What makes a kitchen the heart of your home?

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Whether you’re starting your day with an energising coffee, bringing the family together for a casual weeknight dinner, preparing Sunday lunch for guests or entertaining friends and family for a special occasion, your kitchen is what makes your house a warm, welcoming home.

Not only will a modern, functional kitchen increase the value of your home – it will provide a space for the kids to learn to bake with mom or dad, for couples to bond over shared interests or a place to flip through recipe books and gain inspiration.

The design of your kitchen plays a critical role in how you use your space. You need a place to gather, so think about including a kitchen island with bar stools, a table with bench seating or even a corner nook.

You can never have too much counter space. Weekly meal prep, putting together a cheese and wine platter or pouring bowls of cereal on a busy morning all require easy to clean, sturdy surfaces.

Kitchen materials have come a long way from linoleum floors and plain tiles. From beautiful solid surfaces such as granite or marble looking quartz to polished concrete or sealed wood – countertops can be filled with personality. Walls can be adorned with simple subway tiles, modern mosaic in interesting patterns like herringbone, tiny hexagons with contrasting grout or edgier designs like wood-effect tiles. Kitchen floors should be sealed and easy to clean, but that doesn’t necessarily mean boring utilitarian tiles. There are so many options: hardwood, bamboo, vinyl or even cork.

Simple silver taps aren’t your only option either. Exposed copper pipes or slick black kitchen mixer taps will show your personal style and add trendiness to your home.

Consider how your materials will look together too. Elements from nature like wood and stone will balance out man-made ceramic tiles, chrome or polished granite, giving your kitchen warmth.

Natural light in a kitchen makes a world of difference, which is why open plan kitchens have become so popular in recent years. As well as opening up a home and making the kitchen a gathering place, open homes allow light to flood the entire space.

Layout should be functional as well as beautiful. Your appliances need a place where you can use them often, but without compromising on all-important countertop surfaces.
Large, deep drawers and sufficient shelving will create space for all your larger pots, pans and appliances. Organised containers and drawer dividers will help corral your smaller utensils, making your kitchen both easy to use and easy to clean.

If you have to stand do dishes, do it comfortably: with a large farmhouse sink or a double sink and standing on a soft mat or rug. There are so many beautiful options available for kitchens that are easy to clean and create softness on your space.

Of course, you should also have something beautiful to look at. Ideally, you’d have a window above your sink, but if that’s not possible, consider a patterned tiled splashback or a beautiful framed piece of art. An assortment of vintage crockery on display can also liven up a space.

Make sure to create space for your cookbooks and kitchen decor too. Plants give life to any room in your home – and fresh herbs are the perfect way to combine practicality with pretty accessories. Herbs grow better in a wooden container than in plastic – so a small planter is a great kitchen solution. You could choose a long, narrow planter that fits between your sink and window or on a sunny shelf and plant basil, oregano, chives, cilantro or even chillies or baby tomatoes. Not only will your kitchen feel happier, but your cooking will taste better too.

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