As the heart of the home, to gather, entertain and unwind, kitchen design is something that can make or break a home. A well-designed kitchen should not only look great but also be functional.
With so many elements to consider, the kitchen can be one of the most challenging rooms when it comes to renovating or building. Porter Davis Homes interior designer, Koraly Fasone, shares her top five tips when it comes to kitchen design.
1. Invest in planning
Like all elements of design, planning is key. First, consider the key functions of your kitchen.
“The kitchen isn’t just a space for cooking,” says Koraly, “It’s a place to share meals, gather as a family, entertain, or even be used as a place for the kids to do their homework while dinner is on the way. It’s so important to consider all the different ways the space will be used.”
Koraly loves using island benches, which are extremely versatile across all times of the day, whether that be early breakfasts, after-school homework, or evening social gatherings.
She says, “If you’re thinking about installing an island, measure and mark up a space on the existing floor for the role you want it to play. Will it include a cooktop, sink, appliances, powerpoints, or just be a free workspace? Islands don’t even have to be permanent fixtures – if you’re working with a small space, consider a movable bench or trolley for instant storage and flexible space.”
2. Embrace lighting
Natural lighting is crucial in the kitchen as it not only creates warmth but a seamless connection to the outdoors. If your kitchen can’t cater to a window, Koraly suggests considering a skylight, or maximising the windows in the surrounding rooms to help that morning sun shine through.
She also notes the vital nature of task lighting. “Position lighting to specified areas, such as beside the cooktop, over the island bench, or above the sink,” Koraly says. “This will not only help these areas function better, but can also be used to highlight feature areas of your kitchen.”
3. Storage is a hero
“Well-considered storage is imperative to effective kitchen design,” says Koraly. “Make your space work for you by grouping items that are used for the same purpose or at the same time.”
Storage spaces need to be easy to access and practical to what is – or will be – stored there (think both height and depth), and nearby to where those items will be used.
Some of Koraly’s storage suggestions include:
- Group all breakfast items together like tea, coffee, mugs, bread basket and toaster
- Keep utensils, pots and pans within reach of the cooktop
- Store dinner plates close to the dining area
- The addition of storage systems inside cabinetry can quickly increase your storage capacity and practicality
- Drawers will generally give a better vision of what is stored inside, and are great for storing smaller items
- Consider built-in rubbish bins and pull-out racks, baskets, and dividers
4. The three F’s: Fixtures, Finishes and Fittings
“When we move into the fine details of fixtures, finishes and fittings, the choices and decisions can be overwhelming,” says Koraly. “If this is you, revisit your brief and remember how you want your kitchen to function, and the aesthetic character you wish to achieve.”
Appliances all have their functional and visual elements of appeal, so consider how each appliance’s technology, capacity and price tag fits in with your household. While they may not need to take centre stage visually, their size and function need accommodated your requirements.
The sleek look of handless cabinetry isn’t for all, and for those who love the application of a cabinet handle, the choices are endless. With the ability to tie in finishes to tapware, appliances, and décor accessories, handles easily become a main focal point and accessory to a well designed kitchen.
Benchtops and cabinetry:
You can achieve the look you’re going for with any price point. Natural stone is a beautiful material, but can be substituted for reconstituted stone. Similarly, timber or 2Pack finish cabinets can be subbed for laminate. Consider the functionality of your splashback; stone or glass is easier to clean than tiles, but tiles will enable you to introduce a feature pattern, colour or texture to the space.
5. Finishing touches
“As well as being functional, kitchens can also be the perfect place to introduce character into your home, particularly as it’s one of the most utilised rooms in the home,” Koraly says. “Inject colour and texture through fixtures, fittings and simple styling touches. Think about complementary artwork, ambient lighting, feature hardware, decorative items and unique pieces of furniture to bring the space full circle. Ultimately, make it your own and have fun with it!”