Kim Duffin makes a pilgrimage to the show to keep abreast of the trends in kitchen design. “We go to observe future trends and tendencies from a European perspective, and to see what advances in technology have occurred that will be enhancing the functionality of the kitchen space within our lives and in our homes,” he says of the show. “It’s always great to see new products actually in use – we often only see a sample or a picture, so being able to touch, feel and ask questions from the manufacturer can help us make the most out of new products.”
Open shelving continues to be a trend, Kim notes, extending to create room dividers between the kitchen space and other living areas – it’s the kind of extension of space that something he does so well at Sublime Architectural Interiors. “With the continuation of activity ‘blending’ in the kitchen and other living spaces, flexible furniture is being used that is adaptable to everyday activities – so the kitchen space is not just used for cooking but acts as a dual dining/entertaining and office space.”
And kitchens are getting smart, too. Integration was another strong trend at this year’s EuroCucina, with a strong emphasis on utilising ports and hubs for charging devices, digital scales and wireless chargers integrated into the benchtop, and smart taps and sinks that can be controlled via remote control. “You can turn the tap on, change temperature and let the water out at the touch of a button,” explains Kim.
There’s a welcome return of heavy metals and metallics in kitchens too – which we love – while surface play is still going strong. “A combination of materials like timber, steel, stone and porcelain create a collage of colours and textures,” says Kim. “Combining material thickness and textures is very much on-trend – cooking is such a tactile experience, so it is important to use materials that you love to touch. We also saw a lot of large format tiles and porcelain surfaces for benchtops and drawer and door fronts made to emulate the look of stone and marble.”
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So, while previous kitchen design trends have been very minimalistic in style, we are now seeing the kitchen return to its roots as the ‘heart of the home’. Earthy colour palettes paired with timber finishes, and plenty of balance in design is bringing back the warmth and soul of kitchen design. Or, as Kim calls it, “bringing feeling back into the kitchen”.
And his favourite trend seen at this year’s EuroCucina? “Splashback kitchen storage,” Kim says. “I like to exploit every available centimetre for storage and to create a more organised kitchen with our own designs at Sublime and Kim Duffin Design. So using a sliding panel system to conceal the shelving that houses items used for cooking or food preparation, with the rear panel behind the shelving backlit to create more task lighting to this area, is a stroke of genius.”