3 tips to design a MasterChef-approved kitchen in your new home

With the many demands of a kitchen in a modern home, it’s smart to get started with a customised design that caters to your needs.

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From clever integrated storage to ample benchtop space, there’s a lot to consider when planning a stylish yet functional kitchen. We've partnered with Runner-up MasterChef contestant Sarah Todd to help devise chef-approved kitchens that function for the whole family.

As a busy mum with a career in food, she knows a thing or two about how to handle the heat in the kitchen. She shares her top three tips for designing a smart and stylish new kitchen.

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Abundant bench space adds to the functionality of a kitchen. Image: Our single storey Agnes 29, on display in Gisborne.

Choose a functional layout


When you’re under the pump prepping a dish for MasterChef’s judges, nothing is more important than having a well-planned kitchen that you can move around with ease.

Todd says the flow of a home kitchen is just as important, prioritising space and accessibility to appliances.

“I have a huge family that loves cooking together, so ensuring there’s enough space for everyone is a key design element for me,” she says.

"Ensuring the kitchen design is functional with enough room for prep should always be front of mind to create a comfortable space for everyone to come together.

“Lots of bench space is super important to me – a wide island bench is something I really love in my own kitchen.”

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Placement of cabinetry and appliances is important in a kitchen's layout. Image: Our double storey Hamilton 45, on display in Lilydale.

Shaun Patterson, Chief of Sales and Marketing at Simonds Homes, says creating practical open-plan layouts is paramount in the design process.

“Our designers have thoughtfully considered the size and configuration of our homes to maximise storage without compromising on preparation areas,” he explains.

“They balance the placement of benches and appliances, incorporating wide spaces between the island and cooktop to ensure that home chefs don’t step on each other’s toes.

“All while keeping a direct line of sight out to where children are playing.”

He says it’s also common to see multiple members of the household preparing and cooking at the same time, so the team adjusts layouts to suit.

“We often have requests for enhancing kitchens with separate ‘workstations’ that divide the kitchen into prep, cooking and washing zones, and even a dedicated area for an espresso machine,” he says.

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Sarah Todd prefer a darker colour palette as she regularly cooks with high-pigment spices. Image: Our double storey Washington 37, on display in Officer South.

Personalise your style


The kitchen is a safe space to get creative with flavours, so it’s also a chance to have fun with style and colour. Personal touches can enhance the feeling of this space as the hub of the home.

Todd bucks the trends of light neutral colours for her home kitchen, as she predominantly cooks Indian cuisine and uses many high-pigment ingredients.

“As I love cooking with lots of different spices, I prefer a darker palette with a dark benchtop.” she says.

“A lot of the spices I often use have beautiful pigments that stain white or light benchtops, so using darker stones mitigates that risk and keeps my kitchen looking its best."

Patterson says clients are becoming increasingly invested in expressing their personal style in the kitchen thanks to ‘design inspo’ from renovating shows and social media.

“This could be a request for a beautiful farmhouse-style sink, a statement splashback tile or splurging on a statement stone benchtop,” he says.

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Convenience is key when preparing a family meal, like storing your larger pots directly beside your stovetop. Image: Our double storey Napier 53, on display in Fyansford.

Smart storage solutions


Ample storage is a necessary design element, especially with a wide range of appliances, and, and integrated storage gives a sleek look and makes a kitchen highly functional.

Todd says storage is one of her “non-negotiables” when it comes to kitchen design, and says your regular cooking go-tos will help decide what you need to consider.

“If you love cooking lots of curries or soups on the stovetop, you may want to incorporate larger pot drawers to either side of the oven, making your big pots more easily accessible,” she says.

“This is going to be different for everyone, but I would recommend considering what you like to cook and how you use your kitchen now to inform your future design.

This article was originally published on realestate.com.au. You can read the full article here.

Simonds acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work.