There’s been a slow move away from the all-white sterile kitchen of the ’90s, towards a softer, more lived-in style. People are realising that although clean lines and clear surfaces can look great, unless you’re eating out every night, a kitchen needs to be a working space that fulfils your family’s needs. And this thinking that mixes function with aesthetic means you don’t need to get too obsessed with hiding everything away. The best way to make sure you’re kitchen works is to take a holistic approach and do all your thinking when you are designing, building or renovating, as space-saving solutions always work better when they’re an integral part of the room. The number of people who forget to design a spot for the bin, for example, still surprises me.

These are a few things I suggest to clients that can help them keep on top of appearances:

1. Dumping dish Invest in a beautiful bowl or basket for keys, pens, coins, hair clips, lollies, toy cars and other random stuff that gets dumped on arrival back from work or school.

2. Filing drawer If you want to keep your paperwork in order, you need somewhere you can file things straight away, rather than having a pile of bills, menus and banking business strewn about the benchtops.

3. Electricals drawer The average family can struggle for space among the sea of mobile phones, MP3 players and tablets. Designate a drawer for chargers, earphones and other cabled items. If you think about this one in advance, you can have the sockets built in there, too.

4. Butler’s pantry A butler’s pantry is perfect for people who entertain a lot, or just want to keep their kitchen looking pristine. It can be entire room off the kitchen where you can have an extra dishwasher and sink and store your serving dishes, tablecloths, etc, or it can be a an extra-large pantry with a prep area, plus microwave, kettle and toaster.

Tip: Consider hanging artwork in your kitchen! One beautiful piece on the wall will warm the heart.


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>> Lisa’s top tips for a dream kitchen
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