Kitchens are the heart of every home, and The Block NZ 2019’s Firehouse kitchens are no exception.
For kitchen week all four teams nailed the design brief - making a statement and creating stylish and stunning kitchens.
Stacy and Adam took the win, pocketing $7000, but all the teams achieved high scores, and we love how inspiring each kitchen is.
Newshub spoke to a team of experts from Città, Farmers, Lighting Direct, Noel Leeming, PlaceMakers and Resene to get the low-down on the best way to recreate these eye-catching design elements in your own kitchen.
Farmers home merchandise manager Andrea Hume identifies some key trends for the season:
- Organic shaped dinnerware continues as a trend from last season, giving a very contemporary handmade look.
- Barware is key for the season so make sure you get a cocktail mixer and some gorgeous vintage cut glass crystal.
- Natural wood in dining tables matched with bench seats and miss-matched chairs.
- Kitchenware is more about sustainability with reusable and recyclable products.
- The exclusive to Farmers Salt&Pepper range of Nomad Organic shaped dinnerware has been used in a few of the rooms, and is very on trend and a popular choice.
- The Japanese style tea-pot, used by Lisa and Ribz, is a favourite as it can be used as a décor or functional piece.
- Rust colour napkins, as seen in Stacy and Adam’s dining table setting, are a simple and easy way to add some on-trend colour to your table.
1. Vivid and graphic fun: Apartment one - Stacy and Adam
The striking wallpaper and hands on the wall are a real point of difference in this winning room. We love the popping colour in the bar stools and flower arrangement. Also the glass top table, plus the mixed and matched chairs and innovative lighting.
Wallpaper, natural materials and colour
Resene’s Karen Warman says wallpapers have transformed so much over the years to assert their role as an instant feature in any home. "Whether one wall, one room or much more, wallpapers are embraced by decorators wanting to add a little extra personality to their space."
According to Città styling consultant Federica Contardi we’re also seeing a gravitation towards natural materials within kitchens. This includes granite, marble and stone benchtops as well as wooden tables, chairs and benches. "People complement natural materials with an accent of colour. Colour can be injected with coloured cushions, curtains or boldly coloured baking and servingware," she says.
2. Old Hollywood Glam: Apartment two - Lisa and Ribz
Wow, we love the pressed tin wall and pressed metal finish. Also the texturing and layering and blue colour lift the room. The end result is a luxurious and glamorous kitchen.
Lighting is a high involvement purchase decision, as Lisa and Ribz discovered during kitchen week. The teams have learned that lighting needs to be both functional and aesthetic, so engaging with Lighting Direct as a specialist was critical to get their lighting solution right.
A trained lighting consultant Damo took Lisa and Ribz through Lighting Direct’s 3D lighting design studio to show them what the different pendants would look like, so they could visualise each look. In the end Ribz picked out a black, clean architecture linear pendant - a Panorama 6 Light Pendant in Black.
Lighting Direct’s CEO Dean Fulford says Lisa and Ribz using the 3D Design service was a master stroke.
"Kitchens are one of the hardest areas to get right when it comes to lighting. Kitchens have dual functions - they need to be a well illuminated work space for preparing food, yet they also need to have the flexibility to create lower light levels for ambiance when entertaining."
3. Inspiring industrial rustic style: Apartment three - Ethan and Sam
A drawcard in this kitchen are its impressive appliances - a huge freestanding oven, double-sized fridge freezer and wine fridge. The choice of metallic tile is inspired, and the buttery wall colour works well with it. We also like the rustic timber shelves, wooden utensils and wood finish.
Noel Leeming home appliance merchandise manager Carolyn Heiplik says the kitchen is the hub of the home and the range of new integrated kitchen appliances available allows for a functional space - great for both entertaining, and everyday family living.
"With the growing trend of people entertaining at home more and more people are looking for the right style to set their kitchen apart from others. Technology is developing at a rapid pace so people like to upgrade to benefit from the advances more often."
"With Kiwi’s love for DIY it’s no wonder the kitchen is always one of the top spaces to keep current. Most home layouts have shifted from the kitchen traditionally being at the back of the house into the centre, with the space being more multifaceted. Renters are also looking to keep up with trends and using bench-top appliances as statement pieces."
4. Beautiful and bright kitchen concept: Apartment four - Sophia and Mikaere
Sophia and Mikaere’s kitchen offers a canvas for a beautiful life. It’s a really clean and bright kitchen. We love the narrow Ceasarstone® bench and the multi-dimensional tile at the back.
"We are seeing a lot more people interested in black appliances from Fisher & Paykel’s black free standing oven and dishwashers to the elegant Breville luxe kettles and toasters," Noel Leeming home appliance merchandise manager Carolyn Heiplik says.
Benchtops and tapware
Highlights in this kitchen are PlaceMakers Acrylic Neo Glacier/Ceasarstone® bench and Dorf Inca Sink Mixer kitchen tapware.
PlaceMakers kitchen category manager Liz Aitken explains some design elements evident in this kitchen. "Scandi design pays homage to the simplicity of life demonstrated in Nordic countries. Scandinavian furniture design often feels like a work of art, although it is simple and understated. There’s functionality in the furniture along with some interesting lines, many of which have a sculptural influence," she says.
"The style seen in this kitchen is also drawn from natural inspiration, using raw and often unfinished elements including wood and stone. New naturale design may incorporate accessories from the outdoors with warmth emulating from the design and architectural details. Many designs now integrate naturale with more modern furnishings and accessories"
Styles and trends
Federica from Città says function, style and comfort are the main focus for kitchen styles. People are creating minimal-looking kitchens. Hiding items like fridges and dishwashers helps create a welcoming feeling and makes the space look clean and minimal.
"People are also embracing shelves to display feature pieces in their kitchens. You could use floating shelves to display your favourite cups, mugs or even some flowers in a statement vase," she says.
Resene’s Karen says homeowners are embracing deeper colours in bedrooms, lounges and in kitchens. "Kitchens are increasingly open, and when we go out to dine, it’s common to be able to see into the kitchen, and be surrounded by sumptuous deep hues as you dine. Deep dark colours feel sophisticated, cocooning and cosy – the perfect accompaniment to a home cooked meal or an Uber delivered one," she says.
Check out an image gallery of all four apartments on the The Block NZ Fanzone.
This article has been created for Città, Farmers, Lighting Direct, Noel Leeming, PlaceMakers and Resene - proud partners of The Block NZ on Three.