Interior Style

Breathe new life into your kitchen with these trending makeover tips

Update your space with these trending looks and easy hacks to breathe new life into tired kitchens

You don’t have to break the bank to fall in love with your kitchen again. Whether it’s with a lick of paint, a terracotta tile or a new kettle, simple changes can go a long way to giving your kitchen the makeover it deserves.

1 Eat your colours

While white is a classic choice, colour has been slowly but surely seeping into our kitchens with steady confidence. “Greens and blues have been dominating our interiors – and not only as feature colours; we are seeing these shades direct the aesthetic of entire rooms, as well as kitchens,” says Giorgia Manenti from Kaboodle Kitchen. On top of these fan favourites, keep an eye out for rich reds, terracotta tones and mustard hues “as these shades encourage a warm, friendly and approachable mood and allow us to look to the future with optimism”, she says. Be careful not to delve too much into “Subway restaurant” territory by using modern, contemporary silhouettes to cut through these rich colours.

2 The grass is greener

In a year of wild weather, climate change and sustainability are on our minds now more than ever. Kitchen trends are reflecting that mindset, especially when it comes to natural organic materials. The plastic-fantastic era of the 2010s is gone and an eco-consciousness that champions thoughtful consumerism is here.

Nelson business Make Furniture specialises in crafting sustainable kitchens, from responsibly sourced birch plywood to plant-based adhesives. “This not only ensures strength, durability, and cost-efficiency, but the warmly toned and subtly reflective qualities of birch plywood add an inviting touch to any kitchen space,” says Make Furniture’s Will Slack.

If you’re worried about buying too much into trends, only to go off it a year later, look to make smaller updates rather than buying bigger, more costly pieces. “If you prefer a more flexible approach, consider adding interesting handles or accessories that can be easily changed,” says Will. Sew your own cabinet curtains from fabric or create open shelving, which with the right accessories, can feel like a new space every time you reorganise.

3 Make a splash

Sorry, subway tiles – your long and peaceful reign may be drawing to a close. Instead, expect smaller and more joyful tiled splashbacks that revel in colour and creativity. “We are seeing small finger tiles in green, blue, burgundy and grey as well as handmade ceramic tiles that help to personalise a kitchen, giving it a warm and inviting aesthetic,” says Giorgia.

If you’re looking to keep things budget friendly, simply cleaning your grout or using a grout colourant to add a playful shade will give your splashback the boost you’re looking for. For avid DIYers, you can even go far as painting your existing tiles. Just clean, sand, prime, and then paint with epoxy paint your desired shade. We love rich olive greens and off-whites for an organic feel.

4 Back to the earth

Consumers are moving away from faux anything, according to Damian Hannah from German Kitchens, especially marble lookalike composites. Materials like terracotta and brick give warmth to a kitchen, alongside that mid-century classic look. “For my discerning clients, we use natural stone for the handleless cabinet fronts with matching stone benchtops and stone splashbacks for a classic look that transcends decades,” says Damian. However, you shouldn’t shy away from faux stone if you’re on a budget. “Stone-look benchtops create a sleek, designer look without the price tag,” says Giorgia. Pair with contrasting timber benchtops, or timber bench seats, to add warmth to cooler-coloured stone.

5 Layer more

We’ve all heard about layering throws and cushions, but what about lighting? Layered lighting is the hot new trend that promises to give your kitchen a sumptuous depth and cosiness. “Layering creates a versatile and inviting atmosphere,” says Rachel Williamson, founder of Mr Ralph Lighting. “With downlights providing a pleasant overall ambient glow, a linear light over the island for focused task lighting, and strategically placed wall lights adding a touch of mood and ambience.” This way, Rachel notes, you can effortlessly transform your kitchen into a multifunctional space that is perfect for both culinary activities and social gatherings. Don’t be afraid to use different bulb colours and intensities, from bright white to subdued yellows, which you can switch on and off depending on whether you’re starting a mise en place or simply having a glass of wine with friends.

6 Smart kitchens

The talk about smart kitchens has been playing out for years now, but for many of us it may still seem like a pipe dream. Not for long though, thanks to recent innovations and increased affordability in the field. For example, Samsung’s Family Hub means you can play your favourite playlist right from your fridge, or even see inside your fridge so you never have to ask the dreaded question of “do I already have that at home?” as you peruse your supermarket aisle. If you like watching TV while making dinner you can even do that on, yes, you guessed it, your fridge. Miele offers induction cooktops that communicate with your rangehood automatically to turn on when needed, while Bosch boosts a fully automatic coffee machine that, when connected to the Home Connect app, can make you a cappuccino before you’re out of bed in the morning.

Words by: Caroline Moratti

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