As Australia’s peak industry group for kitchen and bathroom designers, we’re often asked to share our perspective on changing trends in these much-loved spaces. COVID-19 has prompted a new line of questioning, and we’re considering how the response to the virus could change design in 2021 and beyond. We’ve looked into our crystal ball to start the conversation, and invite you to add your predictions in the comments below.

Function of Space

In the past year, the long-recognised ‘hub of the home’ has hosted a variety of tasks alongside traditional kitchen duties. With homeschooling, working from home and a renewed enthusiasm (by necessity) for in-house cooking and entertaining, well-designed, multi-functional spaces are more important than ever. 
Bathrooms will further transform from a utilitarian space into a wellness escape, as set out below.

Wellness in Design

A well-designed kitchen or bathroom will encourage wellness in several ways: 
  • Natural light and refreshing and invigorating palettes can make an enormous difference to the ‘vibe’ of a home, and minimise feelings of claustrophobia. 
  • Access to natural airflow, practical air ventilation and thoughtful storage planning, combined with sensitive product specifications, can reduce toxic exposure in the home. 
  • Ergonomic consideration and future-planning can create an environment that will accommodate accessibility for a range of abilities and ages. 

Colours, Patterns & Texture

We anticipate an exciting shift in home environment finishes, with a variety of inspiration sources:
  • A renewed appreciation for nature will see earth and sea-inspired hues work their way into our palettes. Cool whites will be ‘warmed up’ with brown-based creams, beiges, tan and terracotta tones. Forest greens and sea-blues will feature more distinctly.
  • As international travel stalls, we look forward to seeing how consumers and designers introduce flavours of afar into home design. Through colour, texture and pattern, homeowners have a fantastic opportunity to add glimpses of their favourite cities to their everyday environment. 

Appliance, Product and Material Specifications

As many Australians move to work from home on a more regular basis, we’ve seen a considerable uptake of appliances once reserved for office premises. KBDi partners have reported a significant increase in sales in boiling water taps, sparkling water taps and microwaves as homes convert to live-in offices. 
Hygiene and air quality will be of greater interest to homeowners focussing on health. We expect to see more emphasis placed on the antibacterial properties of benchtops and tiles (grouts, specifically), and the chemical make-up (VOCs) of paints, cabinetry and furnishings. We’ll see more attention paid to air extraction systems – both in kitchens and bathrooms – and a greater appreciation for natural airflow. 
We’d love you to look into your own crystal ball (or tealeaves or tarot cards or whatever takes your fancy) and share your predictions in the comments below.