The secret to a well-designed kitchen is finding the balance between style and function. This winning combination is influenced as much by the homeowner’s passion for cooking as by the latest appliance trends and technology.

Lifestyle trends play a big part in the modern kitchen design. In 2021/2022, modern straight-lined geometry with comfort and elegance. The main decorative elements of new kitchen designs are contrasting colour combinations, sleek look, and emphasized straight lines, often matching the materials and shapes of dining furniture and living room furniture.

Modern kitchens look like living spaces. Flooring, lighting and ceiling design will also become an integral part of your new kitchen. As the trend is still towards open-plan kitchens, this means you won’t be able to shut the door on mess, so good storage is crucial.

Here are the top 30 trends:

  1. Ergonomic design eliminates the need to bend or twist.
  2. Joinery is becoming sophisticated and elegant. Lines are either invisible or work with the design.
  3. Handles are square edged or not at all (handle-less design).
  4. Custom design the height of the bench top to suit you, don’t settle for a ‘standard’ height.
  5. Square is in, so are clean lines and the un-cluttered look.
  6. Quality cabinet hardware, such as hinges, drawer runners and handles, is a must, as they need to last a lifetime and be a joy to use.
  7. Drawers over doors, as the drawers provide better ergonomics (less bending, items pull-out to you) and give you more storage space. Ten years ago, kitchens had more cupboards than drawers — now they’re all drawers except where necessary.
  8. Customised Storage (& lots of it), to eliminate wasted space, is essential.
  9. White is still the most popular colour choice, but the trend is that white is the base colour, mixed with other materials (like a dark bench top) and rarely used all by itself.
  10. Install the oven at eye level, and the single dish drawer is popular at waist level.
  11. Unique tiles on splashbacks in eye-catching colours and patterns are making a big statement.
  12. Following the European trend for black/coloured appliances, including refrigerators and ovens, is emerging in Australia as a stylish alternative to white or stainless steel (It’s an ideal way to make a design statement, with the darker/bolder surfaces adding contrast and depth).
  13. Appliances that can be totally integrated into their kitchen cabinetry for a sleek and uncluttered look.
  14. Open plan living.
  15. The integration of kitchens with living spaces to further facilitate social interaction, as well as deal with decreasing living spaces, is a continuing trend.
  16. Premium kitchens continue to build on the trend of motorised doors and drawers, with solutions for more types of cabinet and cupboards (but these do come at a higher cost, of course).
  17. Including a scullery or butler’s pantry in a new kitchen design is increasingly popular (the perfect place to house an extra oven, dishwasher, microwave or wine fridge).
  18. The demise of the formal dining room has brought meal times into the open, merging the kitchen and living-room spaces.
  19. In the premium designs, there’s a move towards kitchens with dark, dramatic features. These kitchens perform a practical function and look as stylish as their surrounds. Major appliance companies have designed black products to accommodate this growing market.
  20. Our Australian trend is less formal than the classic English or European kitchen – the US East Coast vibe suits Australia’s more relaxed lifestyle.
  21. Our love of cafés, bars and restaurants has seen their influence popping up at home. Bistro-style seating, suspended lighting and commercial wine storage are being incorporated into residential kitchens.
  22. It’s been happening for some time in Australia, and considering our climate, it’s both logical and practical: the indoor kitchen that seamlessly flows to the outdoor entertaining space. Appliance companies have rushed to satisfy the needs of this increasing trend by offering a growing range of outdoor products, not just barbecues, but cooktops and even specialised outdoor dishwashers.
  23. Round-edged sinks with draining boards are out. Manufacturers are carving grooves into the stone to create a natural, invisible draining area, and there’s a big push towards dead-square sinks.
  24. Eight out of ten taps sold are flick mixers, and the trend is here to stay, with a growing focus on water efficiency.
  25. Deep drawers were once only for pots & pans, but now deep drawers are now used for most under-bench storage.
  26. Sleek, flat doors, drawer fronts and panels are definitely in, and the push is still away from the detailed moulded door, drawer fronts and panels.
  27. Natural looking materials, such as timber veneer prints (that feel like real timber), are also being revived, as there’s a trend towards reflecting the wider environment.
  28. The recent trend towards assimilating the kitchen with other living spaces has also led to integrated colour schemes. More than ever before, we’re choosing cabinetry colours that are in keeping with the home’s overall palette and style.
  29. People are spending more on good brands that are environmentally friendly and will last longer – for instance, dishwashers that use less water, ovens that don’t waste energy, and fridges designed to make food last longer.
  30. Lighting under cabinets/kickboards and in feature cabinets/walk-in pantries with energy efficient, motion sensor LEDs is on the increase.