As an industry leader in interior architecture, what do you forecast as the strongest trends for kitchens and renovations for 2014?
I am forecasting a stronger connection between adjoining spaces i.e. living, dining, and kitchen. We are also designing fixed furniture pieces that are in keeping with the finishes, colours and textures of the kitchen spaces. So most designs we have coming up for 2014 involve removing walls, relocating windows for example to create more connection in and between these living spaces.
I think the blurring between indoor/outdoor spaces will also continue. In Brisbane we have excellent weather that allows spaces to be used in tandem and all year round.
Finally, lighting – more specifically, more focus on accent and task lighting rather than just lighting a room. With apps and other functionality becoming more mainstream, we can program lighting sequences to reflect the occasions, mood, time of day or to focus on what task is being done in the spaces. So you will always have the right light you need for whatever you are doing.
What about bathrooms?
The open plan bedroom, dressing room and bathing space will be huge for 2014. The master bathroom is surpassing the main bathroom and getting bigger. The main bathroom is becoming very task driven (bathing the kids, brushing teeth) and it is no longer just a space for relaxation. This is now exclusively for the adults.
Funnily enough, we are also forecasting a spike in preference for luxury over practicality (but you can achieve this too!). Electronics in the bathroom for instance, are definitely here to stay. This includes TVs, iPod docking, speakers, and lighting, just to name a few.
Are there some less conventional trends that may take us by surprise?
The open plan bedroom, bathroom, dressing room is still very unconventional. But when planned appropriately with the correct fixtures, finishes and lighting it can really change how these spaces have been traditionally used.
In kitchens it’s cladding. Using alternative materials for the front of cabinets is something very different. With many lightweight materials now coming to the market we can use them vertically, not just horizontally. Ceasarstone, traditionally always just a bench top option, now makes thinner pieces so you can have durable stain resistant cabinets just like the bench top.
What have you found are the strongest trends in interiors for 2013 and do you think they will carry over into the New Year?
Furniture pieces - we are now not only designing and manufacturing kitchens and vanities but storage solutions throughout the home that are used in unison.
We want to work, play, cook, socialise, etc in combination so designing spaces using furniture pieces such as booth seating, entertainment zones, and dressing room seating brings the whole concept together and helps the space flow and create harmony in our day-to-day life.
What advice would you give to someone about to commence a new kitchen or bathroom renovation or build?
Planning is the key – take the time to understand how you use the space and how you would like it to improve you and your family’s lifestyle. We don’t just replace things because we can; we replace things because they are no longer meeting our needs. So it is really important to understand your needs then start planning the new spaces. A great designer will help you discover what your needs are and show you the ways to meet these needs using their experience and insight into what is available in the market today.
Functionally first – Always finalise the functionally of any space first before looking at finishes and colours. You can always work on the placement of these once you have finalised the design then make small tweaks to adjust accordingly. Fixtures are another big part of functionally so things like appliances, taps, and sinks are things that need to be taken into consideration while your design concept is taking shape. These fixtures should complement the functionally of the space.
Any lesser-known tips you can offer to our readers about their interiors?
Use larger tiles – reduced lines will make the space appear bigger and less cluttered.
Grains – if you are using a timber grain in your kitchen or bathroom, think about which way to run: horizontal or vertical. In a small room with limited light and height running the grain horizontally can make the space look small. So have a look both ways before deciding.
Suspended furniture pieces – This is a great way to give a space flow and the light and airy feeling that we all love. Yes, it can reduce your storage, but cohesive, quality design will save this situation.
Mirrored kickboards – a mirror can bring much needed light into what is often a dark space and again, will give the light and airy feeling we crave. Plus, the kickboard can reflect back a beautiful landscape, environment, or water feature element.
What is your favourite finish for a kitchen/bathroom and why?
Well-used textured surfaces. Texture brings things alive and can make you feel things when touched. So sometimes just mixing textures is enough to create interest in a space without the need to go over the top with colour or over designing it.
Sublime Architectural Interiors
6/45 Jijaws St, Sumner park
P 3715 6009 www.sublimegroup.com.au