• Jane Fergusson and Marianne Gailer of Kitchens By Design.

Kitchen Confidential

With over 70 design awards spread over 30 years, few would dispute that Kitchens By Design is New Zealand’s most experienced and most awarded kitchen company – so who better to ask about the latest trends in kitchen design? We take look at what’s hot in the kitchen through the eyes of Kitchens by Design’s two Takapuna-based designers, Marianne Gailer and Jane Fergusson.

Simply by walking into their spectacular showroom at 3 Byron Ave, Takapuna, you know you’re in for a treat. And once you start speaking with either of their two experienced designers – Marianne Gailer or Jane Fergusson – it becomes evident very quickly that you’ve come to the right place for a quality, well-designed kitchen.

On the subject of what’s on trend in the kitchen right now, both designers agree that natural, organic materials and themes are definitely in…

“Bringing nature into the space and using natural tones is really big,” says Marianne. “It’s not just the colours, but also textures, so natural wood grains are very popular, as are honed finishes on benchtops – even to the extent where you can feel the veins and irregularities in a piece of stone.”

“Natural marbles and stones are still really popular because of their unique patterns,” adds Jane. “These are premium products, however, so if your budget is tight, you can simply use them for highlights in splashbacks and upstands, like the one we have here – it’s absolutely beautiful and a piece of art in itself.”

Jane is referring to the large slab of Invisible Grey marble that fronts the stunning contemporary style kitchen in Kitchen By Design’s showroom – one of three quite different styles they have on display.

“Although the traditional look has made resurgence over the past few years, modern, contemporary kitchens continue to outsell the more classic designs,” says Jane. “That said, the simple, traditional look is still extremely popular with my villa and bungalow clients – it’s a style that fits right in, and you can still have the convenience of all the modern hardware and appliances.”

“We have a perfect example of that style in our showroom, too – a classically elegant kitchen with all the modern trimmings,” says Marianne, pointing to the beautiful white, traditional design that creates a perfect counterpoint to the modern kitchen it sits next to.

“I think our showroom really feeds the senses,” she says. “When people first come in, you see them jumping from one display to another, touching the surfaces, pointing to the design features, and trying out the drawers and cupboards. It’s great to watch.”

From a technology viewpoint, Jane mentions the huge strides that have been made in drawer and cupboard hardware – not just soft-close, which is now pretty much standard in all kitchens, but electrically assisted drawers and lift-up mechanisms that make life easier around the kitchen.

“I will nearly always try to incorporate one or both of these technologies into my designs these days – particularly with waste bins, where your hands are often full, or you don’t want to be touching a door panel with your dirty hands; and also for overhead cabinetry, where it’s hard to open and close cupboards high above your head.” Jane goes onto say that handle-less cabinetry is still the preference for modern kitchens, so servo-drive technology works really well in that situation, too.

“Lighting is also huge,” says Marianne, “especially with new, ultra-compact LED technology, where strip and spot lighting can be built in to the cabinetry or shelving. Don’t even know it’s there until it’s switched on.”

This conversation barely scratches the surface of the depth of knowledge these two kitchen designers have – but it’s great to know that if you want to know more, they are usually both on hand to share their experience and know how, all within the confines of such a wonderful showroom.

Kitchens By Design, 3 Byron Ave, Takapuna

Open Monday to Friday (10am-4.30pm) and Saturday (10am-2.30pm) or by appointment. www.kitchensbydesign.co.nz

Issue 88 June 2018