From the layout to the surfaces and appliances, there are many decisions to be made when designing a kitchen.


1. Kordula Stuart, Kitchen Choice

Ms Stuart advises not getting carried away with the elements you can see and forgetting what is behind closed doors.

“The best kitchens should have the highest-quality joinery, including drawer runners and clip-on hinges for easy movement, and protection from moisture and heat, including moisture protectant sheets in the base of the sink units.

“They also have smart utility solutions for easy access and optimum storage, such as corner carousel units and pantries that have individual pull-out internal drawers.”

2. Neil Cownie, Neil Cownie Architect

Mr Cownie believes that “the classic Vitruvian virtues of solid, useful and beautiful” are the most important aspects in kitchen design.

“Select appropriate materials for benchtops and cupboard fronts that will last the test of time, and plan kitchens using the classic design principle of a triangular working relationship between the sink, fridge and cooking appliances, ” he says.

“In larger kitchens use different materials to break up the bulk of the kitchen cupboards into smaller relating elements. To achieve this, tall cupboards may have a different material or colour to the below-bench cupboards, or this could also be achieved by using more than one benchtop material.”

3. Sue Jansen, Kitchen Capital WA

Ms Jansen loves the bespoke walk-in coolrooms by Oz CoolRooms.

“They can take the place of the conventional refrigerator and offer fantastic storage for all pantry items — not only milk and perishables but dry-store groceries like flour and rice, ” she says. “They allow for a longer life of the groceries, keep the weevils and pantry moths at bay and are fabulous for storage of prepared platters when entertaining.”

Ms Jansen also loves Miele’s integrated ESW 6214 and the AEG KD91403M warmer drawers to warm cups and plates, keep dishes of food warm, or to cook at low temperatures.

4. Clint Heron, Kitchenhaus

Integration is the key, according to Mr Heron, from fridges, dishwashers, wine storage, recessed lighting and pop-up power points, right down to entertainment and sound systems customised into cabinetry.

“Having the integrated pieces in your kitchen ensures that you have a really polished, clean, sophisticated and bespoke look about your space, which is sure to add value and a real talking (and selling!) point for your property, ” he says.

“One of our favourite pieces at the moment is the Harman Kardon sound system, which we build into the design of the cabinetry.”

5. Melanie DeMelt, Town & Country Designs

Ms DeMelt says the popularity of reality television has seen homeowners become more conscious of healthy appliance provisions.

“Clients find it an asset to have what I call a staging area (widely known as a scullery), allowing them to not only store but work with small appliances such as a Thermomix, a bread maker and the latest trend, the NutriBullet, ” she says.

Ms DeMelt also likes the new ranges of hygienic appliance options. “The Fisher & Paykel integrated double dish drawers allow you to run a cycle whilst having the other available to fill, keeping the sink from filling up with unsightly dirty dishes, ” she says.

6. Suzanne Hunt, Suzanne Hunt Architect

Ms Hunt says that while the trend for a number of years has been open-plan kitchens with a large scullery, more recently she has been designing more discreet kitchens hidden from the living areas.

“These feature large island benches clad with beautiful finishes including timber, functionality with loads of drawers for storage, and a design that connects the kitchen to the entertaining areas, ” she says.

7. Kia Douglas, Western Cabinets

Ms Douglas recommends reconstituted stone such as Caesarstone or essastone for benchtops.

“They offer a wide range of colours and finishes, everything from a concrete look, to minimal white and marble look and are highly scratch and heat resistant, ” she says.

“I also love the texture a beautiful subway tile can offer as a splashback.

“Contrasting tile and grout options create distinction and form further features but if cleaning grout concerns you I recommend use of an epoxy grout which has a resin composite, creating a harder-wearing, stain-free option for your grout.”

Ms Douglas says a complete kitchen should also have accessible, high-quality and organised drawer storage such as Blum, Hettich or Nova Pro brands.

8. Lincoln Trager, The Maker Designer Kitchens

For Mr Trager, it’s the finishing touches and quality surfaces that not only give kitchens luxury but enduring durability and quality.

He says this is often the result of expert consultation.

“Using a reputable kitchen manufacturer with awards for design and innovation and experts to help design and guide you through the process will ensure your kitchen is functional and uses the space in the best way possible, ” he says.

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As head chef at two busy eateries, Scott Bridger knows the value of a hard-wearing kitchen.

“Chefs generally make more of a mess at home — we forget we're not in a commercial kitchen — so a good splashback is essential, ” says Mr Bridger, head chef at Bib & Tucker and May Street Larder. “I prefer marble or granite in one piece as, unlike tiles, there is no grout for bacteria and sauce stains to hide.”

Mr Bridger’s go-to appliance is the Electrolux multipurpose steam oven for its ability to “cook extremely healthy meals for the family, slow cook with sous vide and (self-clean)”.

Electrolux NaviSight ProCombi steam oven. Picture:


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Patricia Cheah, head of marketing at real-estate agency Caporn Young, says she meets a range of buyers with different needs or requirements that trend based on location. For example, in the western suburbs, buyers in the $1.5-$3m range are looking for modern, white kitchens with in-built appliances.

“Kitchens that have quality fittings and finishes help achieve that emotional price, stone benchtops are respected more over other materials and a separate scullery is preferred, ” Ms Cheah says.

“In the Applecross area, we are seeing strong interest amongst the Asian market who prefer the gas cooktop in comparison to induction cooktops and modern kitchens with a clean, minimalistic look, integrated appliances (European preferred) and plenty of storage space, ” she says.

In the Fremantle area, Ms Cheah says although a nicely fitted kitchen is preferred, it hasn’t been an essential requirement for buyers in the sub-$1 million market.

In the western suburbs, buyers look for modern, white kitchens, such as in this Claremont property currently listed. Picture: Caporn Young.


Luigi Rosselli, of Luigi Rosselli Architects, used his knowledge of kitchen efficiency to create an effortlessly functional space in this Subiaco home, which is entered in this year’s Australian Institute of Architects WA Architecture Awards.

The simple palette of materials includes grooved oak and woven brass mesh, which add warmth to stainless steel and clean, white surfaces.

“This kitchen reflects the simultaneous presence of the heritage of Subiaco history and the modernity of the house design, ” he said. “Modern materials and details share the place with timeless ones, as with the floating island bench with sharp Stone Italiana edges set next to ageless solid-oak facing and woven bronzed brass mesh doors.“


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