Damian Hannah, German Kitchens and Natalie Du Bois, Du Bois Design are well placed to provide opinions regarding the kitchen design road ahead. Their views aren't design trends cast in stone – but they do provide some great insights!
1. Open-plan kitchens. Are they here to stay and if so why?
Natalie: They are extremely practical in today’s world – there is less and less time to spend with family with demanding jobs so having a kitchen area that is open, that you can multitask, check on kids doing homework nearby, or even catch up on the news . We also love entertaining in NZ and like our guests to be with us when we prepare food. Gone are the days of the mother cooking in a hidden away small utilitarian space not big enough to swing a cat in.
Damian: Yes, I think they are here to stay. But there's a little bit of a movement at the moment trying to squeeze sculleries in, which further compromises that open plan. I've got a set size that I work with with my scullery dimensions, and if it's below that size, I'll tell the homeowner it’s just not worth having, it's better to incorporate it all into the kitchen area.
And the invention of pocket doors – which is one of the things I reckon will be big in 2021 – has helped this. Now there is the ability when entertaining to have a closed off area within the kitchen where you can have small appliances or the dishwasher and a second sink. When it's just everyday cooking and living, the pocket doors are open.
I've actually designed a double pocket door system for a recent kitchen where I've hidden the ovens and the cooktop away – so it just looks like a wall of tall cabinetry.
2. Trending colours or materials for kitchen cabinets?
Damian: I find a real movement to sort of the warmer tones. At the moment, I'm selling a lot of the sort of natural veneers again, but you have to be careful as even with sealants, timber – veneer or solid – will naturally fade especially with the New Zealand sun.
We are seeing a big movement back to natural timbers. I'm finding there’s a lot of coffee coloured tones at the moment, it’s a warmer, more inviting finish and also the paler colours like ash or teak are quite popular – just really warm, honey tones, and then matching that with some really soft pastel colours, I find the greens are really popular at the moment. But look, I'm very I'm very 50 50 on colours, they can date. Timber is timeless, as are shades like white, black and grey.
Natalie: Colour/material trends include timbers of all tones – with rustic or exaggerated grains being wire brushed to emphasise the wood's 'realness'. Super matt tones are popular along with light tones, especially an introduction of pastel tones.