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Lifestyle : Bathrooms and Kitchens 2011
1HERSA1 C023 Essential ingredients Integrated appliances, versatile benchtops and stylish splashbacks are on trend, writes Andrea Jones. Top of the line . . . the Poggenpohl Porsche Design kitchen. T he smartest modern kitchens are almost invisible as designers create ever-more ingenious ways to integrate them seamlessly into our living spaces. ‘‘Clients are saying, ‘I don’t want that feeling that I’m looking at the kitchen,’ ’’ says Colin Kippax, the head designer at A La Carte Design, a specialist in leading-edge Poggenpohl designs. Central to this no-kitchen trend is seamless storage that works just as well for pantry needs as for hiding the TV and entertainment unit. So a bank of cupboards the length of the living room with barely-there handles or touch-open doors may hide the pantry, fridge and dishwasher at one end and the family DVD collection, Wii and assorted entertainment needs at the other. Flowing spaces In this new, flexible living space, kitchen work surfaces are evolving into key pieces of living-room furniture, so a long sweep of bench may serve as a cooking surface at one end and a sleek dining table at the other. These new-generation benches are often partly freed from under-bench cupboards, reinforcing that illusion of an open, airy space. With the trend for kitchens to be in the centre of the home’s entertainment zone, it’s little surprise the cook’s domain has also become a status symbol. Hence the rise of designer appliances and even designer kitchens. How about Poggenpohl’s Porsche Design kitchen? Designed by the prestige car maker, with aluminium, glass and titanium-hued frame, sound system and TV – everything but a gear stick – it’s yours for $200,000. But whatever your budget, Kippax says the standard of kitchen design on offer in Sydney has risen dramatically in the past five years. ‘‘Imported kitchens are having a tremendous impact on the quality of the local kitchen industry and in people understanding you need a good kitchen designer,’’ he says. Must-have appliances Start by looking for integrated appliances, where you can customise the appliance door to match your cabinets so they virtually disappear. ‘‘They are becoming more of a norm in the kitchen,’’ the national sales manager for Freedom Kitchens, Susan Hasler, says. ‘‘This really suits our lifestyle, easily transforming [one room] from dining area to workspace or entertainment space.’’ And when appliances are on display, the hot look is for matching wall-hung units that create one seamless bank from oven to microwave to coffee machine. ‘‘Appliances are also an excellent opportunity to add a ‘wow’ factor,’’ Hasler says. ‘‘Double ovens and steam ovens [considered a healthier cooking method than conventional baking] are becoming popular choices. The built-in coffee machine and wok burner are also statement pieces.’’ How about a wine fridge? ‘‘There’s even the option of having two – a cellar fridge and a serving fridge, where wine is brought up to the right temperature,’’ Kippax says. And if you’re after the latest in chef-style appliances, he says look out for vacuum food sealers for cooking ‘‘sous-vide’’ (poached in a bag) just like superstar chefs Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adria. And coming soon to kitchens are domestic blast freezers, like those used on MasterChef for dishes that require rapid cooling and strict temperature control. Get your money’s worth A great kitchen design will last beyond the next fad. So, while kitchen showrooms display an array of statement colours from cherry red to outrageous violet, Kippax has sound advice: ‘‘Choose a colour that you can live with in the morning.’’ Classic choices are natural hues. ‘‘The current palette is muted. And there is a move to a very stark white, this feeling of wanting to have a very crisp, clean space to live in,’’ he says. The other element of a great design is a sense of personality – that extra element that makes you smile whenever you come home and makes guests go: ‘‘Wow!’’ Hasler’s tip is to vamp up the splashback. ‘‘Glass and tiles are available in myriad options that can transform the space instantly.’’ And, she says, ‘‘a stunning sink and tap or a designer rangehood can really set the tone and ensure your kitchen stands out from the crowd.’’ SPECIAL REPORT A Herald Special Report ■ Editor Bellinda Kontominas, email@example.com ■ Advertising Richard Emanuel, 9282 1120, firstname.lastname@example.org ■ Readerlink 9282 1569 SPECIAL REPORT November 26-27, 2011 Bathrooms and Kitchens Linear. Evolving our family heritage. Head Office 02 8667 4888 www.smeg.com.au SMA11406 SAVES ENERGY SAVES MONEY AUTO COOK MICROWAVE STEAM OVEN COFFEE MACHINE
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