Have you been dreaming of a new kitchen and are now at the point where you are ready to engage a professional to start building the kitchen you have always wanted?
Are you overwhelmed with choices and are not sure where to begin? If this sounds like you, don’t worry – we have you covered.
In this article, we will share with you some of the best ideas and tips to help you build the kitchen you have always dreamed of for you and your family.
Here at LTKI, we’ve had the privilege of bringing thousands of homeowner’s dream kitchens to life over our 48 years in business and we can share some insight into the design features and elements that are at the top of everyone’s wish list.
However, before you embark on your dream kitchen renovation journey there is one crucial question you need to ask yourself…
Is This Really Your Dream Kitchen?
Your idea of the dream kitchen is personal and what is right for you and your family is not necessarily going to be ideal for someone else, therefore the first question should always be, “How long do you see yourself staying in this house?”
If you are going to be in the house for less than three years, then your kitchen rebuild will most likely be more of a financial investment decision and less about creating your ultimate dream kitchen with all the bells and whistles.
If you are looking at being in the house for three to five years, then this is a little more subjective and will be a decision that is partially an investment decision and partially a lifestyle decision.
If you are planning to live in the house for longer than five years, then it’s pretty much about you.
This is when you can really start to think about your ultimate dream kitchen and personalise the space to suit you and your family.
Finding Your Dream Style
Ok, so now you are ready to start thinking about planning your dream kitchen a good jumping-off point is narrowing down the design style that fits you and your home best.
You may know what your favourite colours are, or that you like Hamptons, Scandi or Industrial styles but how do you ensure your dream kitchen doesn’t just become a confusing patchwork of all the things you love?
It is important that your dream kitchen reflects your personal taste and style but often it’s very difficult for people to narrow down what their preferred style actually is.
It is also vital that your home’s architectural style is taken into consideration so your new kitchen doesn’t look completely at odds with its surroundings.
You will undoubtedly be living in your dream kitchen for many years to come so you also don’t want to design it based solely on current trends or what you saw on The Block, which can look dated very quickly.
Before you engage a professional designer, do some research online or in magazines and collect images of kitchens, interiors or objects that you are drawn to.
Online websites such as Pinterest and Houzz give you the ability to create scrapbooks or idea-books where you can gather imagery that inspires you.
Once you have a collection of images to work from, the next step is to engage a design professional who can interpret your style and help balance that with your home’s existing architecture.
A good designer will be able to curate your collection of ideas into a cohesive design style which will look fresh well into the future.
Designing Your Dream Kitchen
You want to build a kitchen that you will love spending time in with your family and something that will work well for many years to come.
That is what a dream kitchen is all about! With this in mind, you need to get down to the nuts and bolts of how you want your new kitchen to function.
Some of the major points to consider here are “How many of you are in the family? How many of you like to cook? How often would you all be cooking together?
Do you want to dine-in or entertain in the kitchen as well as prepare meals? Do you need to incorporate a study nook for the kids or a home office area?”
You need to ensure the family can all comfortably enjoy the kitchen together and it accommodates the variety of functions required.
With the answers to these questions in mind, you can then move on to the next stage and start to think about the actual design and the elements to include.
Let’s break your dream kitchen down into the various components…
First and foremost, you need to make sure that you have plenty of bench space so when the family is all cooking together, there is plenty of room to prepare all your favourite foods without encroaching on each other’s space.
An island bench is often high on the dream kitchen wish list.
An island bench configuration is practical for families because it creates more than one entry/exit point from the kitchen space and alleviates the need for people to push past each other.
It also allows a bench area that can be accessed on any one of four sides, so it’s great if you have multiple cooks in the kitchen at one time.
When it comes to benchtop finishes, a stone selection that is easy to clean doesn’t show too much wear and is not going to date too quickly is always a good choice.
When it comes to the cabinets, not only do you want them to look aesthetically pleasing, but you also want them to be practical and convenient to use.
One way to do this is to make sure everything inside your cabinets rolls out to meet you so that you aren’t kneeling on the floor digging around trying to find what’s in the back of that cupboard.
