read on to learn what is in right now. Here are the nine most popular kitchen trends in Australia right now.

1. Island-based cooktops

Kitchen islands have been overhauled in the last five years, and it's no longer a matter of deciding if you want a sink or not. Plenty of families opt for eating at their countertop during the week rather than sitting in the dining room. It's much easier to serve up where you cook, after all.

Because of this, we've seen plenty of customers opt for installing a cooktop right into their island benchtop so that you can slide dinner right off the heat and onto a serving board. You'll have a sink and faucet right next to the cooktop, too, for easy cleaning. It also means that you don't have your back to the family while preparing dinner… no more missed moments!

If you're considering a cooktop in your island countertop, we recommend increasing the depth and width of your bench so that you don't lose out of prep space. The less prep space you have, the messier things look.

2. Contrasting kitchen cabinetry

Matching cabinetry in kitchens (and around the home, for that matter) is coming to an end. You don't need an all-white kitchen anymore. These days, interior designers love playing with textures, colours and tones when installing kitchen cabinets to create an interesting focal point.

The most popular way to do this is having contrasting kitchen cabinets between upper and lower levels. For example, you can install a light wood grain up top, where you'd store glassware and dinnerware, and darker timber for cabinets under the bench where you'll store pots and pans. Going light up top is always the recommended look as it helps to ground the space.

3. Benchtop shape and size

Island benches are changing shape. You're probably used to the classic rectangle shape – after all, what other form could a bench take? Well, we're here to tell you that curves are coming back in a big way in the kitchen. Whether it's a simple curved corner or something more dramatic, kitchens are getting a little more relaxed by playing with lines.

Not only is the benchtop changing shape, but the thickness is too. Countertops are getting thinner and thinner, which helps to give your kitchen a more understated look. Understated doesn't mean you can't make an impact. You can still have a feature benchtop by using patterns such as marble, stone, and timber.

4. Stone and window splashbacks

Mirror and glass splashbacks are a thing of the past – the current trend is stone and window, and for a good reason. Stone is perfect for anyone wanting to create a more seamless look in their new kitchen. You can carry the stone from your benchtop into the splashback for a sophisticated feel and easy focal point.

Window splashbacks are the other option. They allow plenty of natural light to flood into the kitchen, a space which, in the past, relied on task lighting and pendant lights to feel bright. Windows make rooms look bigger than they appear, too, so adding a window in the kitchen is an excellent option for anyone with a smaller block.

Window backsplashes are both stylish and functional, as not only does it allow sunlight to pour it, but it looks great too. You can now see out to your outdoor area, and it's an excellent opportunity to feature some outdoor art such as a statue or a fence-mounted sculpture or a lovely tree or flowering bush. It's easy to see why they're such a popular interior design trend.

5. More kitchen storage solutions

Kitchens without adequate storage are prone to becoming messy. If there's not enough cabinetry or pantry space, food, kitchenware, and more begin to pile out. Now that the kitchen is in such a central zone, you can get caught out with a messy home whenever someone drops in. The solution? A modern butlers' pantry.

The concept of a butlers' pantry isn't new, but our approach is. Bigger is better in the butlers' pantry – it's not just about storage. You can install sinks, shelving, cooktops, and fridges within your butlers' pantry. Essentially, you're hiding the mess away within the pantry, where you can also prepare, cook, and clean. The butlers' pantry is particularly helpful for anyone who often entertains.

Depending on your kitchen layout, you can also consider adding open shelving. Open shelves are a popular choice for homeowners. They give you the option to put some items on display in your kitchen space, such as cookbooks, plants, and other trendy styling pieces.

6. Oversized sinks

Butlers' pantries are the only thing getting more extensive in the kitchen. We see more and more of our customers choose oversized sinks. These large sinks are easier to sweep your benchtop mess into, so cleaning up after cooking becomes much more manageable. You can easily fill up the sink for cleaning dishes without it overflowing and wash large items such as pots and pans without worrying about spilling soapy water.

Secondly, oversize sinks look great in any beautiful kitchen. They add a sense of grandeur to the kitchen and take it from an amateur cooking zone to something more akin to a professional restaurant space. If you want to elevate the look of your sink, you can opt for an integrated stone sink, which is built right into the benchtop.

7. Organic materials and colour schemes

Matte white cabinets with little colour or texture are rightly staying in the 00s. Frankly – they're a little boring, a touch uninspiring, and not worthy of the heart of your home in the kitchen. Instead, it's all about the natural and organic tones – stones, timbers and more.

For example, you can use natural timbers for your cabinetry, stone for your benchtops, install wooden shelving and decorate with clay, straw, and natural stone. Using organic materials results in a warmer and more inviting kitchen – which is your goal, as it's somewhere to sit, relax and enjoy time with your family and friends.

8. Rangehoods with style

This might sound strange to some – but your rangehood can be a feature, not something to hide. There are plenty of new styles available, each with an exciting and unique profile. Rather than trying to hide your rangehood, it'll become part of your overall design in the modern kitchen, with elements planned around it. They come in many shapes, sizes, and colours – but one of our favourite looks is the minimalist stainless-steel cylinder.

Rangehoods have also benefitted from advancements in technology. You'll find some new features that enhance functionality, such as auto-sensors, Wi-Fi enablement, adjustable lighting, quieter fans and more.

9. Sensor taps and microbial benchtops

The Memo Sia Sensor Gooseneck Sink Mixer Tap from Reece
The Memo Sia Sensor Gooseneck Sink Mixer Tap from Reece

In the last year or so, the way we think about hygiene has wholly changed. Every room has had advancements in cleanliness (particularly the bathroom and home office). Naturally, the modern kitchen is no exception. One of the most popular products is the sensor tap. Sensor taps allow you to wash your hands without touching the handle, so food prep becomes a whole lot safer as it removes a cross-contamination touchpoint.

Another advancement is the introduction of new materials, such as the antimicrobial benchtop. This innovative new material inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungus. This is an excellent option for all homes but a perfect choice for families with young kids who frequently drop food on the benchtop.

For more kitchen trends, check out our Image Gallery and Lookbook for kitchen design ideas. We also have plenty of information for homeowners, investors and first-time home buyers on our blog, Home Truths.