Kitchen bench

Clever kitchens and beautiful bathrooms

Solve design dilemmas and enhance liveability in every kitchen and bathroom project with these innovative new products.

As kitchens and bathrooms become the design epicentre of Australian home interiors, consumer wish lists for these rooms are rapidly expanding. They’re looking for kitchens that offer maximum functionality while masquerading as high-end furniture; and bathrooms that are high on the luxe factor yet easy to maintain.

Fortunately, as tech-savvy manufacturers continue to innovate and bring exciting new products to market, it’s never been easier for kitchen and bathroom professionals to create beautiful, high-performance spaces that meet (or exceed) these escalating client briefs.

Hettich drawers
User-friendly kitchen storage systems with a unique designer edge
Photo courtesy Hettich
Kitchen bench
The look of natural honed stone with superior durability

Smarter surfaces

Kitchen and bathroom surfacing products have undergone something of a revolution in recent years. Manufacturers are applying technology in new and exciting ways to create products that take both the look and functionality of these hard-working spaces to a whole new level.

Thanks to innovative production techniques, engineered benchtop surfaces can now reliably mimic the high-end beauty of natural stones, with the double bonus of being both more cost-effective and durable. Smartstone’s recently launched Naturale Collection features the authentic, semi-matte look of natural honed stone while still delivering Smartstone’s superior durability. The collection includes a range of versatile, on-trend shades such as soft greys, subtly-veined marble and white, to deliver a refined yet earthy appeal in contemporary kitchen and bathrooms.

With a solid reputation for quality, sustainability and value, Smartstone is a leading supplier of quartz surfaces, manufactured using advanced technology to create the most beautiful, natural-looking engineered stone in the market. Each Smartstone product is meticulously sourced from the most innovative manufacturers with high levels of workmanship, technology and environmental care.

The product is made from 93 per cent quartz blended with pigments and polymers for lasting durability, and is suitable for any horizontal or vertical indoor surface application. And the best part? Smartstone is available in extra-large slabs to enhance design flexibility – at 3200 x 1600mm, the jumbo sizing reduces the need for joins, resulting in a sleeker finish at a reduced per-square-metre cost.

Smartstone has been awarded global quality certifications in food safety, environment and quality and comes with a 15-year limited warranty.

High-end surfacing such as natural marbles and granite continue to lead kitchen and bathroom trends worldwide. However while homeowners love the look of natural stone, it is highly susceptible to staining and can be difficult to maintain in high-use areas.

Dekton Opera – a high-tech porcelain from Cosentino – represents a practical alternative, faithfully replicating the luxurious look of natural marble, but in a more durable and versatile format. Opera takes inspiration from elegant Italian Carrara marble, and is characterised by simple light grey veining, which adds depth and interest to the creamy white surface for a classic understated finish. The new Dekton® Velvet Texture finish gives the product a softness and tactility reminiscent of natural stone.

Dekton is heat-, stain- and scratch-resistant and can be specified for use on benchtops, floors and walls in kitchens, bathrooms and outdoors.

With bold, dark hues also gaining momentum, the newest colour in Silestone’s Eternal range, Emperador, stands out for its creamy streaks and bright touches scattered on a tobacco bronze background, creating an earthy, warm and opulent aesthetic.

Silestone by Cosentino is a new-generation product comprising approximately 95 per cent pure natural quartz blended with raw materials and resins. It features Cosentino’s patented N-Boost technology, which modifies the product’s molecular properties to create a non-porous surface that acts as a liquid repellent when it comes in contact with spillages. Unlike sealants that can wear off over time, the N-Boost treatment results in a maintenance-free surface that will continue to look and perform like new for many years to come.

Consumers are looking for kitchens that offer maximum functionality while masquerading as high-end furniture

Statement styling

Open-plan design has brought kitchens out from behind closed doors, and with the space now on display, designers are optimising cabinetry and storage systems to improve functionality, deliver a streamlined, clutter-free elegance, and visually anchor the aesthetic value of the whole living space.

Hettich’s new designer profiles for ArciTech and InnoTech Atira drawers give cabinetmakers a simple, cost-effective way to deliver beautiful, user-friendly kitchen storage systems with a unique designer edge.

The decorative, self-adhesive profiles in attractive finishes create visual highlights with an individual touch: timeless stainless steel, chrome or aluminium looks give the drawer a particular aura of elegance and quality. Oak and walnut looks pick up on the trend towards more natural authenticity. Here, the combinations are equally as varied as consumer demands and expectations.

Whether you’re constructing cabinetry for the kitchen, living room or bedroom, the high-quality mix of different materials and decorative designer profiles makes an impressive statement.

