Given the many requirements of a kitchen in a modern home, it is smart to start with a bespoke design that meets your needs.
From clever built-in storage to ample countertop space, there’s a lot to consider when planning a stylish yet functional kitchen.
MasterChef’s Sarah Todd has teamed up with Simonds Homes.
Second-placed MasterChef contestant Sarah Todd has teamed up with Simonds Homes to help develop chef-approved kitchens that work for the whole family.
As a busy mom with a career in the food industry, she knows a thing or two about handling the heat in the kitchen.
She shares her three best tips for designing a smart and stylish new kitchen.
Choose a functional layout
When you’re under pressure and preparing a dish for the MasterChef judges, nothing is more important than a well-planned kitchen that you can easily adapt.
Todd says flow is just as important in an eat-in kitchen, with space and access to appliances being a priority.
“I have a large family who enjoy cooking together. So for me, a key design element is making sure there is enough space for everyone,” she says.
Ample bench space increases the functionality of a kitchen.
“Ensuring that the kitchen design is functional and provides enough preparation space to create a comfortable space for everyone to come together should always be a priority.”
“A lot of bench space is really important to me – a wide island bench is something I really love in my own kitchen.”
Shaun Patterson, director of sales and marketing at Simonds Homes, says creating practical open floor plans is paramount in the design process.
“Our designers carefully considered the size and configuration of our homes to maximize storage space without compromising on prep space,” he explains.
“They ensure balanced placement of benches and appliances and create large gaps between the island and the hob to ensure home cooks don’t step on each other’s toes.
“And all of this with a direct view of the children playing.”
The placement of cabinets and appliances is important when designing a kitchen.
He says it’s also common for several members of the household to prepare and cook something at the same time, so the team adjusts the division accordingly.
“We often have a desire to expand kitchens with separate ‘workstations’ that divide the kitchen into prep, cooking and dishwashing areas, and even a dedicated area for an espresso machine,” he says.
Personalize your style
The kitchen is a safe space to get creative with flavors, but also an opportunity to have fun with style and colors. Personal touches can enhance the feeling that this room is the focal point of the home.
Todd bucks the trend of bright, neutral colors for her home kitchen, as she cooks mostly Indian cuisine and uses a lot of highly pigmented ingredients.
“Since I like to cook with lots of different spices, I prefer a darker palette with a dark countertop,” she says.
“Many of the spices I often use have beautiful pigments that discolor white or light countertops. Using darker stone reduces this risk and keeps my kitchen looking great.”
Sarah Todd prefers a darker color palette because she regularly cooks with high-pigment spices.
Patterson says customers are increasingly interested in expressing their personal style in the kitchen, thanks to “design inspiration” from renovation shows and social media.
“This could be a request for a beautiful farmhouse-style sink, a statement splashback tile or a statement stone countertop,” he says.
Intelligent storage solutions
Ample storage is a necessary design element, especially with a large selection of appliances, and built-in storage creates a sleek look and makes a kitchen extremely functional.
Todd says storage space is one of her “non-negotiables” when it comes to kitchen design, and says your regular cooking supplies will help you decide what you need to consider.
“If you like to cook a lot of curries or soups on the stove, you may want to add larger pot drawers on either side of the oven so that your large pots are easier to access,” she says.
“This will be different for everyone, but I would recommend thinking about what you like to cook now and how you use your kitchen when planning your future design.”
All images provided by Simonds Homes.