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aesthetics. It doesn’t improve functionality. If
anything, it probably confuses it a bit.”
BATHROOM SANCTUARY More and more
bathrooms are being integrated into the bedroom,
creating a space that Steve, of Retreat, describes
as a sanctuary for the owner. “The bathroom is
mixed with the bedroom and walk-in robe to
create a relaxing area with the feeling of a hotel
environment,” he says.
“Bathrooms and ensuites are becoming more
sophisticated,” says Jason Saunders. “Well-
planned-out cabinetry design is now one of the
must-haves in a newly built or renovated home.
As an extension of the ‘holiday’ feel, having a
great-looking bathroom with great fixtures to
use all year around has become a trend.”
CONTRAST Contrasting materials, proportions and
products are becoming an increasingly popular
choice as a design element.
“A contrast between thick and thin benchtops is
set to be big for the future,” says Steve, of Retreat,
after returning from April’s Salone Internazionale
del Mobile. “A couple of years ago, benchtops were
very thick, then they moved to very thin. Now,
we are going to see both, contrasting with each
other. One part of the kitchen will be really thick
stone or wood and this will contrast with very thin
benchtops, such as stainless steel.” This is purely
an aesthetic design element.
WOOD AND WARMTH Wood is coming back in,
often to add warmth to a minimalist design. Not
only will you be seeing more solid timber being
used, but also more sustainable alternatives.
“Great options are happening with engineered
timber floorboards,” says Craig, of Craig Steere
Architects. “Veneer board, a few millimetres thick
on a plywood base, is being used in place of solid
timber board. It’s more sustainable, using less
timber from the trees and offering the benefit of
really great colour and texture variation.”
There is general interest in using all or
part timber in cabinet work says Craig, and
it’s certainly something that the market is
recognising. “Real veneers and quality imitation
veneers are being developed. We often use wood
when doing minimalist interiors to warm the
environment up a bit, even just with a hint of
timber throughout cabinetry.
“It’s for aesthetics, but with the new products
it’s also about being environmentally sustainable.”
LED LIGHTING LEDs (light-emitting diodes)
transform homes, gardens and architectural
spaces, and are becoming more cost effective.
As a design element, they combine aesthetics
with environmental choice.
“There are increasing options of the type of
LEDs available and the cost is coming down,” says
Craig. “It’s becoming more of an option to include
them. There’s an increased cost effectiveness
through low-energy usage, which is positive for
the environment and the owner. Rather than cold,
white light, warmer light options are becoming
more readily available. This is working well for
the control of mood lighting, rather than just for
the use of task lighting.”
ORGANIC “The world is going more green and
everything is getting a bit more organic, even just
looking at aesthetics,” says Leon, of Leon House.
“Shapes are more organic with more oval, round
and flowing shapes. And things are less polished,
less shiny. People are letting things rust. More raw
materials are being used.
“I love a rough-sawn timber benchtop. And in
terms of colour, white is becoming more sandy,
driftwoody, oaky.” h
Craig, from Craig Steere Architects,
says integrating woodgrain into cabinetry
is a trend for contemporary kitchens.
Wood is coming back in, often to add warmth to a minimalist design.
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3/6/10 4:26:37 PM
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