Easy to install, these profiles can also be cost-effectively added at a later date without impacting on the production process. Individual customer preferences can be met quickly and in a variety of ways.

Hettich’s CAD Service provides full planning details and assembly instructions for all products with 2D and 3D views, plus drawings of fittings, cabinet and cross sections.

With kitchens now the hub of both family life and entertaining, once-utilitarian items are being re-imagined with a new focus on design. The sink, for example, is an integral part of the kitchen and as such, needs to be functional and durable. But even this most practical of items is increasingly seen as a design statement piece exuding luxury, sophistication and elegance.

Oliveri has managed to capture all of this in its Santorini range of sinks. Crafted from granite, the durable, distinct design of the Santorini sinks make them a statement piece for any home. The range includes single, double bowl and drainer options, made with 80 per cent granite and quartz particles and 20 per cent acrylic resin, providing a beautiful yet incredibly hard-wearing surface.

The range isn’t all great looks either: the stain-, scratch- and impact-resistant surface material can withstand heat up to 280°C, and is resistant to limescale for easy cleaning. The hygienic surface is suitable for food preparation and an active agent in the sink removes bad smells and pollutant substances often found in the kitchen.

Oliveri also offers an extensive range of tapware finished in chrome, brushed or the complementary ‘Santorini black’ colour in a variety of designs to suit your clients’ style and budget.

Silestone marble benchtop
Faithfully replicating the luxurious look of natural marble
Photo courtesy Silestone
Oliveri tapware
The durable, distinct design of Santorini sinks makes them a statement piece for any home
Photo courtesy Oliveri

Shower power

While kitchens have metamorphosed into multi-purpose spaces, bathrooms are increasingly dedicated, quite simply, to the art of bathing. Today’s bathrooms are all about relaxation, pampering, and luxury, and clever manufacturers are delivering a range of exciting new products designed to enhance the bathing experience.

The all-new Therm-Oz Showers Thermostatic Shower Valve mixer promises to transform the daily shower by eliminating those annoying water temperature fluctuations that occur when other taps in the house are turned on.

This product, which is set to become a must-have inclusion for modern family homes, mixes hot and cold water to a set temperature of 38°C, and this temperature is maintained even when other taps, toilets or washing machines are in use. A safety override button on the left handle allows the temperature to be safely and easily adjusted to anywhere between 20 to 50 degrees.

With cool-touch technology, the surface temperature of the mixing valve is safe to touch or hold while showering. And, if the cold water supply were to fail, the shower would instantly shut off to prevent any chance of scalding. Therm-Oz is not an electrical product; it is simply a more efficient way of mixing hot and cold water.

Therm-Oz Showers Thermostatic Shower Valves are manufactured to Australian Standard AS4032.4, have WaterMark certification and feature a three-star WELS rating.

To retro-fit existing bathrooms, the Therm-Oz ‘Reno Kit’ converts an existing manual two-tap shower into a thermostatic shower, without requiring any alterations to pipework or tiling. For new bathrooms, choose the ‘New Build Pack’ which comes complete with fixing bracket. Both packs are supplied with an adjustable chrome slide rail, hose, hand-set and soap dish.

Bathroom design and layouts are increasingly aimed at amping up the luxe factor, with an emphasis on natural light and sleek, streamlined minimalism. A sense of openness is created through the use of walk-in showers. The hobless design visually enlarges the space and creates a seamless flow within the room. However correct drainage is crucial in bathrooms and more often than not, design and aesthetic considerations go unanswered.

Stormtech’s new linear drainage systems now allow unprecedented levels of design flexibility in the bathroom. Unlike conventional drainage, this level-plane drainage solution requires no hob and only a single gradient fall, providing seamless access possibilities and eliminating the need for shower hobs and cumbersome step-down thresholds.

By significantly expanding the area of drainage, linear drainage promotes consistent water flow and egress, reducing the incidence of ponding. Designed as a modular system, linear drainage can be tailored for any ground surface shape and unique environment, significantly reducing construction time and costs.

As Australia’s leading drainage manufacturer and supplier, and creator and proud pioneer of the linear drainage system, Stormtech is recognised globally as an industry leader in the design and manufacture of this ingenious and highly practical drainage. With 25 years of experience in architectural drainage, Stormtech’s products are compliant with the relevant building and plumbing codes for drainage solutions – including meeting the relevant requirements of AS3500. The products also have WaterMark certification.

The Australian, family-owned business works closely with regulators, legislators, end users, trades and distributors to develop problem-solving products.


This article was compiled with contributions from Hettich, Oliveri, Stormtech, Therm-Oz, Cosentino and Smartstone

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