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Guide to Kitchen Design Trends 2018 

January 29, 2018
Guide to Kitchen Design Trends 2018

Identifying new trends these days can seem progressively challenging to pin point.

One can only look to the experts to gain more accurate insights into what new release products, materials and finishes, colour palettes and styles appear to be gaining momentum in popularity.

Interior Style Trends 2018

Today’s interiors tend not to follow any one particular style or trend. (Thank goodness)! Styles are evolving into what can only be described as ‘organised eclecticism.’ This involves taking components of varying looks to create something individual and almost a little quirky with slightly unexpected combinations and a strong attention to detail.

These looks don’t happen by chance though. The inspiring interiors you see among blogs, social media platforms and glossy magazines are the result of carefully considered selections by some of the best in the business.

This imagery filters through to all the homemakers and budding renovators who are now much more design savvy. This new breed is creative and demand high standards in their own homes.

Image Credit: Gia Renovations

Kitchen Design Trends 2018

With the influence of so many amazing designs for the kitchen, 2018 is going to see a wave of eclectic styles being specified but executed in a refined and well-thought out way. Functionality will take precedence above all else, however, the kitchen will be beautiful in it’s own unique way. With that being said, there is definitely some stronger kitchen design elements that will be carrying over to many new kitchen fit out projects this year.

House of Home chatted to three industry experts to get their predictions on what will be the key characteristics of kitchen design throughout 2018. We would like to thank Frank Iaria of Mint Kitchen Group, Russell Henderson, Senior Designer at smarterBATHROOMS+ and Royston Wilson, President of the KBDi for sharing their thoughts on this topic.

Our Q&A covers the following insights, click on them to jump ahead at any time.

What are the key trends in Kitchen design for 2018 and how will we see kitchens transform in 2018?

Say Good-Bye to Minimalism

Minimalism is out, eclectic is in. Kitchens are evolving to become extensions of the rest of the home, with a character and personality of their own. Where everything in a minimal kitchen is hidden and often quite stark, the eclectic kitchen allows for creativity and a bit of quirkiness.

It’s ok to display decor items such as hand made ceramics, plants, kitchenware and recipe books. As long as these elements are styled carefully and look balanced (not just haphazardly placed).

Image Credit: Food52

“The kitchen will become more about the mixing and matching of elements; a little bit of artisian industrial meets mineral eclectic. People are becoming a lot more adventurous with their selections and aren’t afraid to experiment”. Royston Wilson | KBDi

More Storage & Creating the Illusion of Space

Customers desire more storage in the kitchen and a better utilisation of space, says Frank of Mint Kitchens. To maximise storage space, the following design tricks can be implemented:

  • By stacking or layering of overhead cabinets at different depths to make better use the ceiling height

  • Reduced kicker heights to make cabinet carcasses bigger and maximise under bench storage. For example, instead of a 150mm high kicker, a 120mm kicker can be used and the extra 30mm is put into storage space. This can make a big difference in small kitchens.

  • Incorporating a walk-in Butler style pantry if space permits. This is a great area to store microwaves, toasters, kettles, a hot/chilled tap etc. This frees up space in main kitchen area and less clutter will make the main space appear more open and larger.

Image Credit: Gia Renovations

What new must-have products will see become available or more sought after?

Integrated Appliances & Concealed Small Appliances

Although the new look is eclectic, it’s still one that’s highly practical, functional and organised with a home for everything.

As integrated appliances become more and more accessible (with many options now available in the market), creating a streamline hidden look within a kitchen is achievable for most budgets.

"Having appliances tucked away behind closed doors allows the kitchen to have a designer edge that looks more like a custom piece of furniture and much less like a working kitchen.” Russel Henderson | smarter BATHROOMS+

Image Credit: Edmondson Interiors

Induction Cooktops

"Induction cooktops are growing in popularity due their ease of use, clean, no-fuss design and ease of maintenance." Says Royston of KBDi.

Intergrated Gas Hobs

Pitt Cooking integrated gas hobs are newly introduced into Australia. They are hand made in Holland and designed to integrate directly into a stone benchtop creating a distinctive and cutting edge designer look.

There’s no need for a hot plate as each hob is separate. This means you can actually fit all of your pots, woks or pans! Mint Kitchen Group Moonee Ponds will be the first kitchen showroom in Melbourne to have one on display.

Image Credit: Pitt Cooking

Fully Integrated Pantry Units

“Blum’s space tower pantry unit is such a great pantry option. It’s full of internal drawers customised to suit a client’s individual kitchen needs and gives you clear visibility of all the items. This is a must have in any kitchen.” Says Russel.

Image Credit: Blum (Space Tower)

Integrated Rangehoods

"Showy feature rangehoods that used to be a design statement are no longer a popular choice as they are hard to clean." Advises Royston from KBDi.

Intergrated rangehoods look seamless and allow for more beautiful elements (such as the island bench, above counter lighting or a big stand-alone double oven) to become the focal point instead.

