HomeDesignKitchen Design Essentials for the First-Time Renovator

Kitchen Design Essentials for the First-Time Renovator

If you’re about to embark on your first ever kitchen renovation, you probably fall into one of two camps. You might be organised, motivated and ready to go, with a binder full of designs, appliances and colour schemes. Or you might have no idea what you’re doing. If you’ve always had the same kitchen, or always rented and never had the freedom to make changes, your understanding of kitchen design could be a little bit skewed. 

Not to worry, that’s what we’re for! There are a few fundamental kitchen design elements to nail in order to create a space that’s beautiful, functional and truly yours. We’ve put together this helpful guide for the kitchen renovation novice, to help guide the design decisions you’ll make throughout the process. 


Breakfast Bar

A welcome addition to just about any kitchen, the breakfast bar is probably the hardest-working piece of cabinetry in any home, making it essential for your new custom kitchen. The kitchen breakfast bar has been a stalwart of home design for decades, thanks to its capacity not only to facilitate casual dining, but also general socialisation for family and friends, as well as food prep and storage.

When designing your new kitchen, including a breakfast bar should be an obvious choice. There are a number of ways to execute this look in your space. A peninsula island that juts out from a wall is popular in kitchens low on space. For open plan homes, the breakfast bar is often incorporated into the kitchen island. Ultimately all that is needed for a kitchen breakfast bar is a bench with some leg room and a few stools.


Integrated Appliances

You’d be hard pressed to find any modern kitchen design that doesn’t have integrated appliances these days. But if this is your first time renovating your kitchen, you also may not be aware of just how well you can integrate your appliances within your kitchen design. 

To keep a consistent look and feel in your kitchen, work with your kitchen designer to create panels in your joinery that attach to certain appliances like your dishwasher and refrigerator. Rangehoods can also be concealed within your joinery, either by including a masthead to cover larger styles, or with the inclusion of a down-draft rangehood, which sits inside your island bench and appears at the touch of a button.


Butler’s Pantry

Anyone who’s seen an episode of a home renovation show knows what a Butler’s Pantry is. If you’ve got a bit more space and budget to work with, and are an avid entertainer, a Butler’s Pantry is a sound investment. Think of a Butler’s Pantry as your messy kitchen, and your main area as your show kitchen. The Butler’s Pantry is designed for storage and food prep. Replete often with open shelving for things like small appliances and food bought in bulk, this space also usually features a sink, space for a second fridge and perhaps even a second dishwasher. 


Open Shelving

Open shelving has fast become a staple in kitchen design, thanks to its no-frills style and ability to break up the monotony of traditional kitchen joinery. Open shelving you might find in a more casual style contemporary home, however it has been known to feature in country kitchens, awarding that classic rustic charm to the space. Open shelves are great for storing your favourite sets of crockery and cookware, ornamental glassware and even small decorative pieces. Open shelving in your kitchen is a chance to let your personality shine through with small details.


Feature Bench

A feature bench is a great investment for your new kitchen renovation, as it can allow you to opt for quite simple and pared-back joinery, and still make a statement. The obvious choice for a feature island bench is a stone benchtop. Whether this is a marble slab, a piece of engineered stone or even granite, a stone benchtop is a timeless addition to any kitchen. 

Also trending at the moment are tiled benches. Feature tiled benches use square tiles laid out in a grid style, with a contrasting grout colour. This is usually white, but for those who enjoy a pop of colour, the possibilities are endless. Tiled benches are quite budget friendly and of course easy to maintain, making them a welcome addition to any home.


We created an exclusive guide to equip you with everything you need to know before beginning your custom kitchen renovation. Download it now.

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