The tailored interior designer known for his sexy, sleek and fresh signature style may typically have a black and white approach to design, but when it comes to forecasting the big kitchen trends for 2018, Greg Natale has a more colourful, ‘made to be seen’ outlook.
Here, Greg shares his eight big kitchen trend forecasts for the year ahead.
1. Coloured Kitchens
You read right – colour! “There’s definitely a big trend toward coloured kitchens, and in particular ‘non-white’ kitchens,” explains Greg. “We’re seeing black kitchens, navy blue, chocolate brown, green…” And it’s not just accent colours Greg is referring to, although coloured appliances are certainly taking centre stage on kitchen benchtops around the country. “We’re seeing colour on fixed cupboards, floors, walls and major items including fridges and ovens,” adds Greg. The future is bold!
2. Mixing metals
If the ‘all stainless steel’ look feels a tad clinical to you, you’ll love this trend. “One of the biggest kitchen trends we’re seeing is mixing metals – it’s no longer all about ‘just stainless steel’,” explains Greg. “Brass is hot at the moment, although I’ve been using it for about 10 years! Brass and bronze door and draw handles, black ovens … I’m mixing brass with coloured metal appliances, too. SMEG have an awesome range of coloured metal appliances in black, white, red, blue, mint and more which look great mixed with other metals like brass, silver and bronze.”
Adios, white tiles and concrete floors, it’s time to make room for some fancy pattern. “We are definitely using pattern in kitchens a lot more, particularly patterned tiles and splashbacks,” says Greg. And the trend is set to continue. “For me, I really love bold geometrical patterns. The last range of tiles I launched were cube patterns, which are also very hot.”
4. Natural stone finishes
Laminates and chipboards have well and truly had their day. Say hello to natural stone. “A lot of my clients are moving back towards natural stone, particularly with their benchtops,” explains Greg. “There was a real move towards quartz stone for a while, and certainly we are still using quartz stone, but there’s a big shift towards natural stone. The reason quartz stone is so great is because it’s non-porous and it doesn’t stain, but granites aren’t porous and are really great, too. Marble is also popular, but because it’s soft, porous and stains easily, you have to be really careful when using it as a benchtop. But I love marble as a splashback or on island benches.”
5. Island benches
OK not exactly a new trend, but one that’s still strengthening. “Island benches have been around for a while but they are not going away,” says Greg. “The kitchen is the heart of the home – it’s where all the people congregate, so it’s a very important room. Who wants to be cooped up in a u-shaped kitchen. Kitchen’s with island benches are so popular because they really open up the space, as well as tying together the living and dining space.”
6. Freestanding fridges and ovens
The invisible kitchen hidden behind seamless doors may be a dream to the minimalist, but for the rebels and creatives, it’s not. “Classic kitchens are fashionable, but it’s not just about being super clean and minimal for everyone,” Greg explains. “We use a lot of freestanding SMEG fridges and ovens in our client’s homes. That 1950s retro-feel freestanding look, as opposed to the clean, classic style kitchen where everything is hidden and not meant to be seen.”
“The second ‘scullery kitchen’ used to be just for the super rich, but now everyone is doing them,” explains Greg. Greg says the scullery is a much smaller second kitchen, typically with a second oven, cooktop, microwave and appliances like the toaster, kettle and coffee machine. So why the big interest again? “There’s multiple reasons,” explains Greg. “I think a lot of people are busy, juggling work and dinners and family and friends, so they have a second oven in the scullery where they cook as they go or entertain. Others just prefer to have the clean and minimal ‘show kitchen’ on display and all the other items and equipment, like kettles and toasters, in the back scullery out of sight.”
8. Multiple ovens
Manu or Nigella wouldn’t dream of entertaining guests from a single oven. Good lord – how would they juggle the hors d’oeuvres, mains and desserts from a single cavity? And neither would your average home cook, too, it seems. “Most of my clients put in two ovens, and some even put in two ovens, plus microwaves, steam ovens and more!” says Greg. Again, Greg puts this trend down to our super busy lifestyles. “When you are busy and there’s a lot going on, it makes sense that people would want two ovens to cook multiple dishes simultaneously, particularly people who are big entertainers.”
Discover new choices and design options for your kitchen with Smeg’s extensive range of design collections. Available at leading retailers and appliance retail specialists, or view at a Smeg showroom around the country. See www.smeg.com.au/showroom/ for more information.