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Kitchen Design - Taps and Fixtures

5 Design Elements Every Home Kitchen Needs

The kitchen is the undisputed hub of the home and the zone where all the culinary action happens. Having seen oodles of kitchens in my time, I’ve come to realise how many are poorly put together from a design perspective and how many don’t work well for the people who live in them.

Here’s a checklist you can perform on your current kitchen, or one you’re in the process of creating, to see if it contains all the kitchen design elements you need.

Kitchen Design - benchtops

Above: This space from The Kitchen Place is sleek and contemporary

1. A benchtop that works for your lifestyle

Benchtops aren’t complex creatures but you can choose the wrong one for your lifestyle. Stone benchtops are stunners, no doubt, but they can be high maintenance and don’t lend themselves to spills of the acidic variety, like juices. Engineered stone benchtops can give you the same look but with less need to fret over potential stains. A timber benchtop is another option – looking stellar in a country kitchen – but keeping it smooth and shiny takes ongoing work.

Before you lock in a benchtop option, ask a professional for some advice and be as detailed as you can about who uses the kitchen and what other circumstances might come into play.

kitchen design - Provincial kitchen

2. A clever layout for simple operation

Whether you have a galley, L-shape or U-shape kitchen configuration, there are ideal ways to lay out each space. The biggest thing to bear in mind is that you should travel between your fridge, cooktop and sink in a triangular motion. This setup ensures you aren’t walking all the way to the other end of the kitchen to grab something from the fridge, then walking all the way back to the stove.

It’s also wise to place your fridge near the entry of the kitchen, so that people (especially kids) aren’t running to the end of the kitchen during dinnertime and getting in your way.

Kitchen Design - Kitchen Storage

3. Ample storage that’s easy to access

One of the biggest issues I see in kitchens is that there’s not enough storage, or that there aren’t enough unique options to house different items. The tupperware cupboard can often resembles a game of jenga; ready to topple at any moment, as does the space you keep your pots and pans. Consider deep, large drawers to hold big items and even small, roller doors that open up to house your kettle and toaster. Sometimes you don’t want to show off your everyday items and this is a perfect solution.

Also consider alternative types of storage, like for books, phone chargers and other items that you will use in this space on a regular basis.

Kitchen Design - Dual Lighting

Above: This space from The Kitchen Place features dual lighting – an important element!

4. Lighting that’s dual-purpose

Lighting in a kitchen should be functional – first and foremost. You want decent wattage overhead and also over your stovetop. But also consider mood lighting in cupboards with glass doors – to showcase particular items. Also think about bringing in stylish pendant lights over an island bench or light under cupboards to show off a stunning splashback.

Lighting changes the mood in a space like nothing else can, so it’s important you take time to carefully consider the different options.

Kitchen Design - Taps and Fixtures

5. Your personality shining through

You spend so much time in the kitchen that you really need to put your stamp on the design. The style of the kitchen is the best place to start. Do you like sleek and contemporary, the softness of a french vintage style or the charm of a country cottage?

The fit-out you choose will greatly impact the accessories you bring into the space later on, so don’t rush this decision and ensure that your kitchen speaks to who you are as much as any other living space does.

The Kitchen Place This is a TLC Solution for The Kitchen Place.

The kitchens featured in this post come courtesy of the team at The Kitchen Place, who are the undisputed masters of home kitchen design and fit-outs.

 In operation since 1978, their mantra is to create kitchens from a ‘point of you’ – so they’re all about tailor-made spaces, with all cabinetry made in their Melbourne factory.

 Visit their website and get creating your kitchen the way you want it: 



Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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4 Responses

    1. The first image is a stunner isn’t it Kate? I’m drawn to that style of kitchen the most I think 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

    1. I hear ya, Lazygirl. Stone benchtops are my fave, but not sure I’m into being so careful in the kitchen when it comes to stains! Thanks for your comment – hope you found the post useful!

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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