The modern kitchen really is the heartbeat of contemporary living. The latest kitchen trends indicate that more than ever before, we are using the kitchen as a space for entertaining. Rather than being hidden away behind closed doors, the kitchen has experienced a huge shift, becoming an integral part of the living, dining and alfresco areas. The modern kitchen has to be functional, as well as social. No longer is it just a place to prepare and cook food – the kitchen is also where we gather and entertain family and friends. It’s a place where we celebrate special occasions such as Christmas, Easter, birthdays and other important milestones. And it’s also the perfect place to express your individual style and add your own flavour. Here are a few things in your kitchen that just make sense. Which ideas will you entertain?
My island home
The island bench is the centrepiece of the contemporary kitchen layout. It’s where we relax with a coffee, have casual meals and help the kids with their homework. But when we entertain, the island bench is usually where guests grab a stool, enjoy a drink and chat to the host, while they prepare food and drinks. It really does become the centre of the party! While the aesthetic of the island bench has certainly evolved over the years, so too has the technology. Your island bench can be smart wired with USB and additional power points, include concealed storage and even have integrated wine fridges. But it’s not all about adding extra bells and whistles. To create the perfect island bench for your needs, think carefully about how you intend to use this central component of your kitchen design and plan accordingly.
No mess stress
With open plan kitchens now more popular than ever, a secondary space such as a butler’s pantry, is becoming a must-have feature in many new homes. Perfect for entertainers, the butler’s pantry neatly hides away many of the things that can clutter your kitchen – especially if you’re not keen on putting appliances like toasters and kettles away after use. The butler’s pantry can also be home to your microwave, coffee machine, and even a second fridge or sink. And just because it’s hidden doesn’t mean it shouldn’t look great! The butler’s pantry can be a stylish extension of your main kitchen, with fittings and fixtures matching your overall design for a beautiful, streamlined look and feel.
Never underestimate the importance of good kitchen lighting. A great ambience depends heavily on a smart lighting scheme, especially in multi-tasking rooms like the kitchen. It needs to be a well thought out combination of task and mood lighting. Go for brighter task lighting in your cooking and cleaning areas such as downlights and under-unit lighting, ambient lighting such as pendants over the island bench, and accent lighting for a moody glow when dinner is over. LED strip lighting under the island bench or in wall units really adds visual impact – especially at night. Consider adding dimmer switches, so you have full control over the brightness of your lighting, depending on what you’re doing.
Mix it up with a bar
The home bar is making a huge resurgence, but in a much more sophisticated way than it did in the 70s. Allocate an area in or adjoining your kitchen as a bar, complete with wine and glassware storage, as well as a spot for bar accessories, such as a cocktail shaker and bottle opener. Your guests will love it, and it makes entertaining easy for you too!
Are you being served?
Casual, buffet-style eating with generous platters of share food is now a popular choice when it comes to entertaining. The island bench is the perfect place for the ultimate buffet spread. Consider adding some storage to your island bench facing out to the dining area for easy access to platters, linen and cutlery, without crowding the kitchen. This works a treat and gives you so much more storage!
What’s in store for you?
You can never have too much storage – especially in the kitchen! Think carefully about your kitchen layout and where the storage needs to be. Make sure your pots and pans are stored near your cooktop and oven, and your dishwasher is close to your crockery and glassware storage. One thing that many people overlook is bin storage. If you have the space, dedicate a drawer close to your prep area for compartmentalised waste and recycling. There’s nothing worse than designing a beautiful kitchen and then realising that there’s nowhere to put the bins!
There’s a real art to placing your appliances in the right spot for maximum practicality in your kitchen floor plan. Placing ovens side by side with the cooktop above is an efficient way of keeping the cooking area contained. Placing the fridge on the ‘edge’ of the kitchen provides easy access to the rest of the family, without getting in your way while you’re cooking. If you’re a keen entertainer, you may also like to consider a second dishwasher in the butler’s pantry. One common mistake that people make when designing a kitchen is choosing appliances that look great, but make a lot of noise while operating. Appliance noise can be very annoying – especially in an open plan design. So look for appliances that operate around 60dB. Nothing kills the mood when you’re entertaining with a howling rangehood or churning dishwasher!
Make your dream kitchen a reality at Select by Hallmark
A well-designed kitchen is a worthwhile investment, both when you are building and for resale further down the track. However, designing the ultimate entertainers’ kitchen can be overwhelming. At Hallmark Homes, we’ve done all the hard work for you! Our kitchens have been expertly designed to meet your needs, while still giving you the flexibility to inject your own personal style.
Like to upgrade to a wider oven? Or include a butler’s pantry? Our Selection Centre Consultants are experts when it comes to creating the perfect entertainer’s kitchen for you and are well versed in all the latest kitchen trends for 2022 and beyond. They will personally guide you through all your selections, ensuring that everything you choose works together seamlessly. They will also help you with all of your choices when it comes to appliances, finishes, fixtures plus much more. Our Selection Centre, Select by Hallmark, is exclusive to Hallmark Homes’ clients, and entry is by appointment only.
So if you’re thinking of building a new home in South East Queensland, contact Hallmark Homes to speak with an experienced consultant. Come and visit one of our display centres or check out our virtual tours and house plans from the comfort of your own home. If you have any questions about our single storey, acreage or narrow lot home designs, or the house and land packages we currently have available, please contact us today.