Whether you’re going for a modern masterpiece or the classic country comforts, these tips will help you transform your kitchen into the heart of your home.
The heavy lifting has been done and you’ve moved into your new home. Now’s the perfect time to plan how you’re going to use the most-used space, the kitchen, to make sure it’s both fun and functional.
1. Add greenery
Introducing greenery makes any space more dynamic and vibrant. Add a leafy beauty to your benchtop, pop a plant stand on your windowsill, or suspend a decorative planter from the ceiling. Growing fresh herbs in those pots will not only look great, they’ll be fragrant and encourage you to mix up the flavours in your cooking.
Perennials like rosemary, oregano and mint do pretty well in pots. Ask your local grower about which others are easiest to grow in your area. Make sure the plants get plenty of natural light and be careful not to overwater.
2. Opt for a statement kettle
Whether you’re going for midrange electric kettle, or a traditional stovetop one, this piece of functional art can really make a statement in your kitchen.
When it comes to seeking out the beautiful amongst the functional, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind. Think about how energy efficient your kettle is, whether it comes with pre-set temperatures and how easy it is to clean.
If you feeling like splashing out, why not add a pop of colour from the Le Creuset Zen range or a sleek steel piece from the Alessi range?
3. Invest in a Dutch oven
Have you been caught up in the latest sourdough challenge? Seems everyone these days is either faithfully feeding their sourdough starter or searching high and low for ancient grains. No self-respecting bread baker can be without a great Dutch oven, but how do you choose the best oven for your needs?
First, consider what you’re planning to cook. Will it be slow-cooking roasts that require a low slow heat or baking baguettes which requires higher constant heat for shorter periods of time?
Then consider cost, size and material. Choosing between coated enamel, copper and cast iron will depend on what you’re planning to cook – as well as your budget. Cast iron is likely to cost the most, but will last a lifetime and withstand a direct flame, but copper or enamel may be better suited to everyday use.
4. Platter up
If you can’t afford Carrara marble bench tops (and let’s face it, many of us can’t), for around $100 you could buy a marble chopping board for an air of the same elegance. Serving cheese, charcuterie and crudites on one of these will feel a million bucks.
Or if stone isn’t your style, pick a chopping board made from natural products. There’s Acacia or Teak, or sustainable bamboo is mould, scratch, stain, heat and water resistant – while also inviting warm wood tones into your space.
5. Add a time piece
Whether you need to know when to turn the oven on or when to check the stove for the teatime rush, a clock can help you create your masterpiece in the nick of time.
Look for a clock that’s functional and expresses your kitchen’s mood. Going for French Provincial–chic? Find a clock with a distressed white patina and a rustic feel. An industrial-modern aesthetic more your style? Try a clock with copper numerals and exposed inner workings.
Mounted on the wall as a statement piece or on the bench within easy reach, you can turn this timeless and functional item into a standout feature of your kitchen.
6. Make your knives shine
When it comes to kitchen knives there’s a bit to think about. There are everyday knives, specialised knives for certain culinary delights, and chef’s knives which will have you slicing and dicing like a pro. For the casual cook, a midrange set of knives from one of the major retailers will probably do the trick, but if you like to experiment and get a bit fancy, see a speciality retailer.
Once you know what knives you are looking to purchase, think about how you want to display them. You might want to show them using a magnetic wall hanging, or in a stylish knife block that can match your decor. Quality knife blocks will not only add a touch of MasterChef to your space, but protect your knives for years to come – not to mention your fingers!
7. All hail the coffee machine
Whether you’re grabbing a quick cup on the go or trying to recreate that Italian coffee bar vibe, expressing your coffee personality will take your kitchen cred up a notch.
Luckily, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes the machines behind the perfect coffee. If you’re looking to brew via pressure, an automatic coffee machine like the Nespresso, a Moka pot or an AeroPress could work for you.
Other coffee-making alternatives to explore include a French press, siphon, filtration or soft brew to steep that cup of perfection. Whatever your coffee method of choice, choose the colour and finish to tie in with your overall kitchen theme.
Now you’ve got the kitchen style covered, it’s time to start cooking up a storm and planning your next dinner party.
Want more tips to liven up your new place? Check out our tips to give your bathroom a lift.