New Kitchen Ideas

Our Independent Cabinet Makers often work together with interior designers to ensure your space is both beautiful and functional.

Our guest blogger, Geelong Interior Designer, Rebecca Jansma shares the latest kitchen trends and ideas for your new kitchen.

I’m Rebecca Jansma, Geelong Interior Designer, Rebecca Jansma from Space, Style and GraceDesigner and Creative Director of Space Grace & Style.

We’re a small Interior Design studio working across residential, commercial and hospitality projects in Geelong and Melbourne.

I live and breath interiors!

I came to this career after a false start in Medicine – I was a Haematologist; and then mining… that’s a subject for another blog! Although I loved what I did, I never lived and breathed it as I do with interiors. One of my great mentors in life used to say “find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. I don’t think I fully understood that until I started to do this work. It’s the hardest and most complex work I’ve ever done but the most rewarding. I have a short attention span, so the ever-changing nature of this work suits me perfectly. The best part is seeing the finished project and the pleasure a well-executed space brings to people.

My style is simple and relaxed; personal and not prescriptive. I design for longevity and want to create spaces that people and families love and enjoy; spaces that enhance our experiences and create memories. I select finishes based on aesthetic appeal and never on what seems to be the current trend… although they can sometimes overlap! I have a great weakness for beautiful craftsmanship in all its forms and try to impress that on my clients as well.


The kitchen. An integrated part of the living area

Kitchens are increasingly becoming an integrated part of the family and living area, in that sense it’s vital to design the space with that aesthetic and ambience in mind. Kitchens now have to be functional and hardworking, but also good looking and less ‘kitchen-y’!

Even with the increasingly popular inclusion of a butler’s pantry in the layout to mitigate some of the messier aspects of cooking, a kitchen is still essentially a space for preparing and cooking food, so the materials and design must be fit for purpose above all else. This is where a fabulous cabinet maker can guide a client towards the most appropriate and functional finishes.

As designers, we look at ways of enhancing the look and feel of the kitchen without compromising the functionality, increasingly by the use of fully integrated appliances such as fridges, freezers, range hoods and dishwashers. Ovens and cooktops are getting sleeker, darker and less intrusive; often with the option of a flush mount for a seamless bench top.

The clever use of materials in a kitchen has the potential to inject huge personality and we love to push the boundaries a bit with our clients and try to incorporate some colour, texture or timber in the design.


New kitchen ideas

The current trends in materials we see, and are using in the studio include some of the following:

  • Natural stone in bench tops, splash backs and shelves. Marble of course is a perennial favourite of ours, as well as granite and the engineered, reconstituted stones
  • A wide variety of engineered timber, environmentally sourced and beautifully warm – it’s a timeless finish that we love to use in large or small amounts!
  • Black melamine internal cabinets – non-negotiable when we’re using a darker colour door front; and BLACK as a kitchen colour – shades of blacks and greys are super luxe, dramatic and classically elegant, especially when combined with a beautiful metallic handle.
  • Metallic accents have been around for a couple of years now, and will not go away. Forget about copper, but brass in all its tones; gold; gun metal and matte black are here to stay. We love to make a feature of the metallic element and repeat it subtly throughout the space. A favourite way of doing this is by wrapping a large element in the metal – such as legs, range hood, kickers or shadow lines.
  • Kitchens as pieces of furniture… We strive to make the kitchen beautiful and love to play with shape and form within the space, often by elevating the island off the floor to give the space a sense of lightness and make it feel more like a table, and less like a bench. We can sacrifice some storage to make a feature of the base with a free-standing plinth, or maybe an external timber frame; the sense of space can be enhanced also by running a floating shelf along the wall rather than filling it with overhead cabinets.
  • Lighting is critical from a functional point of view in a kitchen, so great task lighting is essential of course. The use of LED strips for lighting interiors of cabinets adds a layer of luxe and drama so we always like to illuminate pantries and appliance cupboards using an automatic sensor. Pendants over an island are an opportunity to add drama and need not be super functional – we typically use a cluster of three over an island, but make sure you cluster them towards the centre – don’t make the mistake of spreading them evenly over the entire bench!

The white kitchen

A white kitchen will always be lovely, and for every non-white kitchen we design, there are two to three white ones, so we know they will never go out of style. You can change the look and feel of the space by playing with the texture and shape of your doors, handles and layout.


Create interest in your space

At the moment we are loving the following for changing up the style and creating interest in detailing:

  • V groove panelled doors
  • Shaker style in dark and moody colours (or white, let’s face it – it’s a classic!)
  • Reverse bevel – no handles, but maximise impact with a metallic or contrast shadow line
  • Brass handles – have a look at hepburnhardware.com for fabulous metallic, leather and rope inspiration to take the space out of the ordinary
  • Leather tabs and pulls – check out mademeasure.com we use these for all sorts of applications and they just get better with age and patinate beautifully over time


Add creative pieces to your kitchen says Rebecca Jansma from Space, Grace & Style

At the studio of Space Grace & Style, we help people to live beautifully.

See you soon!

Rebecca Jansma

Visit Rebecca’s website Space, Grace & Style  for more commercial and residential design ideas.

You can also follow Rebecca on Instagram and Facebook.


The information contained in this article has been prepared by our guest blogger and does not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, position, advice or endorsement of ICM Geelong, it’s members and sponsors.


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