Let’s talk about current kitchen trends. Are there any you’re interested in?
I’m not so much interested in trends as I am materials. I’m always looking for innovative materials, fixtures and appliances. I really like to set the trend by being the first to use a product in a way that enhances the design and functionality of a space.
We’re seeing this now with 3D printing and new blended metals, especially in tapware. The industry was quite set on black tapware, but it’s moving back toward bronze and brass.
Are there any trends you just don’t like?
Waterfall islands in kitchens! We designed the first one back in 2004 before it was mainstream – that should give you an idea of how old this ‘trend’ is! After a few years, it really took off, and now people have this preconception that a good kitchen needs an island with a waterfall end. I think going with a waterfall is just ignoring better options. You can get some really interesting material contrasts with split levels and cantilevers. Why ignore those?
There’s also another annoying trend, which is people putting poorly executed copies of iconic designs into kitchens without taking the proportions of the space into account.
Form or function: What comes first?
Form always follows functions. For me, creating a purposeful space is always on the top of my priority list. The kitchen should always to encourage flow and functionality within the space and with adjoining rooms. That said, everything is up for discussion at the beginning of a project. I’m happy to talk through the different options with people.
What’s the first thing you consider when you’re planning a kitchen project?
The first thing I think about is how the space will be used. What tasks will be performed in the kitchen, how often and at what time of the day/night. A great kitchen will enhance the owner's day, not prove an annoyance.