Few would deny that, when it comes to kitchens, a new era has dawned. No longer relegated a purely utilitarian role where food storage and preparation take place, kitchens have become the spaces in the home where friends and family gather and memories are made. It is fitting, then, that the theme for this year’s Franke Kitchen Design Project at Decorex is “Heart of the Home”.
Sponsored for the second year running by Franke, one of the world’s leading kitchen-systems suppliers, the refined culinary zones on show at Decorex Cape Town, which kicks off on 29 April at the CTICC, will showcase the very latest in visionary kitchen design and materials.
“We are pleased to be affiliated with Decorex SA for a second year,” says Clinton Soutter, National Sales Manager for Franke South Africa, who describes the show as “a designers’ hub, offering the homeowner an array of inspiring new ideas and the latest in trends.” He adds, “The Decorex platform enables the consumer, interior designer and architect to engage with both the Franke brand and its customers in one place.
“Focused on giving kitchen companies a platform by which to demonstrate to these key players – the consumer, interior decorator and architect – what is possible in modern-day kitchen design, the Franke sponsorship and its partnership with other large industry suppliers allows kitchen companies to participate in and experience the tremendous draw of the show and the awareness it brings for one’s brand,” Soutter continues.
One such company is Holly Wood Kitchens & Furniture, a Retreat-based manufacturer that has been pioneering the open-plan kitchen for over 17 years. Says Holly Wood’s Vince Muir: “Decorex’s Franke “Heart of the Home” Kitchen Design Project gives us the chance to showcase what our designers are truly capable of. We’ll be able to incorporate ideas that we’ve gathered over the past year into the manufacture of our ‘dream’ kitchen. It also provides the opportunity to get direct feedback from the public as well as to interact with architects, designers and developers all under one roof.”
According to Muir, the growing number of reality cooking shows on TV has resulted in more family members getting involved in the kitchen. “I’ve also noticed designers increasingly incorporating open shelving for the display of attractive cookware, as well as the clever use of LED lighting to enhance the mood of the kitchen at night. As far as materials are concerned, light marble is being featured more frequently as is wood, to subtly add emphasis to key design features.”
Another Decorex exhibitor is Milestone Kitchens, who will use the Cape Town show as a platform for the display of its innovative Kitchen In A Cupboard. “Smaller homes mean less space for food preparation and, for many, that large place once reserved for expensive countertops has given way to cost-cutting and convenience. In places like Asia, where space comes at a premium, apartments are being built without any kitchens at all,” says Milestone’s Silvia Miles, who hopes to give visitors to Decorex Cape Town the opportunity to experience the many benefits of a freestanding kitchen.
When it comes to trends, Miles is convinced that kitchens are evolving towards simplicity. “Clutter is no longer a prerequisite for an extraordinary space. I expect the idea of having kitchen units that are freestanding will become ever more appealing as a result of their exceptional fluidity,” she says.
Echoing Miles, Patrick Gardner, another exhibitor in Decorex’s Franke “Heart of the Home” Kitchen Design Project, believes that the evolution of the modern family lifestyle has contributed to the changing role of the kitchen: “The only real opportunity today’s families get to spend quality time together is while preparing dinner. For this reason, great emphasis is placed on including the kitchen in the rest of the house’s layout. And, with property prices rising and properties becoming smaller, more and more we’re seeing walls coming down and homes being opened up.”
Finding new ways to optimise space is key to modern kitchen design, adds Gardner. “Ingenious pantry pullouts, new versions of the lazy Susan, drawer inserts, wall-hung utensils, flap-down options… all ensure no space goes to waste in the efficient kitchens of today,” he says, hinting that Gardner Interior Concepts will use Decorex Cape Town to showcase a kitchen that blends classic and contemporary ideas, with a twist: “We want to encourage customers to embrace both past and present trends, which we believe will yield something more balanced in the future.”
“High-gloss Caesarstone combined with sleek finishes, think hidden appliances and soft-close systems with a complete absence of door handles, is the look for trending kitchens in 2016,” maintains Graham Claydon of Beyond Kitchens, the fourth exhibitor in the Decorex Franke “Heart of the Home” Kitchen Design Project. The Table View-based company, which has 10 years experience in the kitchen manufacturing business, will use the Cape Town show to display one kitchen in a range of finishes, representing what can be done according to a specific budget, be it affordable or high-end.
Visitors to Decorex Cape Town will also be treated to the very latest product ranges from Franke. “This year we will be launching our new Specialist Range,” says Soutter, who explains: “Each sink – be it a traditional favourite or a trendy new design – has been carefully selected to ensure that customers find the ideal fit for their cooking styles, personal styles and lifestyles. The new range includes a number of sinks which have multiple installation methods, from inset to flush-mount to slim-top and under-mount, giving one the freedom to select the option best suited to his or her specific kitchen design and tastes.”
To see Franke’s brand-new Specialist Range, not to mention the very latest in kitchen cabinetry, appliance and product design, don’t miss Decorex Cape Town 2016. For more information visit www.decorex.co.za.
Decorex Cape Town details:
Decorex Cape Town: 29 April – 2 May 2016
Time: 10am to 7pm daily (6pm Monday)
Trade Day: 29 April
Ticket prices: R85 for adults; R75 for trade, pensioners and students; R20 for kids under 12 Venue: CTICC
For more information:
Decorex Cape Town forms part of the Decorex SA portfolio and are owned by Reed Exhibitions.