Cooking up a Winning Kitchen


Kitchens’. They’re a love hate relationship. We love them when they work, but nothing evokes that special kind of hate like being stuck with an impractical, unattractive, hard to clean or just a complete failure in every kind of way type of kitchen.

Effortless, smart, timeless and adaptable are probably things that feature in the perfect kitchen picture in your head. Even if you’re no Martha Stewart most likely a functional, attractive kitchen with plenty of practical storage and handy work spaces would tempt you into at least thinking about whipping up a batch of something. Even if ‘something’ will only ever be microwave popcorn.

If it’s time for a new kitchen the one thing that could be the difference between love and hate at the end of the day, is opting out of tackling everything on your own. Well-meaning but unqualified help from friends or family doesn’t always cut it when it comes to a big long term investment like a kitchen. After all, you are the person who’ll have to live with it every day and sell it to someone else at some point.

You’ll need an independent, sharp eyed and experienced mind on the job to stop you when you can’t see the wood for the trees. That experience means you’ll feel confident the result will be a winning kitchen when you’re done.

Sure, the obvious place to turn to would be a local kitchen company right? Maybe not, it pays to remember that a kitchen company’s primary business is selling kitchens; the quicker and more expensive the better.

The ideal way to achieve a kitchen that boasts great function and timeless looks that connect to the rest of the house or apartment is to engage an independent interior designer. Who else will have your best design interests at heart? That’s because a designer would be working for you, not trying to sign you up to a kitchen package.

Avoid a future hate relationship with your new kitchen by carefully considering the value an interior designer would add to the process, result and look of your homes ‘heart’ – the kitchen. In the meantime here are three key design areas to consider in your new kitchen.


More than anything else, kitchen cabinets set the tone, style and predominant lines of a kitchen. The more open plan and visible your kitchen is, the more important this aspect will be.

No longer hidden away kitchens are up front and centre in most homes and that’s one of the main drives towards discreet cabinets (and butlers’ pantries).

The two easiest ways to make kitchen cabinets appear clean lined and more integrated in to the surrounding spaces is to eliminate handles and integrate appliances.


Integrating appliances means making the fronts of them look like the rest of the cabinetry; this means your eye isn’t drawn to bulky or contrasting coloured appliances like monster stainless steel fridges etc.

While opting for integrating appliances appears to go against the long running trend of ‘status’ or ‘feature appliances’ the end result is a level of subtle sophistication. Ultimately its sophistication that will outlast the trend look of stainless steel and keep your kitchen looking sleek.


Pay special attention to lighting in your new kitchen and it will deliver long term dividends. Poor, ill placed or unsuitable lighting makes even everyday tasks feel like a lot more work. When considering lighting for your new kitchen avoid being tempted to go focus on feature lights. Great lighting requires flexible options and variation in the types and position of lights used.

Alex Honey, Interior Designer

Sterling Interior Design

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