The best kitchen design ideas for us were those based on our family needs and lifestyle.
We love cooking! The kitchen is at the central place of our house.To design our kitchen we spent hours researching the Internet, reading trough dozens of home and decorating magazines, visiting stores, display houses and discussing with kitchen companies.
These are ideas we explored to come up with the final design of our kitchen. We hope they will help you plan and build a beautiful and functional kitchen that suits your lifestyle and cooking style.
1. Design Layout
There are 6 different kitchen design layouts you can start from.
- One counter kitchen
For us we combined a main Island kitchen with an L-shaped kitchennette.
It’s wise to have dimensions of sinks, wine racks, refrigerator you want to have when designing your kitchen. The common issue arises with refrigerator and/or microwave that can’t fit in the locations reserved for them.
2. More drawers and less cupboards
With drawers you can store more things and have easier access to them. Click to see benefits of wide drawers in your kitchen.
3. Walk-in Pantry
If you have room for a walk-in pantry you might want to make it more than a walk-in pantry 😉
- Make it more like a kitchenette with power points so you can leave small appliances such as rice cooker, kettle, coffee machine here. That way you will have more space on working surfaces in your kitchen. It will also look much less cluttered.
- If your kitchen and family room are located in an open plan consider having the dishwasher in the walk-in pantry. You won’t have to put up with the noise when it runs and you want to watch TV in the family room
- We have also installed a sink in this kitchenette. When we have guests at our parties we can dump everything here and shut the door. The main kitchen remains uncluttered
4. Door finish
We were interested in one of the following options.
- Laminate. Economical and can be durable. Easy to maintain. The downside is they can chip. Wide range of colours and pattern to choose from.
- Vinyl wrapped or vacuum formed. Limited choice of colours and if you need to replace the door in the future you may not be able to get the same vinyl any more.
- Polyurethane painted. A bit more expensive than the other two options. The advantage is you have access to endless choice of colours. For example you could select amongst hundreds of colour from Dulux Colour Palette. In terms of finish they can be satin, matt or high gloss. Maintenance is easy.
5. Bench top
6. Kitchen sink
- Under mount sinks provide a modern look. Kitchen company may charge you more for under mount installation if your benchtop is marble or Ceasarstone. The reason is that they incur more work to polish the edge of the hole cut in the stone for the sink.
7. Tapeware, mixers
There are plenty of good mixers to choose from. Grab them on special when you do your shopping. This is a device you will use everyday so you want to make sure to pick a robust and reliable brand. A good sink mixer with fruit and veggie spray will be your best friend.
8. Drawer slides
- Heavy duty slides. Last long and can hold heavy items
- Soft closing. Cost more (around $200 extra per drawer)
9. Kitchen splashback
- Marble, Ceasarstone
- Stainless steel
View kitchen splashback ideas with photos.
10. Wine rack
There are plenty of options to have wine racks in your kitchen. It’s a nice decorating element. It’s like a useful or fun feature in your kitchen. However you might want to have them in such a way they don’t reduce the width or your drawers.
11. Garbage bins
Plan some room for these bins. We have ours under the sink.
12. Kitchen appliances
To me kitchen appliances are integral parts of a kitchen like windows, doors, roof are integral parts of a house. When you plan and design your kitchen think about what kind of appliances you would like to have when the kitchen is completed.
- Rangehood. Initially we thought to have one of those silent yet powerful rangehoods manufactured by Schweigen. Unfortunately there were no installers familiar with these particular models available in our region. We went to select a more traditional canopy rangehood and received great advice from a sales person. We ended up with a Miel 90cm and are very happy with it. If you plan to have a rangehood make sure you get it ducted outside to avoid accumulation of grease in the ceiling. That cost us an extra of $150.
- Cooktop. We cook a lot so we selected a gas cooktop with flame failure safety device. The knobs control are on the side which offers extra safety for the kids.
- Oven. Maybe the appliance worth investing a bit more to get one that cooks roasts tenderly without drying it.
- Microwave. From a design standpoint you might want to go with one that has a trim to make it fit nicely in a 60cm wide column like the oven.
- Refrigerator. Even if you don’t have a fridge with water or ice dispenser it’s wise to have a water point installed in the location reserved for the fridge. We had one installed for an extra $160 before plaster walls were up. It would be much more expensive if you want to have it installed once the construction is complete.
What are your kitchen design ideas?