Renovating? Don't do a half-baked job in the kitchen. Check out these expert ideas for the perfect place to cook, eat and play.
It's the number-one request from clients of award-winning interior designer, Darren James. "As a starting point, ensure you have a decent prep area, as well as a large area for serving up," says James. "And consider ergonomics when it comes to bench height you can even apply different working heights for different activities within the kitchen."
"If you've ever lived in a house without a double sink in the kitchen you'll know just how annoying it is to use," says professional renovator, Cherie Barber. One big sink might look stylish but not rinsing is a sin. Hate being chained to the sink, full stop? Buy a dishwasher, urges Barber. "Double drawers are a popular choice at the moment and can be installed at hip height for easy and quick access."
Fluoro brights are rocking the paint world at the moment your kitchen shouldn't miss out. A coloured glass splashback can give a kitchen a facelift to rival Joan Rivers'. Think carefully about the hue and its mood blue is calming, red stimulates appetite, and yellow and orange are energising.
It's the one appliance James can't live without. And he's converted most of his clients. Like the name suggests, it's an oven that bakes, roasts, grills and steams, so it works harder than a B-grade celeb on McHappy Day. "It's the most used cooking appliance in my kitchen ... and the taste and texture of the food is far superior. Once you have one you'll never go back," says James.
Unless you like your kitchen resembling a department store, this is the perfect way to de-clutter the bench tops, advises Barber. It's basically a waist-high cupboard that houses your appliances out of sight, out of mind. "Toasters, kettles and that popcorn maker, which you thought you'd use all the time but don't, aren't ugly but they're not the prettiest of things either. Integrating a home appliance centre into your kitchen will give you one, tidy, organised area."
The stainless steel refrigerator is so 2009 and very prone to pesky fingerprints. Barber's a big fan of the recessed fridge and freezer. Hiding white goods behind a sleek cupboard door, built into the cabinetry "gives the perception that your kitchen is much larger than it really is," she explains. You'll save moolah by not forking out for a fancy stainless steel fridge, as well.
"Incorporate as many drawers as you can. We've all heard it before but drawers (as opposed to cupboards) dramatically increase your kitchen's storage capacity," advises James. Throw in storage solutions such as Blum ORGA-LINE dividers, spice racks and plate racks and you're laughing, he adds.