1. SOFTEN A HIGH-IMPACT METALLIC
With that sweep of wood-panelled ceiling above and brass sheeting below, this monolithic waterfall island is working brilliantly to balance the room. Not only does it provide a focal point in the centre of the space, but it cleanly frames the shimmering brass that might feel overpowering if there were more of it.
2. ALLOW ONE MATERIAL TO SHINE
"Waterfall countertops are still in," says principal of Studio Gild Jennie Bishop. "Full height, partial height, inset, overlapping — we love the detail." Stainless steel is given the space to really sing in the studio's take on a Tribeca loft, which calls on a waterfall countertop for a sense of cohesion on this large kitchen island. "Often, they are used to protect the side of the cabinets or to see more of a beautiful stone, but here it was a way of restraining the kitchen palette. Another benefit of the style is the way it gives definition to bar stool seating areas," adds Bishop.
3. PLAY MIX AND MATCH
"When designing a transitional-style kitchen with incredible materials such as terrazzo or marble, I like to ensure that it's seen and admired to its full potential," says Nicki Bamford-Bowes, founder of And Then They Went Wild studio.
4. SUBVERT EXPECTATIONS
Who decided that kitchen cabinets should always be topped in a material of a lighter shade? It seems to be something of an unspoken hierarchy within kitchen design, which is perhaps why the inverse — see this coastal project from Cortney Bishop Design — feels so fresh.
Here she's framed shiplap-clad white cabinetry with a grey-green marble, which is also utilised for the far counters and backsplash. It's a clever combination that cuts through the polished heft of the marble, creating a look that feels a little lighter — but no less luxurious.
5. MASTER THE MONOCHROMATIC LOOK
It seems somewhat counterintuitive, but being particular about your palette can help highlight subtleties like texture or strata — as this project by Workstead attests.
6. GO SUPERSIZED
Followers of Kelly Wearstler's eye-candy Instagram feed — and there are more than two million of them — will immediately clock the kitchen she designed for her house in Malibu. The height of current kitchen trends, Kelly describes as "the epicenter of our home".
7. OPT FOR HALF MEASURES
"I always try to give kitchen islands a bit of sculptural form so they’re not just cabinets with a slab of stone propped on top," says architect Michael K Chen.
8. SHUN SYMMETRY
Built on the site of a derelict leather warehouse tucked away on a mews lane, Coal Lane House is equal parts family home, headquarters for design practice Stephanie O'Sullivan Interiors and commercial shoot house for hire.
9. HIDE THE ESSENTIALS
Here's a kitchen that hardly looks like one at all. "This house was separated into a main house and an apartment in the back, and our job was to bring them back together," says designer Leanne Ford. "Because we didn’t want to mess with the incredible marble fireplace and gorgeous windows, we built the entire kitchen down the center of this space. Whatever the opposite of a galley kitchen is, it's this."
10. KEEP IT SIMPLE
For all our adventures in bold and bonkers design, there's something to be said for a simple idea, exquisitely executed. This project by Banda Property is an exercise in just that, with a well-balanced blend of chevron parquet flooring, wooden cabinetry and white marble.