Whether a new house or refurbishment, the trend is towards flowing transitions between kitchen, dining and living areas. To achieve this, manufacturers must offer customers a wide choice of design options including clever cabinet layouts, colours and materials that blend living and work spaces seamlessly. Let’s hear what some leading International designers have to say.

More and more, the borders of interior spaces for cooking, eating and living are flowing into one another and becoming blurred. This is an issue manufacturers in the kitchen industry World-wide are continually addressing. Their focus is on the use of clever design; materials and colour in the kitchen and adjacent living areas. American home design expert Kerrie Kelly says “Bigger and brighter is the name of the game for 2017.” Customers are enthusiastic about natural materials and comfort in the home; expressed in the growing demand for wood décors with a natural look and feel.

Not only light-coloured woods but stone; cement; glass and leather are in equally high demand right now because they turn the kitchen into a living space with an individual touch. Bronze tones are popular in Europe; or architecturally-influenced concrete looks, modern-classic charm or contemporary solids. Designers say mixing traditional white with colours such as blue and grey complement and soften the primary colour. British designer Andrea Gilbert says “Popular colours are white, taupe and polar white and wood veneer is attractive to buyers with a healthy budget.”

Wall units with glass doors follow the trend toward limitless frontiers in living spaces. New, integrated LED lighting systems for shelves and niche claddings create a pleasant ambience in the kitchen. With electrical appliances the trend is towards hidden solutions so the space can transition from a work area to a living space without the cold industrial look of stainless steel. Belgian designer Patrick Van Moerzeke says “Almost 50% of kitchens are now hands-free. We like fronts that reach down to the floors so the base is no longer visible; it creates a more uniform look.” From hidden appliances to cabinets in bright, tasteful colours, homeowners want their kitchen to be stylish enough for entertaining, yet welcoming and functional for everyday use.

Designer Xavier Renoux says “Open shelves are a must in France; we want as much surface area to prepare food as possible. A kitchen is considered perfect when the design has some refined details.” Dutch designer Claudia Klein-Zeggelink says “We like contrasts such as different cupboard fronts positioned opposite each other. We also attach great importance to generous and minimalistic designs with clear lines. Wall units are often avoided and a large free-standing table forms the heart of the space for eating and drinking.” Laminex says to consider the style of the home; it should all feel part of one big, super-stylish whole.