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Cabinet finishes – what's hot, what's not

Classic white, moody black, or pulled back colour? We put the question of trending cabinet finishes to designers on the Trends Design Council panel

1. Damian Hannah, German Kitchens

There's a real movement to the warmer tones. At the moment I’m seeing a lot of the natural veneers again – but they’re not that well suited to New Zealand as we have too much sun that can fade them. 

The same goes with solid wood cabinetry, even with sealants. 

That said, there is a movement back to those timbers. There’s a lot of coffee colours too, and also paler wood colours like the ash or teak – just warm, honey toned timbers and then matching that with soft pastel colours. Greens are popular too. 

But the timbers and black and white are timeless as are grey tones, which is a mix of black and white anyway, and monochromatic – in fact a shade not even a colour. 

And you can put anything with black, white, or grey.



2. Natalie Du Bois, Du Bois Design

Timbers of all tones are popular – with rustic or exaggerated grains being wire brushed to emphasise their “realness”. 

There are also super matt tones and light tones, and especially an introduction of pastel colours.

Doors are being made out of the same product as the benchtop, too – as with sintered/porcelain stone products that don’t weigh a lot and can be fitted to special hinges. 

Plus there’s an emphasis on various metals and concrete looks – very earthy products.

For this kitchen, a subdued soft greyed and off-white palette was chosen for the walls, cabinetry and surfaces, and then teamed with the warmth of brushed French oak flooring, bar stools, and even the wall hooks in the pantry.


3. Davinia Sutton, Detail by Davinia Sutton

There’s been a lot of steel work involved in kitchen cabinetry for quite a while now and there's been a lot of veneers and dark moodiness. 

We're creating kitchens with a natural aspect, too – utilising natural stone, quartzites, different species of marbles and timber veneers. 

We’re also seeing mid to lighter tones and a play on the juxtaposition of dark to light rather than all heavy and dark.

Plus, we’re exploring the lightness of porcelains and pushing boundaries on how kitchen joinery can be more monolithic – where the benchtop and joinery are in the same product. 

So I think that's the direction that kitchens potentially will go in the higher end. But it’s not always a ‘Wow, look at me’ statement but rather melded more into the background.


4. Leonie Hamill, Cube Dentro

We're in a natural colour pallete at the moment – so earthy colours and tones are still very strong – timber, black, brass, antique brass. 

The use of all those nice metals that are warming up decors, particularly in combination with the use of natural marble, is still very strong. 

In fact, using earthy colours, including timber/concrete mixes, is still very much on trend.


5. Lara Farmilo, Akzente

We're still using a lot of timber elements and there's more visible texture available in the woods, too. 

I think we're going to see a shift with bringing the environment beyond our windows from outside into the home and use it in the way of colouring the cabinetry and the textures that will be coming through.


So what is the overriding trend for our new kitchens? Wood, black and white and subtle hues would seem to hold sway – what these finishes have in common is that they will hold their contemporary feel and freshness as the years turn.

More kitchen ideas More design advice

Story by: Trendsideas

31 Oct, 2021

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