Current Kitchen Design Trends in Australia
When planning a new or renovated kitchen, most people start by searching online for current kitchen trends in Australia home design. This can be a terrific source of kitchen design inspiration, providing you with ideas on colour, layout, style and finishes. And while home design trends will evolve over time, they’re typically not like fashion trends – in one season and out the next. With a little bit of time spent exploring the latest trends in kitchens in Australia, you’ll notice that some kitchen finishes are considered ageless classics. Other on-trend design ideas, when carefully incorporated, can provide a modern twist that will continue to look fantastic for years to come.
Latest Kitchen Trends 2021 in Australia
Current kitchen trends in Australia focus on incorporating a mixture of classic and modern design elements, with functionality considered a key factor. Because of this, Brisbane kitchens are starting to include a lot of innovative features which not only look great, but that are also practical for frequent use. Some of the latest trends in kitchens in Australia include:
After spending hours pouring over the latest kitchen trends, we’ve compiled a list of current kitchen trends in Australia
1. Benchtops that are easy to clean
In a post-COVID world, the ability to sanitise a surface has seemingly never been more important. This has been reflected in recent kitchen renovations, with a growing number of Australian’s opting for easy to clean kitchen finishes, such as stone benchtops. Reconstituted stone benchtops look great and are a very cost-effective option and are available in an extensive range of styles. Most importantly, they’re easy to sanitise.
2. The use of marble tones
Marble is a classic when it comes to luxury kitchen finishes, but the emphasis in 2021 is on affordable marble-look benchtops which feature bold patterning. This is because the naturally occurring veins found in marble create a really interesting contrast of texture. A marble-toned benchtop paired with neutral kitchen cabinets adds a luxurious element to even the simplest of kitchen designs. The timeless appeal of a marble-toned surface is now more achievable, thanks to high-quality reconstituted stone products created by Caesarstone and Smartstone.
3. Incorporating timber kitchen finishes
Timber can pair beautifully with a range of other natural finishes, particularly stone benchtops. Timber is currently gaining in popularity, partly because of the availability of high-grade timber laminate products such as Polytec’s Woodmatt Laminate range. Polytec’s range of timber-look laminates features a subtle woodgrain finish that creates a realistic veneer for kitchen cabinets and benchtops. Polytec’s Woodmatt Laminates are scratch-resistant. They’re also hygienic, low maintenance and affordable.
4. Creating a moody colour palette
Dark tones in the kitchen have often been overlooked in favour of pale or neutral colours – but the latest kitchen design trends have started to alter this. When used in a balanced way, dark colours (even black) can add real drama to a renovated kitchen, creating a luxe atmosphere. Dark cabinetry, benchtops or even walls can be balanced out with timber-look elements and sleek stainless-steel appliances.
5. Opting for bold splashbacks
Splashbacks can be viewed as the backdrop to any modern kitchen – they’re not front and centre, but they play a big part in setting the overall tone and style. A bold splashback doesn’t necessarily mean a bright colour – the latest splashbacks are available in a range of materials and textures, including geometrically patterned tiles, polished mirrors and even industrial-looking metals such as steel or copper.
6. Incorporating a ‘Butler’s Pantry’
As kitchen design trends in Australia focus heavily on minimalism, the ‘Butler’s Pantry’ is an elegant and practical solution for those who have the available space. Essentially, a ‘Butler’s Pantry’ is a small kitchen within a kitchen – similar to a walk-in pantry, but instead of just having shelving you’ll also have a dedicated food prep area and an additional sink for cleaning up. This allows you to keep the messy prep work and dirty dishes concealed from the main kitchen area when you’re entertaining.
5. Including two island benches
One of the newest kitchen trends of 2021 in Australia is the inclusion of not one, but two island benches. With more emphasis being placed on larger, open plan kitchens, the double island bench combination serves a practical purpose while also looking quite luxe. The inclusion of two island benches gives you double the amount of usable bench space while also allowing for substantially more storage space. However, if you’re considering a double island bench design, make sure you still have sufficient room to move freely around the kitchen.
