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The good, the bad and the ugly: Kitchen design trends

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Some of the most popular/recent kitchen design conventions – should you should use them?

About to redesign? Check out these trends ...


No one ever said designing a kitchen was easy. For the experienced and uninitiated alike, planning a kitchen means taking into account who’s going to be using it and how it connects to the wider home. There’s also the always important form v function discussion.

To ensure you end up with a kitchen that works for you and adds value to your home, here’s what to consider when it comes to some of the more recent kitchen design trends.

Pendant lights

Having three hanging pendant lights above an island counter is one of the most common ways to kill two birds with one stone. With this arrangement, you effectively light a high traffic area of the kitchen and ensure there’s a strong focal point for the room.


Our key piece of advice? Don’t go overboard. Avoid garish pendant lights and instead choose pieces that complement the room.

Waterfall islands

No, we’re not talking about actual waterfalls in the kitchen here (although how cool would that be?). Waterfall island countertops extend over the edge of the island and down to the floor.

They’ve grown in popularity as they offer a neat and simple way to define your island, and produce that clean-lined box look that works so well in a contemporary kitchen.

We reckon the island is a great place to experiment, but you may be wasting the opportunity by opting for a waterfall island. Instead, consider a split level island or something else entirely. Ever wanted an island that merges into a booth?

RGB lighting

This one’s quite simple. While coloured effects can be a great way to add flair to a kitchen, it’s quite easy to go overboard. Keep these lights to a specific section (the splashback, for example) and try and avoid going crazy with the colours.

Disco kitchens are not in!

Creative splashbacks

We’ve discussed how you can add an element of character to your kitchen through the splashback before, in this article here. You can opt for picture splashbacks, splashbacks with built-in lighting and splashbacks that use unique materials.

It pays to consider the splashback in the context of the wider kitchen. If you’ve already got a lot going on with regards to lighting, cabinetry and appliances, consider toning down the splashback.

Colourful appliances

Be careful with colourful appliances. Buying these means you’re essentially locking your kitchen into a particular style. They could be a turnoff to potential buyers if you want to sell your home in the future.

Our advice? Opt for stainless steel.

Kitchen projects can be stressful, so view some of our other articles if you’re still feeling a little lost. If you want to get started with a new kitchen, read the ‘Getting started’ guide.

First published date: 25 September 2017

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