You would be correct in thinking there are a lot more custom kitchens with curved elements in them. They feature heavily in online kitchen publications, kitchen industry advertising (from appliance brands and stone manufacturers in particular), industry awards and TV shows like Channel Nine’s The Block. It would be hard to argue against curved kitchens being a significant trend in 2022.
Why are curves gaining popularity in custom kitchens?
This is our reasoning to that question:
– Softer look. Curves appear less harsh than corners. It’s a backlash against the rigid, square edged kitchens we’ve seen for the past 20 years. People are looking for something that will distinguish their kitchen from the rest.
– Driven by the desire of architects and interior designers for rounded forms in the home (windows, archways, furniture, lighting etc etc).
– Highlights the island as being different and a focal point
Wait, didn’t we have curved kitchens in the 1990’s?
Yes we certainly did, and they were mostly of the timber variety with limited application. If we want to go even deeper, examples of curved panelling in furniture reach back to the 1920’s, popularised by the Art Deco movement. It’s not surprising then that a lot of homes with curved elements today also feature many other elements from the Art Deco period; geometric and streamlined forms; brass and gold highlight materials; a sense of sophistication. It’s a case of reinvention, a little bit of nostalgia, and what goes around comes around.
Where are curved features in the kitchen today?
– At the ends of kitchen islands.
– As curved doors or features at the ends of a benchtop
– As tall curved doors/panels around corners.
– On the ends of wall cabinets and rangehood shrouds.
– Kitchen handles
– Decorative objects and fixtures within the kitchen – bar stools, pendant lighting, cutting boards etc.
Whether you are after a hamptons style kitchen, a traditional kitchen design or are undertaking kitchen renovations Sydney, curved elements can easily be incorporated to suit your style and preferences in a range of features.
Are curved kitchens easy to make?
Ask most kitchen companies or stone masons and they will likely say they are difficult, but not impossible. Many companies shy away from them due to this difficulty and chance for complications. It takes clever design, accurate calculations, and experience to achieve any type of curved panel. Unsurprisingly, for those companies that do offer curved panels, it adds to the cost of any project, but for homeowners with a strong desire for something unique the investment is justified.
The different ways in which curved panels have been made
To create a curved door panel, cabinetmakers engrave the rear face of the panel with a series of v grooves. Once engraved with these grooves, the panel can be laid and fixed onto a curved backing or frame to the desired radius. Gentle curves (i.e. a large radius) will curve nicer and more easily than a smaller radius. As you get to smaller radii the chance of the material showing lines (faceting) on the front side becomes greater as well as the chances of the material failing along at one of the engraved grooves. These curved doors and features are typically made in the factory, ready for transportation and installation at home.
At Dan Kitchens, we’ve gone one step further with the above technique by also engraving the front side, creating an elegant fluted pattern. The effect is similar to fluting on a marble column, but narrower (see example above), adding an elegant pattern and a tactile element to the panel.
For the making of curved natural stone drop-ends, a stone mason will cut a suitable slab of stone (usually 20mm thick) into small vertical strips. These vertical strips are then stuck in order, to a curved backing frame. It’s a painstaking process and needs to be done onsite in the customers home. If one of the strips breaks, you’re kind of stuffed, particularly if your stone has a unique pattern or veining. Furthermore, as you are joining flat pieces together around a curve, faceting occurs, partly destroying the illusion that the stone is a single smooth curved piece. Don’t get any ideas about making it from a single piece of stone, hypothetically, you’d need to have it cut custom from the quarry (usually overseas), shaped by a stonemason, delivered by crane and installed on a reinforced floor capable of handling the weight. The next best thing is thermoforming (bending with heat over a template) a thinned slab of a suitable engineered stone or a thermoforming material like Corian. The latter being excellent as you can seamlessly weld adjacent pieces of Corian together.
Other curved forms we’ve seen a lot of are the use of timber mouldings (half round, slats etc) for kitchen islands, producing a more textured curve. This method is popular with project home builders. Finally, curved forms have also been made for decades from traditional methods like concrete and tiles.
Kitchens with curved forms are here to stay whether they are implemented within a hamptons style kitchen or within custom kitchens. Due to their cost, and difficulty in design and construction, it is doubtful curved forms will be adopted into every kitchen. So long as this is so, curved kitchens will remain desirable by many but achievable only by a segment of the market.
Designing and building your luxury kitchen with Dan Kitchens
Are you looking to undertake kitchen renovations Sydney? The Dan Kitchens team have designed and built many bespoke kitchens since the early 1980’s (including those curved kitchens from that period). Since then, Dan Kitchens has been entrusted by hundreds of Sydney homeowners to deliver a luxury product and service that is second to none.
We invite all discerning homeowners who are considering building a new kitchen to contact the Design Studio on (02) 9624 2344. Speaking to one of our designers, you can learn how we can help you achieve your luxury kitchen. We also invite you to visit our extensive showroom, it’s one of the largest luxury kitchen displays in Sydney, and showcases a wide cross-section of our work, partnered with high-end appliances and luxurious surfaces throughout.