6. Fitting “handle-less” kitchen cabinets
The handle-less cabinet look has been popular for a few years now, but this is a kitchen design trend that shows no signs of diminishing. A handle-less kitchen cupboard emphasises the beauty of the cabinets themselves, without the distraction of decorative handles. This makes handle-less cabinets perfect for sleek and streamlined kitchen designs. A true handle-less cupboard utilises a push-open mechanism, making them simple to use. For those that prefer not to use push-open cabinet technology, a similar look can be achieved by incorporating recessed handles.
7. Bringing back the white kitchen
White kitchens never go out of style. A mainly white kitchen aesthetic creates a space that looks clean, minimal and bright, which is perhaps why white kitchens remain popular with potential house buyers. White kitchens are also an ideal backdrop for interior styling, allowing you to add bright bursts of colour or interesting textures.
8. Hanging pendant lights
Pendant lights are undoubtedly one of the most popular current kitchen trends of 2021 in Australia and it’s easy to appreciate why. Pendant lights look fantastic when strategically chosen and are a cost-effective way to add a touch of glamour, whimsy or drama to any new or renovated kitchen. But pendant lights also serve a practical purpose, illuminating key workspaces (such as your main food prep area).
9. Using interesting finishes
When it comes to selecting your kitchen taps, you’ll soon discover that the options are far more varied than they used to be. Gone are the days where you were constrained to simple silver – tapware is now readily available in colours such as gold, copper, brass, rose-gold and even black. You’ll also have a choice between polished and matte finishes, allowing for a great amount of personal choice. Kitchen sinks are also now available in a wide range of colours, styles and finishes, so you can truly customise the aesthetic of your new kitchen.
10. Creating a curated space
A curated space is one that has been designed with a careful eye for display. This could include some open shelving where assorted cookbooks might be displayed, the inclusion of a favourite piece of artwork or even an exhibition of antique cutlery pieces. The idea of a curated space is to create a kitchen that tells a story about the family that lives there. This trend allows for a high level of personalisation in the design, leaving a lot of room for imagination and personal expression.
11. Adding a dash of colour
While you may feel uncomfortable committing to a long-term kitchen design that features unexpected colours (such as a bright red benchtop or vivid green cabinets), that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate some colour into your kitchen. Kitchens provide plenty of opportunities for you to add a dash of colour – it could be in the form of a vase, appliances, window coverings, a piece of artwork or even a feature wall (one that can be easily repainted should you change your mind in ten years’ time).
12. Concealing appliances inside cabinetry
Appliances inside cabinetry have been around for the past 20 years or so, but they were originally seen as more of a luxury item. In 2021, with a growing appreciation for design ergonomics, appliances in cabinetry are becoming more common. Rather than having to bend right down just to place a spoon in the dishwasher or retrieve milk for a cup of coffee, you can instead opt for integrated dishwashers, pantries and fridges that open smoothly from under the bench. These appliances are considered to be an innovative solution for those suffering from back or knee problems.
13. Opting for a mix of materials
Rather than sticking to just one colour palette or finish, it’s becoming increasingly common to see a mix of materials. The idea is to choose finishes that balance and complement one another, such as using warm-toned timber cabinetry to bring a bit of life to a cold stone benchtop. The key is to not overdo things – you want your kitchen surfaces to harmonise, not visually clash with each other.
14. Adding some floating shelves
The popularity of floating shelves is undeniable. At last count, #floatingshelves has appeared in over 145,600 Instagram posts, mostly in new or renovated kitchens. Floating shelves are very versatile, creating added storage space while also allowing for the display of much-loved decorative items. Floating shelves can also be placed in spots where there isn’t sufficient room for another cupboard.
15. Retro kitchen finishes
Design trends tend to circle back on themselves with time, so it’s no surprise that retro styles from 30 years ago are once again becoming popular. The key difference between a modern retro kitchen design and a 30-year-old kitchen is the inclusion of modern design features. So, you could opt for a modern kitchen layout with all the latest appliances but then incorporate some retro-inspired timber cabinetry.
16. Adding metallic touches
Metallic finishes in a kitchen look great and are usually quite hard-wearing, so it’s easy to see why they’ve become such a popular choice. For the truly bold, metallic touches could be used for large surfaces, such as kitchen splashbacks or benchtops. But more often metallic finishes are used to create subtle contrast – perhaps by adding a metallic light fitting, metallic handles or metal tapware.