With the rising status of both cooking and building shows in Australia there comes an increased consumer desire for high quality kitchens, whether they be for new custom home builders or a complete renovation to the current kitchen structure.

This year we’ve noted a number of new kitchen trends for custom built homes, including a selection of newly requested materials for bench tops, cabinets and kitchen surfaces. In addition we are noticing many custom requested taps and demand for easy and efficient storage space.

As well as this, a number of high end clients are requiring custom designed island benches which can look quite architectural and inevitably become the centrepiece of the kitchen in many modern luxury homes. Island benches not only offer increased work space but also add to the overall ambience of the kitchen.

Lately, this has meant island benches constructed in a manner that features an asymmetrically shaped bench on one side and on the other side utilise the curved structure as a booth, which becomes a small dining area.

Indoor Centrepiece

In other designs custom builders have fused technology and tradition, illuminating the skirting of the island bench with LED lighting while some designs mirror the effect with the LED illumination directly above the bench.

Indoor Centrepiece

Modern luxury homes often lead the way in terms of setting new trend directions, opting for a point of difference, something that can make them stand out from the crowd. In line with this, there is now an amplified desire for island bench castors, in essence the moveable bench. The castor bench is ideal for those who like to throw parties or big functions, as it means it is possible to have a large size bench for food preparation and then put this away when the need arises for more space, say for a cocktail function.

Similarly, many custom built homes are now looking for different ways to combine old with new, easily achieved with the industrial look by employing repurposed wood sided benches which can also achieve an antique look.

Indoor Centrepiece

Quality home builders are continually in pursuit of new trend materials that can add a wow factor to their luxury home designs. For 2016, Australian luxury homes will see the rise of porcelain bench tops. Porcelain bench tops are also known as sintered compact surfaces. These surfaces are becoming popular as kitchen bench tops because porcelain contains the common properties of caesar stone and smart stone.

Porcelain is the perfect choice for highly lit kitchens as it has a high resistance to sunlight. This material is also manufactured in large slabs much bigger than quartz based materials and can be a better choice for longer island benches and spacious kitchen areas.

It is also a very tolerant material which can be ideal for food preparation where other materials can sometimes be prone to stains.

One thing that clients working with new custom home builders must keep in mind is that porcelain is very heavy so it may not fit in with your dream kitchen design. Porcelain can be relatively expensive too; as it is a new market product it is priced above quartz-based materials.

If porcelain is not the right bench top material for you then Caesar stone and smart stone remain popular choices in the kitchens of modern luxury homes. It will certainly pay to discuss all the available options with your builder or designer first.