Creating a functional and practical kitchen that’s also a central hub for socialising, cooking and eating together can be easily achieve with good design.
The beauty of designing a kitchen from the ground-up is that you can vary the size, layout and materials to suit both your aspirations and your budget. Start by using your overall house plan to design the basic layout of your kitchen and then pencil in the location of must-have features – a walk-in pantry and breakfast bar for example. It’s important to consider how much space you need for critical appliances such as the fridge, oven, rangehood, cooktop, dishwasher and sink, right down to the location of rubbish and recycling bins. In well-designed kitchens, everything should be within easy reach and have a designated place.
Built-in floor-to-ceiling cabinets are a practical way to increase storage, reduce cleaning and maintain clean lines in the kitchen. Traditional canopy rangehoods are also being replaced with flush, built-in options to enhance this trend.
Similarly, block colour glass splashbacks and wall-to-wall geometric tiles are being used to create a variety of different visual and textural finishes in kitchens. Tiled feature walls are a great solution for adding a splash of colour without overwhelming the space. Making the grout lines a different colour will help accentuate each tile and plays to a kitchen’s linear aspect.
The popularity of competitive cooking shows has increased the demand for professional, industrial-styled kitchens. Ultra-functional stone benchtops teamed with statement lighting and professional-grade appliances such as double ovens and large induction or gas cooktops rank high on many people’s wish lists.
While neutral colour schemes continue to reign supreme in new homes, there is a definite moody ambience coming through. Darker colours used on kitchen cabinetry and tapware are being matched with natural, raw materials including stone and timber to create more edgy interiors. The classic black and white kitchen is also making a comeback this year.
Walk-in pantries are a perfect low-cost feature to support an open plan design as they declutter the kitchen and provide extra storage space for bulky cooking appliances and dry goods. The average dimension of a walk-in pantry is 2 x 1.4m and includes open shelving, extra bench space and additional drawers.
However, if budget isn’t a factor, some homebuyers are upgrading to a scullery, which generally measure around 3 x 2m. Sculleries are designed to conceal food preparation and usually contain a sink, dishwasher and fridge with ample storage and bench space. It’s a winning formula for home entertainers who love being able to figuratively ‘shut the door’ on dirty dishes and food scraps while guests relax in the dining or living area.
By working closely with your homebuilding partner, you’ll find out how custom variations can be used to enhance your design. Upgrading appliances, kitchen cabinetry and benchtops can make a dramatic statement without blowing your budget.
This article features in Your Home and Garden August 2017 issue.