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Three Key Design Elements Every Kitchen Should Have

Must-haves for a stylish and super functional kitchen

The contemporary kitchen, the cornerstone of everyday family life, sets the scene for the home and says the most about who lives there.

More than just a place to cook, it requires strict functionality so as to accommodate family by day, and dinner, drinks or social gatherings by night. Oh, and it should look super stylish.

Experts reveal the key design elements required to create a kitchen that is not only functional, but stunningly beautiful too.

Unique layout 

Keeping preparation areas clear and clean will enhance your kitchen’s style and functionality.

There isn’t one layout that is efficient for everyone. Consider its primary users. A stunning kitchen is not necessarily a well-functioning one. Today’s kitchen operates in different ways – for kids to do their homework, drinks with friends, and a place to work on your laptop. It needs to tick all the boxes.

Clearly establishing your kitchen’s needs allows you to determine work zones and conjure up generous floor space without having to add to your home’s footprint. If it is used by one person, then the traditional work triangle is great, but if it needs to accommodate more people, this should be addressed in the planning stages.

Good appliances

High quality appliances are the No. 1 must-haves for any functional and stylish kitchen.
To ensure well-oiled productivity, understanding the cook’s habits and requirements is paramount. The kitchen has arguably the most expensive equipment in the house, so clarify who the cook is and what they cook. It will dictate the appliances and workstations they need. Are they entertainers? They may need additional dishwashers, steam ovens, built-in coffee machines or plate warmers. These are the questions and answers that will define your choices.


Avoiding excessive decor and ornamentation will improve the aesthetics of your kitchen. There are products that can simplify life. For example, young families love Fisher & Paykel’s Double DishDrawer because it is a quick fill and run-through. It’s much more practical than one large machine that takes time to fill up and run-through. Smart appliances really make a difference to everyday life.

For optimum functionality, consider regular related-activities. Try and group activities together. Put the pull-out or touch-open bins under your cutting area instead of under the sink, and place the dishwasher near your crockery storage so you can stand in one spot and unload. It makes all the difference.

Given the kitchen’s rise in status and location, ensure its good looks are consistent with adjoining spaces. For timeless appeal, use a white or neutral palette and layer with high quality fittings and fixtures that complement the rest of your home. Avoid too much ornament. Nobody really thinks you use those copper pans hanging ostentatiously at eye level. It adds nothing to the interactions that take place there.

Content: www.domain.com.au – Elizabeth Clarke

To find out whether you can afford to take out a loan for renovations through your home loan or any personal loan, try our calculators.

The key to restoring and renovating an old home

The key to restoring and renovating an old home:

Character is hard to reproduce. Character in property is generally something hard earned with years of use through generations of interaction.

The best, most character-filled homes are the ones that missed the 1970s and ’80s “upgrades”, where period detail was stripped from their frames and replaced with the brutal and austere lines of that period.

Some were spared because of owner malaise or lack of funds. Some were spared because their charm was recognised by some wise soul at the time, protecting the integrity and charm of the building.

home renovation restoration restoring old
The key to restoring and renovating an old home is to understand the period. A California bungalow, doesn’t just mean one style of architecture, so it’s important to understand if yours sits at the beginning of the period, for example. It may have elements of Federation or Edwardian styles that preceded the period, or be inspired by the arts and crafts movement, art nouveau or even art deco. Each of these styles will be evident in the detail, so look at things like wall panelling, door handles, ceiling plaster and facades for clues.

home renovation restoring old homes value

California bungalows, look best when their heritage is retained and not developed into a two-story franken house, but rather with the approach shown this season – to create a visually differentiated, modern addition while restoring the original section of the home and upgrading it for modern living.

A great place to start is the ceiling. If ceilings are damaged or incomplete, cast sections of the existing ceilings to fill in the gaps.

Look then to the walls. Can they be repaired or is the right approach for your home to replace with smooth, new plaster board.

home renovations restoring old home

Floors can be a hidden gem, quite literally, under old lino or carpets. Finding floor boards that are in good shape is always a bonus, but an engineered board or replacement can invigorate an old home with new style. Restoring hinges, door handles and window hardware gives yet another opportunity to add detail.

By focusing on the period details of your home, you can restore charm, honour the building’s history and still have the opportunity to express your contemporary style.

If you need assistance in renovating your home, contact MortgageDirect. We offer competitive personal loan options.

Article content: www.domain.com.au – Darren Palmer



Top 6 Things to do in Sydney over Christmas

Your guide to the Christmas season in Sydney

1. Martin Place Christmas Tree: 25th November – January 1st

The Martin Place Christmas tree is an annual spectacle for tourists and Sydney-siders due to its magnificent size, colour and Christmas feel. This year the 20metre high tree invites visitors to share the spirit of Christmas by letting everyone light up the branches with their own personal message. Visit www.sydxmastree.com.au to put in your special message and watch it light up the branches for everyone to see.

christmas tree martin place sydney

2. Carols in the Domain – Sunday 17th December – from 7:45pm

Australia’s largest festive event returns with a line-up of high profile performers including Dami Im, Todd McKenney, Adam Harvey, Beccy Cole, the casts of The Wizard Of Oz, Jersey Boys and Beautiful: The Carol King Musical. Carols in the Domain celebrates 35 years in 2017 and this year will be preceded by an additional family Christmas Carnival in the Domain from noon on the day. Carnival noon; concert $49-$125

christmas in sydney carols in the domain

3. Rushcutters Bay Village Christmas Concert – Saturday 9th December – 6:30-8:30pm

Hosted by Emma Palmer from Play School, the concert will feature Peter Combe, Bananas in Pyjamas, Splashdance, carols and loads of entertainment for families. There will be craft, giant Jenga, tables tennis, ice-cream and lots of yummy food stalls. Entry is free! Head to Waratah Street, Rushcutters Bay, don’t forget your picnic blanket!

rushcutters bay village concert christmas sydney

4. St Mary’s Cathedral Choir – Friday, 15th December – 11am & 7pm

There is nothing more Christmassy than carols! Head to St Mary’s Cathedral on Friday, 15th December to watch the full St Mary’s Cathedral Choir and orchestra performing our favourite Christmas carols along with some less well known Christmas music woven into the performances. The matinee performance is an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping in the heart of the city. Visit St Marys Road, Sydney 2000. Tickets between $20-$120

st marys cathedral sydney catholic choir christmas

5. David Jones Windows & QVB Enchanted Garden 4th November – 24th December

A great way to see the display of Christmas spirit in Sydney is to take a walk around the CBD. It is a great way to break up the madness of shopping, and to really remind us of what beautiful atmosphere and energy the season brings. Visit David Jones on Elizabeth St, Sydney to see their marvellous window displays and then drop in to visit Santa in the QVB on Level 2. Santa will be occupying the Enchanted Garden, along with lights, flowers, feature birds and characters, but don’t forget to book online in advance. A range of photography packages are available, visit www.qvb.com.au to find out more. Santa is there from 8am-8pm. Passes between $35-$50

enchanted garden queen victoria building sydney christmas australia qvb

6. The Unbelievables @ Sydney Opera House – 19th-29th December

Witness the unbelievable as the world’s greatest circus, magic and music acts take to the Concert Hall stage this summer. Packed with mind-bending illusion, death-defying acts, music, comedy and ballroom dancing. Afterwards, enjoy a fruity cocktail at Sydney’s Opera Bar downstairs and watch the cities lights turn-up. Tickets $74-$150 www.sydneyoperahouse.com

sydney opera house the unbelievables