Creating a space which is ideal for entertaining has completely changed the way we design our homes. From newly built homes to modern renovations, the latest design trends are all about bringing people together and making the kitchen the heart of the home.

In 2014, the concept of open plan living and entertaining will be taken to all new heights as we see more integrated and flowing spaces, combined with clever new ideas for storage and preparation.

1. The Butler's Laundry 

The idea of having a butler's pantry has taken off in recent years as kitchens transform in a more stylish entertainer's space with the messy work happening behind closed doors.

For 2014, the concept is going to be taken one step further to also incorporate the laundry in an effort to optimise space and practicality. Combining the butler's pantry and laundry into one cohesive space takes advantage of the close proximity to the kitchen to create a more streamlined workflow for cooking and washing.

Photo Credit: Carlisle Homes

2. The Indoor Barbeque 

Rather than living out in the backyard, the humble barbeque will make its way closer indoors to covered alfresco areas and become an almost seamless extension of the kitchen.

The idea of using range hoods over the barbeque will also gain popularity and in many cases will be a stylish necessity which will add luxury and grandeur to your entertaining area.

Photo Credit: Sublime Architectural Interiors

3. The Soft Modern Industrial Look 

As the industrial look matures, we expect to see a transition toward the more sophisticated and homely soft industrial look which complements the raw industrial palette with light woods and softer materials.

The introduction of Caesarstone's Raw Concrete design will also make the soft industrial look a more achievable prospect by combining the look of concrete with the easy maintenance of a quartz surface.

Photo Credit: Breath Architecture

4. An Imperfect Finish 

Designers are beginning to steer away from the pursuit of perfection and minimalist designs to now incorporate a more organic feel which highlights natural materials and finishes. In particular, a more daring combination of materials will be featured throughout the home such as stone, timber, laminates – as well as using materials in areas other than their intended use such as floorboards on the walls and stone benchtops as entertainment units.

A natural patina will also be highly sought after in materials such as stone and timber, with Caesarstone's Calacatta Classic marble-inspired design set to become the ideal surface for this trend with its modern yet natural aesthetic.

Photo Credit: Beth Gillitt of Kitchen Classics

5. The Indoor Courtyard 

With indoor living encroaching on our outdoor areas more and more, it's important to maintain a balance by incorporating the outdoors as much as possible into other parts of the home.

In particular, one former eyesore will be transformed into a beautiful feature as side access areas around the home have a lush makeover with plants and pavers, accessed with large exterior doors. This concept can be taken a step further with fully integrated, glass-walled indoor courtyards to bring light and natural elements back into the home.

Photo Credit: McGrath Real Estate