Our appetite for culinary television shows just keeps on growing, creating a generation of home chefs who take their cuisine very seriously. To nail the art of cooking, you need a kitchen that not only looks the part, but does the job too. Combining a thoughtful layout with easy-on-the-eye fixtures and high quality appliances is key to designing a space that’s both fun and functional.
Back to the basics
Inspired in part by the utilitarian-style kitchens seen on television shows like Masterchef, Minimalist and Scandinavian influenced design has seen a huge surge in popularity. Stainless steel benchtops and splashbacks are practical and contemporary, while strip or pendant lighting can be used to highlight prep areas. Places in NZ similar to Ikea is a good starting point for for authentic Scandi kitchen accessories, as well as inspiration for a kitchen refresh that won’t break the bank.
Fun and functional
Kitchens need to be practical – if you’re renovating, plan carefully to make the most of the space. A chef’s kitchen does away with clunky cabinets, so opt for open shelves and hard working storage walls that keep your cooking implements conveniently in reach. Invest in clever appliances that look sleek and maximise space, such as coffee machines integrated into the wall or products like a Thermomix, that has many functions and does away with multiple machines.
Kitchens being the hub of the home they are the place your guests gather when they are over so while the kitchen still needs to be practical and fuctional, it also needs to exude some luxury. This can be achieved by replacing tired laminate bench tops in favour of hard wearing composite stone tops, which give the kitchen a more high-end feel without breaking the bank and look great. If you want to go a few steps further you can venture into the realm of hardwood cabinetry and marble counter tops. Be these items can get pricey, but these things are what people love in homes so when it comes to selling it can make a huge difference as kitchens are one of the main things that sells homes. Be warned though, marble can be difficult to maintain and is quite pourus, but it sure looks amazing! So when you are looking to add a little more luxury into your kitchen, natural stones and woods are the way to go and they are very on-trend at the moment.
A splash of fun with your splashback
This is a great place to do some fun things in the kitchen, while glass splashbacks look good and are easy to clean, they are a little out-dated now, new trends are seeing exciting tiles being used in various patterns and shapes. A favourite is a thin tile laid in a herringbone pattern along with adding pops of colour with glass mozaics and 3d tiles. If you have a smaller kitchen and space is at a premium, a mirrored splashback can really add more depth to the space and give the appearance of a larger kitchen. The great thing about splashbacks is they are relatively easy to change out every few years as trends change or your style evolves, so don't be scared to do something bold and different! Have fun with it.
Tools of the trade
Top of every chef’s must-have list should be a good quality oven. Steam combi-ovens by brands such as Gaggenau, Electrolux and Miele can transform even the most basic cooks into professional chefs, whilst the Schweigen rangehoods are powerful, but quiet. The motor on the hoods has been removed from inside the unit and placed on the outside roof, reducing noise levels to next to nothing. Induction cooktops that feature gas on glass are also worth considering. Not only are they highly efficient, they’re also much easier to keep clean than stainless steel styles. Look for models with boosted capability, child-safe locks, simmer control, rapid-boil and safety shut-off features.
Your kitchen, Mr Bond
Fun, time-saving gadgets will up your home cooking game. A great all-in-one solution that doesn’t have to be dismantled after every use is the Thermomix. The clever, compact appliance does everything from weighing ingredients to processing and cooking, and is also fitted with a handy set-and-forget timer, putting an end to overcooked food and burnt meals for good. Another cooking show favourite is the sous vide technique – food is prepared in vacuum-sealed pouches placed in precisely heated water.