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Bathrooms come clean in hot trend

July 10, 2013

The West Australian

Sculleries, stone benchtops, wood- grain cabinets, patterned tiles and open showers are among the hottest trends in kitchens and bathrooms at the moment, according to Switch Homes interior designer Brian Haftka. Working on both Switch’s display home interiors and with company clients throughout the build process, Mr Haftka is well- placed to see the latest trends. He gave New Homes the lowdown on what’s hot in bathrooms and kitchens ahead of the announcement of the winners of this year’s HIA-NAB Kitchens & Bathrooms Awards, saying that bathrooms in particular had become increasingly creative. “While bathrooms were traditionally designed for function and tended to be as plain as possible, we’re now putting more thought into the overall look,” he said. Popular items to help homeowners achieve the current “resort-style luxury” look included wall-hung toilets with a hidden cistern, feature mirrors, recessed mirror cabinets and feature lighting such as chandelier or pendant fittings. “The bathroom vanity is now also becoming a stylish piece of furniture in its own right and one of the latest trends is to include a ‘floating vanity’ which is wall-mounted, and it’s always impressive to see a freestanding bath,” Mr Haftka said. Patterned and textured tiles were popular and could be used to achieve a range of looks. Mr Haftka also recommended spending a little more and tiling to ceiling height. In the kitchen, Mr Haftka nominated sculleries as the biggest trend at the moment, motivated by the move towards open-plan layouts. “With open-plan living being a popular option, keeping meal preparation and kitchen mess behind the scenes is the way to go,” he said. “Sculleries can be as minimal as an additional bench with a sink and pantry, through to the more elaborate, fitted out like a mini-kitchen with a full range of appliances such as an oven, hob, fridge and dishwasher.” Engineered stone such as CaesarStone and essastone remained popular for benchtops, while granite and marble were also good options, Mr Haftka said. In terms of kitchen cabinets, he said wood-grain was a strong trend, while one of the hottest kitchen looks at the moment revolved around splashbacks. “Glass splashbacks are a relatively inexpensive option that can enhance the look of your kitchen and make this a real design feature,” he said. “Bigger tiles as splashbacks are also increasingly popular as they can make the area look a great deal bigger and create a focal point.” Meanwhile, outdoor kitchens were more and more sophisticated, becoming extensions of the living and dining areas. “An outdoor kitchen today will often incorporate fitted cabinetry, extractors, granite benchtops, bar fridges, dishwashers and possibly a touch of stainless steel for that more industrial look,” Mr Haftka said “As with the interior, the same principles apply to fitting out your alfresco area kitchen — function is still one of the most important considerations you need to remember.”

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