Therefore, wherever you can, you want to have drawers and/or “rollouts”, rather than standard cabinets with hinged doors.
This will make things a lot easier and help to keep things more organised so that your kitchen experience is more enjoyable.
Next, let us look at appliances:
Most kitchens these days have a dishwasher. These have become an essential item in modern households to the point where most families can’t live without one.
However, why just stop at one? In recent times, the use of two dishwashers, especially among larger families and those who love to entertain, has become a real trend.
This approach has become very popular and having a second dishwasher is becoming quite aspirational.
We’ve seen a huge uptake in integrated appliances over the past few years and there are some good reasons why.
Hiding your dishwasher and fridge behind matching cabinetry panels allows you to apply your design style cohesively throughout the space and the kitchen cabinets take on more of a built-in furniture feel.
With open-plan layouts becoming ever more popular in our homes, homeowners want their kitchens to look less like a kitchen and more like a bespoke piece of joinery which becomes part of the wider living and dining space.
Hiding appliances behind doors where possible helps to achieve this result.
Another luxury feature worth considering in your dream kitchen is a mixer tap that offers more than just standard hot and cold water.
Brands such as Multitap, Zip and Billi now offer kitchen taps which have additional instant boiling water, chilled filtered water and even sparkling water options on tap at the main kitchen sink.
This means you aren’t cluttering up your benchtop space with extra appliances like the kettle or water dispensers and filters.
There is also no longer a need to have a fridge with a filtered water dispenser, which can be unsightly and messy.
Bins are not the most glamorous kitchen accessory however, they are an absolute necessity and cannot be avoided.
That is why our idea of a dream kitchen always incorporates a dedicated, roll-out bin cabinet.
Adding an electronic push-to-open feature to your bin cabinet is something we’d always recommend.
The best thing about this feature is that you can gently knock the cabinet front with your knee and the bin will slide out to meet you.
So if you’ve got greasy or dirty hands, you don’t have to touch or handle anything. Perfect!
You could also consider including an InSinkErator waste disposal unit in your sink to quickly and cleanly dispose of any food scraps.
InSinkErator diverts food waste away from landfill and from your bin where it can create messes and smells.
The Second Kitchen
Another feature high on homeowner’s dream kitchen lists is a well thought out scullery or butler’s pantry.
The main difference between the two is that a scullery has a sink in it, whereas a butler’s pantry is dry.
These clever spaces allow you to keep all of the dirty work out of sight. This means if you have visitors, all the mess is enclosed in the pantry.
A walk-in pantry is a perfect place for an additional sink and dishwasher and in larger homes, it can function as a fully-fledged second kitchen.
Naturally, these spaces are considered a real luxury and can only be achieved if the space and budget allow, but they are becoming a feature that many homeowners lust after.
When it comes to building the ultimate dream kitchen, you should also consider the possibility of structural changes rather than just working within the footprint of the existing space. Obviously, these sorts of changes are very dependant on budget.
Having a larger space where you can include the items we have discussed earlier such as an extra dishwasher or a separate butler’s pantry can really give you what you desire and offer that extra level of convenience, not to mention what they do for your resale value.
This means having a look at your house as a whole and thinking about where you might be able to move a wall or a door or even a window.
This bit of “lateral thinking” will help you to create that little bit of extra space for your dream kitchen and is well worth considering.
However, if you are serious, as mentioned earlier, you should not underestimate the value offered by a Certified Kitchen Designer, or an Interior Designer.
A professional designer can help you bring all your ideas together in a way you may never have thought of by yourself and is well worth the investment. After all, this is your dream kitchen!
We hope that these tips and ideas have given you some inspiration when it comes to designing your dream kitchen so you can finally take the plunge and bring your dream to life.
If you’d like to discuss your dream kitchen plans with one of our qualified Interior Designers, please call Let’s Talk Kitchens & Interiors today on (03) 9888 5100.
Let’s Talk Kitchens & Interiors have been custom designing, building and project managing home renovations right across Melbourne and greater Victoria since 1972.