March, 2021
The kitchen has always been the heart of the home for Kiwi families, offering a place to reconnect and prepare kai to share together. With a global pandemic encouraging the work-from-home concept, it’s fair to say kitchens are getting more of a workout than ever before. Add into the mix the fact that we can’t travel the globe as readily, many families are choosing to invest that ‘travel fund’ into making their kitchens more functional and beautiful.

Good kitchen design needs considerable thought and understanding of what works best; with colour and design trends playing a significant role in the process.

Below we explore up-and-coming global and local kitchen design trends to help you make the best design choices for you and your whanau to love for years to come.

Nature’s Way

With more time spent at home, natural timber and timber look finishes are a popular choice for those wanting to draw the outdoors in.

Laminex Timber Veneer, Laminex Woodgrain Collection and Melteca are well suited to satisfy a variety of design styles, from the contemporary Scandi-style home to an industrial commercial space.

Produced by slicing real wood logs and joining them together to create a unique wood face, Laminex Timber Veneer offers a high-end solution for those looking for a timber aesthetic using reconstituted timber.

Island Cabinetry – Laminex Timber Veneer Reconstituted Smoked Greige, Planked, Clear Satin Finish Back Wall and Shelving – Laminex Timber Veneer Reconstituted Chalked Ash, Crown Cut, Clear Satin Finish Benchtop – Caesarstone Bianco Drift

The Laminex Woodgrain Collection offers UV stable, finished timber look panels with an authentic woodgrain aesthetic and matching texture edgetape. Ideal for joinery, high quality furniture, feature walls or cabinetry, the collection strikes the perfect balance of beautiful realism with performance.

Vanity Cabinetry: Laminex Woodgrain Collection Bisque

Melteca Woodgrain finish offers a durable and cost-effective choice for high-use areas like the kitchen, while still giving a timber look and feel. Melteca’s environmental credentials stack up as well.

Cabinetry - Melteca Classic Oak Benchtop - Caesarstone Empira White, Design and Build - Alex and Corban

The focus on nature has also made its way into colour palettes, with the Melteca Tones of New Zealand Collection, created in collaboration with Dulux, offering blue and green tones that reflect the landscape of New Zealand.

Left: Cabinetry - Melteca Possum, Design - Alex and Corban Right: Cabinetry - Melteca Spinifex, Benchtop - Laminex Formica Spinifex
Tucked Away

Integrated appliances behind easy to open cabinetry continues to remain popular, achieving a stylish pared-back look. Full wall to ceiling cabinetry helps keep clutter under control for a kitchen you want to hang out in. Handle-less cabinets are trending, for a sleek minimalist look with either push to open or recessed handles. Streamlining this high-use space creates order and calm, essential when many of us are spending more time at home.

Cabinetry: Melteca Warm White and Classic Oak Design: Leisa Lucas, Roamer At Home
Doubling Down

The classic L-shaped layout continues to be the most popular family-friendly design for a working kitchen, with two connected walls of cabinetry and a central kitchen island creating an easy-to-use space. But with kitchens frequently doubling as extra working space, on trend is integrating more useable bench space with dining tables built into the kitchen benchtop.

Long Cabinets: Laminex Acrylic Panel Haze Design: Nicola Ross Design
Shiny Things

Remember those gaudy copper splashbacks and fireplace wall panels of the 70’s hippie era? Well, they’re back and here to stay with a modern edit. 2021 continues to see the re-introduction of the use of copper, brass and gold in home interiors, adding a touch of luxe to the functional kitchen with shinier tapware, cupboard and door handles, lighting, splashbacks and rangehoods. These warmer tones soften a space while adding a standout design element. The Laminex Laminate Metallics Collection offers luxe options for metallic kitchen accents, a cost-effective and hard-wearing alternative to real brass or copper.

Left: Melteca Char Blue, Laminex Laminate Brushed Brass Right: Benchtop - Laminex Laminate Pure Mineralstone, Laminex Brushed bronze, Laminex Acrylic Panels Pitch Black
Dark Drama

Previously popular as an accent colour, we’re seeing a return of black for larger scale surfaces. Think black walls, black cabinetry, work surfaces, even black floors. What may sound harsh and gloomy, in reality looks incredibly striking and luxurious when paired with the right textures and colours.

Island and Feature Wall Panel - Laminex Formica Nero Grafite Island Panel and Rangehood - Laminex Brushed Bronze Back Benchtop and Cabinetry - Laminex ARtouch Black

Setting a bold tone and perfect for designing a moodier look is the Caesarstone Dark Collection, Caesarstone’s latest addition with three new decors.

Empira Black

Empira Black has dark base composed of rich, deep black and fine white neutral veins. Inspired by the authentic characteristics of natural forms, Empira Black endows the space with the sophistication of real marble.

Black Tempal

Black Tempal has soft mineral deposits that give rise to a delicate veil of warm whites across the slab, contrasting its sturdy charcoal base. Its complex industrial composition reflects a captivating interpretation of travertine.


With an industrial appearance and textured-matt finish, it's named for its oxidised effect that closely resembles natural rust.

Be Bold

On the opposite spectrum is the increasing popularity of colours and contrasting palettes, and we’re not talking about painting a ‘feature wall’. Homeowners are increasingly opting for bold colour choices for everything from cabinetry to furniture. When it comes to colour, blues and greens are having their moment, reflecting the trend of creating a calm, serene interior environment reflecting natural tones to bring the outdoors in.

Benchtop - Laminex Laminate Nero Grafite, High Cabinetry and Under Benchtop - Melteca Dawn Grey, Long Cupboards - Melteca Black Pearl, Splashback - Seratone Sandy Bay
Left: Cabinetry - Melteca Spinifex, Benchtop - Laminex Formica Spinifex, Benchtop Column - Laminex Laminate Carrera Marble Right: Wall Panel - Melteca Possum, Cabinetry - Melteca Green Slate
Timeless Tiles

Kitchen tiles are back in the front row, an exciting way to add personality, contrast and texture to this high-use space. Seratone Aqua Subway and Herringbone offer an updated twist to a tried-and-tested classic. Suitable for interior wet and dry applications like bathroom panelling, kitchen splashbacks and laundry walls, Seratone Aqua is a stylish and low-maintenance tile alternative.

Left: Seratone Polar White Herringbone, Right: Seratone Black Subway Tile, Design – Tina Jones Interiors, Photography – Deborah Primrose