The 2016 Kitchen Climate
Considering the kitchen is the centre of the home (if not the universe) for many people, it's well worth considering an update of this space from time to time. To guide you in your journey to revamping this room (or building it from scratch), we chatted to Ramón Casadó, the co-owner and design director of bulthaup South Africa, the local branch of the respected German kitchen manufacturer, to get some insight on what's set to be hot on this scene in 2016.
According to him, two slightly contrasting kitchen trends have emerged: a desire for super high-end finishes and an emphasis on the importance of tactile sensations in this space.
Solid and Structured Wood
In line with the desire for tactile sensations, woods have become very popular and structured timber is a favourite choice because it still retains the essence of solid wood and all its grains. Ramón says there’s been a high demand for dark structured oak, which offers the kitchen a rich ambience, as well as for engineered oak and walnut doors as these are guaranteed not to bow or warp.
There’s also a trend towards finishing cabinet interiors, drawers and other compartments with veneer or solid wood. This adds warmth, provides a refined feel and beautiful finish and ensures that interiors are integrated into the overall design rather than being ignored as facets that are meant to be hidden.
Exclusive Reclaimed Timber
According to Ramón, homeowners also seem to be leaning towards one-of-a-kind, exclusive woods. An example of such a wood is the swamp oak that bulthaup stocks – it was pulled out of the Danube river, where it had been for thousands of years, so it’s the ultimate in reclaimed timber and boasts an incredibly unique aesthetic.
Continuous with the trend towards very high-end finishes, aluminium has become a popular material in kitchens as its sleek, modern and versatile. bulthaup has seen an interest in different shades of aluminium, so in addition to the classic option, it also stocks dark grey and bronze shades, which shift colour depending on light and boast an eye-catching translucent quality.
Ramón reports that in order to complement the movement towards luxury finishes in kitchens, there's a growing desire to match kitchen furnishings with very high-end appliances. bulthaup South Africa has made an effort to meet this need by partnering with respected German brand Gaggenau, which specialises in producing top-tier ovens, hobs and refrigerators. Together the two brands aim to ensure there's beautiful synergy between the make-up of the kitchen and its appliances.