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Functional and stylish

May 19, 2011

The West Australian

1. The open-plan kitchen with an island bench is a layout that endures for good reason, according to
interior designer Brian Haftka, from Switch Homes for Living.

“It is infinitely practical and very family friendly,” he said.

2. Sculleries or butler’s pantries are being included in more and more kitchen designs, kitchen designer
Kordula Stuart, of Kitchen Choice, said.

They can be used in conjunction with servery windows, which are another hot trend.

“They are great for handling food and liquid items, lowering the risk of spillages and providing a direct
path to an alfresco dining area,” Mr Haftka explained.

3. Minimalism is the big look in the kitchen at the moment and Ms Stuart said that roughly 90 per cent of
her customers were opting for a modern look, with the rest preferring a traditional style.

4. Achieving the minimalist look was all about clean lines and neutral colours but this didn’t mean you
couldn’t inject some personality, Mr Haftka said.

Team high-gloss earthy neutrals with wood-grain cabinetry and engineered stone or granite benchtops,he suggested.

“The aim is a classic look, while at the same time displaying a real point of difference and individuality in
colour, material or texture selection.”

5. Renovations expert Sasha de Bretton-Gordon, of Million Dollar Makeovers, said she did a lot of two or
three-tone designs with white as the base.

“We use a second or third colour or feature laminate for the pot drawers and overhead cupboards in
latte and stone looks and wood-grain horizontals for effect,” she explained.

6. Fred Flynn, of All Kitchen Transformations, suggested using highlight colours to liven up a minimalist
look.

“Whites such as antique white seem to be the dominant colour for large areas, with contrasting
decorative pieces,” he said.

7. It was worth considering the often-overlooked potential of your choice of flooring to add interest, Ms
de Bretton-Gordon advised.

“You can use black or chocolate flooring, with the whitewashed, beach look floor or dark for the New
York, funky look,” she said.

8. According to Mr Flynn, stainless steel was the way to go for appliances, with European design setting
the trends.

And while Mr Haftka said stainless-steel appliances looked great grouped in an oven stack, he also
suggested integrating some appliances behind doors or panels.

“It gives a simple, sophisticated and uncluttered look,” he said.

9. In terms of specific appliances, induction cooktops, especially in larger formats, are very popular,
according to Spiros Scafidas, of high-end appliance retailer Kitchen HQ.

“There is also a trend towards self-cleaning pyrolytic ovens,” he added.

10. Eco-friendly appliance options such as the new water-efficient dishwashers from Bosch were also
worth checking out.

“They are the first 5.5-star water rated washers,” Mr Scafidas said.

He also highlighted the retailer’s soon-to-launch range from Swiss brand V-ZUG, which includes “some
amazing built-in technology as well as some exceptionally large-sized steam ovens”.

11. The current vogue in tapware also follows the minimalist trend — Ms de Bretton-Gordon described
the latest look as “square and contemporary”.

Pull-out spray taps were also increasingly popular.

They were perfect for rinsing dishes, vegetables and cleaning the sink, Mr Haftka said.

12. However, not all of the appeal of the latest products is purely aesthetic and Ms Stuart said that
homeowners were paying more and more attention to functionality.

“Most customers are looking for a practical and functional kitchen as they are seen more and more as
furniture,” she explained.

13. This was reflected in the innovative kitchen storage solutions hitting the market.
Similarly, practical details such as pop-up power points that are out of sight when not in use were
increasingly popular, Mr Flynn added.

14. Given this focus on practicality, Mr Haftka suggested analysing your current set-up before
renovating or designing a new kitchen to ensure it would suit your needs.

“Keep notes about what you dislike about the kitchen you’re working in now, and also what works well
for you,” he said.“Think about things like, are the dishwasher, sink, oven and fridge in convenient spots?”

15. New technologies in the field of kitchen design can also help you get the best space for you,
according to Mr Flynn.

“We are using a software program from the US that allows us to design the kitchen very quickly to give
customers a 3-D concept,” he explained.

“Changes can be made in minutes and when the plan is signed off, the software immediately producesinstructions for our machinery to produce the cabinets.”

‘We are using drawer systems by Hettich and pull-outs and corner solutions by Kesseboehmer to make
the underbench space more useful.’

Posted In: Media, Interior Design