The heart may be where the home is, but that doesn’t mean all rooms are created equal.
Go back fifty years and kitchens were built to be hidden in the back of houses. Their practical cousin, the bathroom, suffered a similar fate.
But now these two rooms are taking centre stage. We want our kitchens to be more than clean and our bathrooms better than basic.
They’re the two rooms we are more likely to renovate and don’t mind splashing the cash to get what we want.
Last year, Australian renovators spent an average $20,000 on their kitchens and $13,000 on their master bathrooms, according to analysis from Houzz.
Whether you’re planning a full-scale renovation or just a simple makeover, both the rooms need to hit the right balance between practicality and style, says Richard Armstrong from The Makeover Group.
“The first question we ask is how do they use the space?” he told The New Daily.
“What food do they cook? If it’s a particular cuisine you need to structure the room to fit the appliances.
“The way people are entertaining – do they do the cooking beforehand and have a big reveal in the dining room? Or do they stand around the bench pouring champagne and watching as some poor sod cooks.”
Kitchens aren’t just places to cook anymore, they’re often where we socialise but we like them to have a classical look, says Rosana McLeod from Creative by Design.
“What’s on trend is that Hamptons styling with a contemporary flair,” she told The New Daily.
“The big one on peoples wish list is the butler’s pantry, with sinks. They want their kitchen to be functional but clean-lined, without a lot of clutter.”
The trend towards the Hamptons aesthetic is modernised by statement pieces, which include black taps, stone splashbacks and large lighting, says Ms McLeod.
“People are introducing statement pendant lighting. They’re functional, they focus the light, it’s a nice way to help separate the space and they look beautiful.”
But this trend towards lighter shades doesn’t mean colour is over, says Sara Chamberlin, co-owner of The Real Estate Stylist.
“We’re seeing a really nice trend in cabinetry with dark panelling, blue gum or a really deep olive green and there’s a lot of black kitchen hardware,” she told The New Daily.
While a white bathroom can be harder to warm up, it can also be a foundation to get creative.
“Moroccan tiles are in and they’re really beautiful. You can be more creative with a pattern, but I don’t think they need to be over the top. You can do something really elegant,” she said.
But if you’re thinking about glass, think again.
“Glass has had its day, we’re going with statement pieces like oversized shower heads and staying away from anything too shiny.”
“Pinks and silvers are out. Small tiles in bathrooms are out because they’re so hard to clean. It’s about big square tiles, up to the roof.”
While your new marble bench top might look divine on top of your deep blue cabinetry, none of it will be worth doing if you can’t see it, says Mr Armstrong.
“Light that casts a shadow – that’s out. There is a lot of focus on lighting because historically you would design a kitchen and you would just throw a light in the middle and hey presto, it cast a shadow – who would have thought.
“Now it’s about task lighting, be that downlight or LED lights and that improves the functionality and aesthetic of the room.”