7 design trends to inspire your 2024 kitchen makeover

1. Natural stone

As the health risks associated with engineered stone come to light, home owners are increasingly choosing natural stone for their benchtops and splashbacks, with hardier varieties favoured for their practicality. McNamara says granite in particular is having a “huge resurgence” thanks to its strength and durability.

2. Blues, greens and neutrals

Stark whites and greys are out, and blues, greens and neutrals are in, say the experts. “Neutrals are always going to be … quite timeless but we are seeing more of a pairing with emeralds, deep navies and some blacks for contrast,” Zammitt says. “Rather than crisp whites, now we’re seeing a lot more off-shades of white.”

3. Rethinking the open plan

Changing household dynamics are prompting more people to forgo open-plan living in favour of separate kitchen spaces. “In the past, there’s been a big movement towards open plan but I think since COVID, people are wanting to now sometimes separate the kitchen from the living and dining areas,” Doherty says. “We’ve seen a shift.” McNamara notes that this trend is coinciding with a challenging rental market that’s seeing more adult children return to their family homes.

4. Out of sight

When it comes to the functional elements of the kitchen, many are opting to keep their prep spaces and appliances hidden away. “Butler’s pantries are still quite popular and a must in most houses,” Zammitt says. “Where we’re doing renovations and space doesn’t really permit, we do a lot of breakfast stations.”

5. Mood lighting

Utility doesn’t need to come at the expense of atmosphere when selecting lighting; designers are pairing downlights with more decorative light sources to create a welcoming feel. “One thing that we’re always really conscious of is having multiple sources of light,” Doherty says. “[It] just helps so much with seeing while you are cooking but also creating a nice ambience.” Popular options include recessed lights under overhead cupboards, strip lighting under shelves, pendant lights and sconces.

6. A place for everything

While ample storage is always a non-negotiable feature in the kitchen, more attention is being paid to the finer details. “We spend a lot of time, not only on the external side, but on the internal functionality of the cupboards and within the cabinetry and the drawers, making sure there is a place for everything,” Zammitt says. Features like spice drawers, Blum Space Towers and U-shaped shelving inside pantries are all in demand currently.

7. Modern appliances

Steam ovens have become a sought-after inclusion, and downdraft rangehoods are taking integration to the next level in some homes.

“We’ve done a couple of projects where the cooktop and the rangehood are integrated into the bench, so you don’t have a rangehood up above,” Doherty says. “I think the technology around that has gotten so good.”

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