Splash of colour emboldens the 2018 Franke Kitchen Trends Project

Four kitchen designers have selected the perfect palette and up-to-the-minute industry Trends to curate competing spaces in this year’s Franke Kitchen Trends Project themed ‘An Expression of Colour’. Kitchen Studio’s Crestwood Kitchens and Kitchen Spectrum; Bespoke Designs; and Expert Kitchens & Interiors will participate in this high-end installation which is set to feature at Decorex Durban, taking place at the Durban Exhibition Centre from 21 to 25 March.

Using the latest range from Franke SA, each designer will incorporate colour with the design focus underscored by the Decorex #rhythmoflife theme. The kitchen models are carefully assessed by Franke SA and the Kitchen Specialists’ Association (KSA), with the winning team receiving R15 000 worth of Franke SA kitchen products.


Franke SA’s National Sales Manager, Clinton Soutter, said: “The Franke Kitchen Trends Project gives designers the platform and latest products to really push the boundaries, giving them the opportunity to express themselves with different materials and finishes. This in turn gives the homeowner inspirational ideas and the latest Trends that can complement their living style and aspirations.”


Soutter explained that the Franke Kitchen Trends Project allows kitchen companies to show the consumer, interior decorator and architect just what is possible. 


“The Franke SA sponsorship and partnership with other large industry suppliers gives these companies the chance to feature at Decorex, offering immeasurable experience and brand promotion.”


Stephanie Forbes, National Manager of the KSA, agreed, saying that this is a truly unique opportunity for companies to showcase their work directly to the market: “The project ensures the kitchen space is well represented while giving consumers direct access to several companies that can provide input and advice on kitchen build and design.”


Kitchen Trends and Styles


Dane Maharaj of Kitchen Studio said they will be displaying a contemporary but warm kitchen installation at the Franke Kitchen Studio Project for 2018. The organisation has featured at all three Decorex shows – Decorex Durban, Decorex Cape Town and Decorex Joburg – for a number of years, earning themselves countless ‘Best Overall’ and ‘Best Kitchen’ awards.


“Decorex is a high-end show which attracts a discerning clientele,” said Maharaj, commenting on their continued support.


Asked about some exciting kitchen trends visitors can expect, Maharaj said: “Due to an increase of scarcity of natural resources, natural finishes and materials are becoming increasingly sought after – this was evident in industry shows in Europe over the last year. Designers are using natural finishes in a contemporary way, contrasting the natural warmth with synthetic modernism.”


He said the ‘minimal’ and ‘modern’ kitchen design trend continues to remain popular and designers are making use of stained and washed natural finishes on square line doors, combined with a variety of high quality synthetic finishes such as glass fronted and crystal doors to create a warm and clean aesthetic.


Connecting with the #rhythmoflife theme, Maharaj said that ‘cooking is the centre of the home, the centre of life’


Elaborating on this, he said: “The kitchen is a practical space but it is also a space filled with vibrancy and joy. We bring ‘an expression of colour’ in both a literal and figurative sense, into every kitchen design we produce and this year will be no different!”


Jason Bowden of Bespoke Designs recalled picking up a last-minute spot at the Decorex Durban 2015 Franke Kitchen Trends Project which required long hours of work that rewarded them with the ‘Best Kitchen and Bathroom Award’.


“It was an achievement which we had wished for but truthfully never believed was a realistic goal,” said Bowden. “To this day I thank my team as it wasn’t possible without them. We showcased our awesome products as well as our awesome teamwork.”


Stemming from this success, Bespoke Designs have found the Decorex platform an incredible opportunity to interact with a new market. Commenting on some of the 2018 Trends to expect, Bowden said: “Traditional kitchens will take more of a back seat as streamlined cabinetry become the order of the day. The perennial shaker-style kitchen will still be popular but we will see flatter, handleless cabinets becoming more mainstream. We are living in a fast-paced world so expect clean simple lines which create a minimalist look.”


He said white and grey colours will dominate cabinets with bolder tones of navy, black, plum and even dark emerald green for those looking for something dramatic.


“Expect splashes of colour to be brought in in the form of glass splashbacks, feature walls, feature panels and feature units in the kitchen,” explained Bowden. “There will be more textures in 2018 like raw brick, concrete, natural raw fabrics, timber panelling and 3D wallpapers. These will be used to create more depth and interest to kitchens so that the flat minimalist look doesn’t become too bland.”


According to Bowden, quartz work surfaces will be around for a while because improving technology allows for a variety of finishes that represent natural stone. Acrylic, timber, granite and marble are also of interest with work surfaces, overall, becoming much slimmer and more elegant.


Commenting on the Bespoke installation this year, he explained: “To me, a kitchen can enhance or upset ‘The Rhythm of Life’ and equally, colour, has been proven to alter moods. Our aim is to showcase a well laid out masterpiece with thoughtful use of texture and colour that shows people how simple it is to enhance life with a good design.”


Returning to the Decorex Durban Franke Kitchen Trends Project for a third consecutive year is Expert Kitchen and Interiors, a Durban-based design company that has taken home a number of Decorex awards. Their unique style and quality craftmanship will once again win over visitors at this vibrant installation.


“We’ll be designing a very modern-look kitchen this year with a strong focus on environmentally-friendly products, so expect wood and natural materials,” said Sagie Govender of Expert Kitchen and Interiors. “For our colour palette we will be using a lot of white with four or five different colours splashing ‘An Expression of Colour’ onto the doors. We aim to make a house a home and our kitchen design will do this by bringing in the ‘Rhythm of Life’ ethos in design and style.”


To check out the latest in kitchen décor, design and lifestyle Trends embracing the #rhythmoflife, visit Decorex Durban, sponsored by #plascon.




Decorex Durban 

21 – 25 March 2018

21 – 24 March: 10am – 8pm

25 March: 10am – 6pm

Durban Exhibition Centre

Public holiday: Wednesday 21 March

Trade-focused days: Thursday 22 and Friday 23 March

Ticket Prices:       Adults – R 95

                            Student/Pensioners – R85

                            Kids U12 – R20

                            Trade – R85

                            Exhibitor – R85


Decorex Cape Town

27 April – 1 May 2018

10am – 6pm daily

Cape Town International Convention Centre

Public Holiday:  Friday 27 April

Trade Day: Monday 30 April

Ticket Prices:      Adults – R 110

                           Student/Pensioners – R100

                           Kids U12 – R20

                             Trade – R100

                           Exhibitor – R100


Decorex Joburg

8 – 12 August 2018

10am – 6pm daily

Gallagher Convention Centre

Public holiday: Thursday 9 August

Trade-focused days: 8 and 10 August

Ticket Prices:      Adults – R 120

                           Student/Pensioners – R 100

                           Kids U12 – R20

                           Trade – R 100

                           Exhibitor – R 100