It’s interesting to think about how the layout of your average home has changed over the past century or so. I’m no expert on the subject of domestic history, but it seems inarguable that the formal nature of rooms – and even the notion of having individual rooms – has changed repeatedly over the decades. This seems to suggest some intriguing things about how people interact with their living spaces and fellow residents.
For example, current trends in Melbourne kitchen design suggest that this zone need no longer be restricted to traditional concepts of layout, or viewed as separate from the rest of the house. Open-plan kitchens with islands that double of dining spaces have long been a thing, and it seems like the options are opening up even further, with many people electing to have fitted only those elements that they’re going to use.
All manner of colours, textures and light fixtures are now commonplace – everything from dark-toned cabinetry to hot pink bench tops to creative mood lighting is acceptable. This goes just as much for bathrooms, which are increasingly being remodelled to create personalised chill-out dens featuring anything from sound system fixtures to olive and gold tiled floors to sculptural tubs and unusual taps.
I have a vague theory about bathroom renovations. Melbourne being a city that seems to enjoy being ahead of the curve on all fronts, it’s no wonder that it’s often the first to embrace trends that centre on creatively remodelling everyday objects to produce artisanal ones. Things like baths, sinks, shower screens and cabinets are no exception, and are ideal candidates for a designer makeover.
Why? Because they are used by thousands of people every day, but also lend themselves to setting the scene for experiences of solitude and relaxation – extreme luxuries in the fast-paced and often excessively connected world that many of us inhabit. Arguably, the same goes for kitchens, in that they facilitate tuning into to affairs outside of incessant digital stimulation.
As my grandmother always used to say, a nice bath is as good as a holiday, and a well-organised cupboard is better than a cup of tea.