5 Steps to Designing a Beautiful Kitchen
Design a beautiful and bespoke culinary space made just for you—here’s how to create an impressive cooking zone that combines form and function
For homeowners with a passion for cooking, the kitchen is undoubtedly the heart of their abode; it’s both a place to gather and where culinary experiments play out. With telecommuting becoming part of the new normal, the kitchen also frequently doubles as a flexible space for work and play.
Ann Lee, general manager of luxury furnishings purveyor P5, has observed an increased demand for bespoke kitchens to meet these changing needs. “Given the ongoing pandemic restrictions, which have us spending more time at home, owners want well-designed kitchens that integrate the traditional functions of food preparation with the requirements of socialisation and working from home,” she says.
Here, we speak to Lee and other interior designers as well as experts to find out how you can create a stunning bespoke kitchen with contemporary functionality.
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Choose modular shelving
The wonderful thing about a bespoke kitchen is that you can store and display your appliances and dinnerware however you like.
Lee recommends brands such as Dada by Molteni&C, which offer kitchen cabinetry systems in many colours and finishes, as well as modular components that can be arranged to form various compositions; these are great for showcasing kitchenware, appliances and culinary tools. The brand also offers freestanding glass column units from various collections, which can occupy lower heights and act as spatial dividers in open-plan kitchens.
She adds: “Customisable, closed and open modular units can be incorporated seamlessly into a kitchen of any size and shape; by varying the finishes for each element in the modular composition, homeowners can also create a dynamic interplay of colours and textures to make their kitchen more attractive.”
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Create visual interest with colour, textures and patterns
Jeremy Tay, director of Singapore-based firm Prestige Global Designs, feels that the sky is the limit—almost every design element, ranging from cabinets and handles to appliances such as ovens and refrigerators, can be customised. Tay suggests choosing a bold accent colour for the countertops and cabinetry hardware, then adding textures, patterns or prints to enliven the overall concept.
Santa & Cole’s iconic M64 pendant lamps, the brainchild of Spanish industrial designer Miguel Milá, won the prestigious Golden Delta Award in 1964 and remains a timeless classic to this day. Available in five finishes—red, white or black in a matte finish, bright brass or polished aluminium—you can mix and match shades to create an eye-catching kitchen counter lighting set-up.
If you’re looking to bring some French flair to your kitchen, La Cornue offers a selection of vintage-style appliances with customisable options. Manufactured in France, these appliances include range cookers, cooktops and hoods from the Château and Cornufé collections, which feature sleek stainless steel and brass trimmings, along with enamel finishes in various colours such as the pale blue hue shown here, as well as other pastel tones and brighter shades.
According to Clifton Leung, the founder of Hong Kong-based practice Clifton Leung Design Workshop, the biggest challenge when designing a bespoke kitchen is getting the layout right. “Functionality has to be a priority, so start with the location of the cooker, fridge, sink, oven and all your key appliances. Let your interior designer or kitchen consultant know exactly how you use the area. That way, they can help you create a space that fits your needs,” he says.
The Boffi Combine Evolution kitchen system from Boffi Singapore is constructed with surfaces and doors in a high-performance composite material, the modules include units for washing, cooking and food preparation that can be integrated into a metal frame fitted with wooden drawers. These modular sections can be equipped with tracks for countertops, compartments with cutlery trays, holders for knives and spices, along with hidden electric sockets, elegant hanging bars for ladles and other culinary tools as well as integrated LED lighting.
Gaggenau's Vario 400 series wine climate cabinets allow you to integrate your wine storage into your kitchen cabinetry; these built-in refrigeration units can be controlled via Gaggenau’s Home Connect app, and are available in stainless steel or bespoke finishes, and with or without handles.
Fitted with warm, glare-free lights that can be set to five different illumination modes, the Vario 400 series is also a great way to showcase your favourite vintages and set the right mood for every occasion. Built to bring out the best in your prized collection, these wine cabinets replicate a long-term cellar environment, so your prized bottles are stored in optimal condition.
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Consider your lifestyle
Terri Tan, design director of Designworx Interior Consultant, advises careful thought about what you need for a bespoke kitchen to work well. “There’s something liberating about having a kitchen that doesn’t feel ‘off the shelf’,” she says. “But for a bespoke kitchen to work well, you should be clear about exactly what you hope to be doing in your kitchen. Think about your typical food preparation routine and your storage needs.”
For example, the new Samsung Bespoke refrigerators not only boast a sleek, streamlined form; you can even feature playful patterns and hues on their front doors. These versatile units feature recessed handles, and are available in a variety of attractive shades and finishes that can be matched with any kitchen cabinetry system. Some Bespoke models even feature a reversible door that lets users adjust the direction in which it opens.
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Functional, flexible and chic, the SLC line from German kitchen systems brand SieMatic offers all the versatility you need to create your dream culinary space. The minimalist graphite grey tone, sleek silhouette and resilient countertop surfaces make it easy for the customisable units to blend harmoniously into various design schemes.
Tan has helped her clients design kitchens with sensor-equipped doors that conceal the culinary space when it is not in use. “For open-concept kitchens, we always customise the look of the space so it integrates well with the living and dining areas,” she adds.
Manufactured and designed in Switzerland, the ovens from V-Zug’s Excellence Line have been created with a streamlined look and are available in mirrored glass fronts in black, platinum or pearl finishes. Beyond aesthetics, these ovens feature a CircleSlider digital dial carved into the centre of the full-colour touch display; intuitive, responsive, and easy to use, this dial allows you to adjust temperature and duration settings, and access culinary recommendations based on your favourite dishes and recipes.
Grocery lists, to-do reminders and family schedules are vital when it comes to running a household. German appliance brand Miele makes life easier with its Blackboard Edition, a freestanding, handle-less fridge and freezer with a blackboard surface on which you can simply write your lists with chalk markers, then wipe them away when you’re done.
Your kids can also doodle on the surface with erasable markers, so they can keep themselves entertained in the kitchen while you’re preparing meals. Besides the useful doors, the Blackboard Edition’s streamlined design also offers high energy efficiency, spacious storage, and all of Miele’s innovative functions to keep your produce fresh and well organised.
Ultimately, you want to create a space that works; and one that you find charming, too. “With a bespoke kitchen, you can inject your own personality into the space and have it fit your lifestyle perfectly,” says Tay.