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Discover the Latest Kitchen Design Ideas from a Professional Home Builder

modern minimal kitchen

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, so why not make it shine? Whether you’re after the trendiest new styles or a classic, sophisticated look, there are plenty of stylish kitchen design ideas to choose from. As custom home builders, here are some of the best kitchen design features we’ve seen of late.

Oversized, Unhindered Island Benches

large island bench

Island benches have been a kitchen staple for a number of years, giving you more space and helping to frame the room in open-plan layouts. However, the latest trend in island benches is having them completely unhindered – no sink, no cooktop, just glorious open prep space. These benches are an excellent way to maximise your under-cabinet storage, give you unhindered room for cooking and baking, and double as a serving table when you have guests.

Coloured Cabinetry

As well as unhindered island benches, a big trend we’re seeing is coloured cabinets, particularly under island benches. Coloured cabinetry can be used throughout your kitchen, but a special pop of colour under your island bench can really make it look like a statement piece. There’s no limit to what colour you can paint your cabinets, but the top colours right now are periwinkle blue and blush pink.

Matte Finishes


There’s long been debate over whether gloss or matte finishes look best in the kitchen. At the moment, matte is raining supreme with everything from benchtops to cabinetry, and even appliances donning a matte finish. Matte appliances like your stovetop and fridge look exceptional in black, while pops of matte colour on your cabinetry can give the room a modern, sophisticated feel.

Large Butler’s Pantries


We’ve never met anyone who didn’t love a butler’s pantry. While previously butler’s pantries were used as walk-in food storage (hence the name), there’s been a shift to fully-functional pantries complete with small appliances like toasters, microwaves, and kettles, as well as food preparation space. A well-equipped butler’s pantry is a great way to hide mess while freeing up bench space in the main kitchen area. Depending on your lifestyle, you can also set up a nook in the butler’s pantry to act as a breakfast preparation zone, a coffee station, or a mini cocktail bar.

Stone splash backs and benches

Stone splash back

A simple way to really elevate your kitchen is to choose natural materials for your benchtops and splash back. Common options include marble, granite, and quartz, although unique choices such as onyx and slate are becoming more popular. For a uniform look you can match your benchtops to your splashback, or choose a contrasting material for a sleek look.

Statement Lighting

Kitchen lighting is no longer merely functional, but is also a great way to add some extra pizazz to the room. Pendant lights are the popular choice for over your island bench, while down lights work well over built-in benches and in the butler’s pantry. Make sure to match your pendant lights with your fittings or fixtures – metallic lights with matching tapware look stellar, for example, or you could choose matte black lighting to complement a black fridge or oven.

Brass Tapware


Speaking of metallic fixtures, brass tapware is one of the trendiest kitchen choices this year. Antique-inspired tapware will add a timeless finish to your kitchen, or you can opt for a modern style that still has that classy brass finish. There are also some great innovative options that are sensor-activated, automatically running when you put your hands under the tap.

Round Island Benches


While traditionally island benches have been rectangular, we’re seeing more and more rounded options, giving the overall impression of an oval more than a straight rectangle. Benches with rounded ends are often paired with a slatted front in natural timbers, which brings a softness to the room that helps balance out the often harsh look of a modern kitchen.

Reeded Glass

A big trend of the 1920s and 30s, reeded glass is making a comeback and is a great addition to a modern kitchen. This speciality glass helps add depth and texture to the room, and can be used in glass cabinets, the butler’s pantry doorway, or in place of cabinetry doors. Adding glass to your kitchen will give the illusion of having more space, and makes it easy for guests to see where to grab a glass or a plate. However, because of the glass’s reeded effect, you can hide everyday dishes behind a sophisticated façade where they are visible, but not fully on display.

Handle-less Cabinets

Improvements in touch-open cabinetry have made it easier than ever to have a sleek, seamless look in your overhead and base cabinets. While statement handles are still in vogue, handle-less options are growing in popularity and give an incredibly modern feel to the kitchen. If push-open doors aren’t your thing, recessed handles are a great alternative, and can be kept neutral for that sleek look or painted a contrasting colour for a unique point of interest.

Alternative flooring patterns

While traditional square tiles or herringbone laminate are a timeless option for kitchen floors, there’s been a resurgence in older floor patterns with a modern twist. One such style is mansion weave flooring, originating in French mansions in the 17th century. This unique pattern looks fabulous with wider laminate or hybrid planks, and lighter timbers help modernise this fabulously textural pattern.

Freestanding Furniture

Another reinvention of a classic design, freestanding furniture in a mid-century style is a great alternative to built-in island benches and overbearing storage. Popping legs on an island bench instantly lifts its look (no pun intended!) while small freestanding buffets or cocktail stations can add interest to an otherwise boring wall. Such items look great in deep timbers or in pops of colour like sage green.

No matter what sort of kitchen you’re after, a custom home builder can bring your vision to life. Talk to your local Bundaberg Home Builders to learn more.

About the author

CRJ Designer Homes

CRJ Designer Homes

CRJ Designer Homes is a locally owned, family operated building company. Since being established in 2006, Michael and his wife Gillian have made it their goal to build quality homes at exceptional prices, with inclusions that most would consider as an extra!

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