Image Credit: GIA Renovations

Statement Ovens

“Unlike the rest of the kitchen appliances, one that is becoming less and less integrated is the oven. More freestanding ovens are being chosen to act as a main grand feature for the kitchen” explains Royston.

Thin Profile Bench Tops

Whilst the standard for some time now has been to have a 40mm thick stone benchtop, we are now seeing products that are as thin as 12mm being used. Often these benchtops will be complimented by a shadow line detail to the cabinetry. This lies just below the top to help emphasize its sleek, thin profile.

Image Credit: smarter BATHROOMS+ Photographer Tom Roe

Oversized Benchtops

“In complete contrast, much thicker benchtops are becoming quite popular too. The thickness can be anywhere between 50-80mm and is used to create a feature of the surface material, such as a beautiful granite or marble.”

“In a kitchen setting both thicknesses can be used to compliment each other. For example, the Island could be made the feature with 60mm stone and the surrounding benchtops could be 20mm stone.” Frank advises.

Matte Tapware & Sinks

“Taps with a quartz matte finish such as brushed graphite, black or grey stone are all new alternative finishes that look stunning.” Says Frank.

Oversized Cabinetry Knobs

In the kitchen, handles are a great way to add character and they can be easily changed over time. Large round timber knobs for kitchen cabinetry are popping up everywhere. We are seeing them being used a lot, not just in the kitchen but for interior doors also. These knobs are being specified to either match colour of the cabinetry or in a striking contrasting colour.

Image Credit: Gia Renovations

Profile Cabinetry Doors

“We are expecting to see a bit more depth included into the kitchen cabinetry with the inclusion of profile doors. More subtle profiles such as vertical panelling or shallow shaker are going to be big.” Says Russell.

Image Credit: smarter BATHROOMS+ Photographer Tom Roe

What materials & finishes are expected to be most popular?

Tiled Splashbacks & Tiled Island Upstands

"Replacing the colour-backed glass, large format tiled splashbacks are surging in popularity. There are some exquisite feature tiles available now. They can be paired with a dark grout and a great way to introduce texture and colour to an otherwise fairly neutral space." Frank advises.

Tiled bench upstands with a striking feature tile are taking precedence over a patterned splashback.

Tip: When a feature tile is used for the upstand be sure to keep the splashback plain so that they don’t compete or make the space appear to busy.

Image Credit: Kennedy Nolan

Tactile Natural Stone

“Natural stone is making a big comeback. Homemakers enjoy the process of going out to view select the stone and become more involved in the design selection process. What’s different is that tactile, textured stone over a polished finish is becoming the preferred choice." Says Royston

Image Credit: Cantilever Kitchens

Engineered Quartz Stone

“It’s important to note that engineered quartz stone will also remain a popular benchtop material as they offer a very large array of colours and different textures which include polished and the matt or more rugged surfaces which are becoming more sought after.” Says Frank

Benefits of Engineered Quartz

"Quartz is very durable, easy to clean. Plainer colours can be dressed up with beautiful custom cabinetry. Whilst the colours do vary in price, this type of stone is generally affordable for most people undertaking a kitchen renovation." Frank advises.

Image Credit: Siematic

Timber Laminates

A larger variety of timber laminates have become increasingly more realistic and similar in their look and feel to a natural veneer. Given that they are a more cost-effective option it’s expected to be a popular choice.

Image Credit: Edmondson Interiors

Matte Finishes

"Matte finishes (as opposed to high gloss) for doors and benchtops are increasing in popularity. These matt textures help to make the space feel more natural, organic and bring a warmth to the kitchen. For example, the Laminex Absolute Series has a beautiful range." Frank advises.

What will be the new and preferred colour palettes for kitchens in 2018?

“All white kitchens are out. A warmer colour palette with more earthy tones and greys will filter through with mid-tone timbers such as walnut teak or spotted gum.” “People will be experimenting with striking light and dark contrasts and becoming more adventurous all round.” Royston Wilson | KBDi

Image Credit: Kennedy Nolan

“A somewhat Nordic look with timber finishes, and soft greys is a style that shows no signs of disappearing and will really come to the forefront throughout 2018. Subtle hints of colour can be added with this palette for those who want to be a little more adventurous.” Russell Henderson | smarter BATHROOMS +

Image Credit: Cantilever Kitchens

“A combo of white, black and textured woodgrains will continue to be the main elements within a room. Different tones of white are also seen through soft greys, through to darker greys.” Frank Iaria | Mint Kitchen Group

Image Credit: Home-Designing

We hope you found this article helpful. If you are ready to start building your wish list of products, then be sure to check out our Kitchen product ranges. You can also find out more on creating a family orientated kitchen.

A big thank you to the following companies for sharing their expertise on Kitchen Design Trends.

  • Frank Iaria of Mint Kitchen Group
  • Russell Henderson, Senior Designer at smarterBATHROOMS+ (
  • Royston Wilson, President of the KBDi (Kitchen & Bathroom Designers Institute,

Don't miss our Bathroom and Laundry Trend Guides below.

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