Designed by Bronwyn Aldridge for Brilliant SA. Built by Brilliant SA. Photography by Aaron Citti.

Kitchen & Bathroom Design in 2022

Australian design is leaning heavily into our own backyard for inspiration around colours and materials. At a time where the world has been forced to nestle at home for a while, it seems fitting that the design elements we choose come from our natural surroundings, further enhancing our desire for an indoor-outdoor way of life.

The residential construction industry has certainly been one to benefit from the Covid outbreak, with home renovations skyrocketing over the last 2 years and not showing any signs of slowing. While the government stimulus was a contributor to this, when it comes to the kitchen and bathroom industry, we find that these areas are attracting big focus from busy families who are now spending a lot more time together in the one location.

For many, it has become apparent that their tired bathroom doesn’t cater for the increased frequency of use, nor does the heightened amount of home prepared meals do a dysfunctional kitchen any favours. Several families are choosing to reallocate travel savings on their home, and with a real estate market that is also running hot, it has never been a better time to add value to their own property.

Australian Inspo

When black tapware came onto the market, several industry professionals assumed it would be short lived, much like the waves of rose gold before it. Surprisingly, this was a trend that took off massively, starting with a fleeting industrial style before migrating into a big contemporary favourite; being used as an accent throughout design, or featuring as the main event. As we enter 2022, could this be the year that finally says goodbye to black tapware? We know that WA demand quickly declined due to their unforgiving hard water. And although black fixtures were slowly adopted in SA, chrome remains the safe choice for many homeowners. But lead by the Eastern States and happily adopted everywhere has been the likes of brushed nickel, gunmetal and brushed gold. It would seem there is a gravitation toward metal finishes that emulate our rugged country’s natural minerals.

We are not only seeing this trend in tapware but also joinery, as manufacturers of leading laminate and timber products are releasing palettes to complement our native bushland. In cabinet doors we have earthy greens, ocean blues, dusty browns and even metallics entering supplier ranges. Fabricators of benchtops are cutting concrete-look and natural stone patterns across a multitude of products from engineered slabs to solid surface sheets as well as the real deal in granite to name just a few. The amount of choice in materials for homeowners is abundant to say the least. But the true consistency between them all is the great variety of natural landscape selection.

Celebrating Curves

Clean lines have dominated the show for several years now, as working with squares is generally the best way to maximise a space. However, curves quietly crept back in a couple of years ago and are about to make a statement big enough to rival the Art Deco era. Manufacturers of various products have caught wind, fabricating innovative new products for designers to specify, making it easier and more cost effective to implement a sleek radius into their design.

Round edges can soften a space by balancing the common sharp square edges. The curves we are now seeing in benchtops, cabinets and even feature shower walls (sorry to our tilers!) add incredible interest to any kitchen or bathroom area.

Products Galore

Perhaps combating a growing supply shortage is simply the incredibly large number of products on the market, meaning there has never been a better time to truly create a bespoke design for your home. When it comes to kitchen projects, the infinite choice of appliances can be a little confusing, but there really is suitable and quality products for every price point. Something for consumers and designers to be aware of is the quantity of differing appliance dimensions out there; no longer are standard sizes a sure thing! We are seeing this across the board from refrigerators to washing machines and ovens. As products develop and new international brands enter the Aussie market, it pays to double check your appliance clearances.

However, the opportunity for owners to create their custom home with new innovative products is quite exciting! Another segment that is boasting with possibility are tile boutiques. Consumers can be forgiven for becoming overwhelmed with the choices of ceramic and porcelain available; small mosaics, large format and now three-metre-long sheets.

When it comes to designing your dream home, any look can be achieved for any price point. If you can’t afford real timber flooring, hybrid planks now look incredibly realistic, and these will remain popular for some time to come due to their versatility and aesthetic. Terrazzo-look porcelain tiles are going down as quickly as old 60’s terrazzo is being pulled up, except in this tiling revival a greater colour and size selection in aggregate dispersion is available. And do subway tiles ever really go out of fashion?! There is such an abundance of options and designers aplenty to help you pull it all together.

When it comes to designing your kitchen, bathroom or laundry in 2022, “you do you!” At a time where appreciation for our own nest is at it’s greatest, why not turn your home into the place you crush on every single day? Your style, your budget, your home.

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