It’s a bit of a cliché but the kitchen is the heart of the home. Whether you’re cooking dinner while the kids do their homework at the kitchen table or you’re experimenting for your next dinner party, it’s a place that we want to enjoy. So, if you’re looking for a design refresh or a full-blown kitchen renovation, you’ve come to the right spot because I’ve curated are over 100 kitchen ideas to inspire you.
Can’t have that walk-in pantry that you’ve always dreamt of? Well, maybe splash out and get a smaller (but stylish) pantry instead.
Kitchen storage ideas
Shelves, drawers, pullout pantries – what is the best kitchen storage solution? There are so many smart kitchen storage ideas, here are my favourites.
Show off your beautiful crockery with this modern mid-century shelf.
For those of us who are extremely scarce on space, a collapsible unit such as the one below is what you need.
Not only does this look pretty, but it’s a great eye-catching DIY project.
Cupboard shelving racks
If you only have a few shelves, you have to maximise the precious storage you do have with some inner cupboard racks that you can pick up an IKEA or alternative homewares stores.
Pots and pans
Stacking pots and pans might be the best solution for space saving but this is a great kitchen storage idea if you want to make the most of your cabinetry.
Over sink drying rack
It’s not ideal if you’re limited on bench space, as a drying rack next to the sink can be very inconvenient. But, I’ve found the perfect solution with an over-sink drying rack – it’s a game changer!
Kickboards are often dead space, but they are the perfect location for baking trays and platters.
Maximise corner cupboards
Cupboards in the corner are so awkward to access and not utilised to the best of their abilities but with an out-of-the-box idea such as the one below, it might become one of your favourite storage spots.
Butler pantry ideas
I’m a firm believer that a walk-in butler’s pantry will provide fantastic added value to your home. After all, who wouldn’t want one! Here are the ultimate butler pantry ideas:
Ceiling height storage
no NO such thing as too much storage.
If you don’t mind having all of your goods on display or you need a budget shelving solution, open shelving in your pantry is what you need.
Glass cabinet doors look stunning and a great way to show off your best crockery.
Open timber shelves bring warmth into what could otherwise be a plain white room.
Lots of us think that to have a butler’s pantry it needs to be a closed off room, but with a walk-in pantry, it means you’re not losing the perception of space.
Hamptons style butler’s pantry
If minimalism is something that you want to achieve throughout your home, this butler’s pantry with clean lines is perfect for you!
Breakfast nook ideas
Ideal for any family kitchen, the breakfast nook can be used daily to gather the family around for meals or even just to read the morning paper.
Minimalistic breakfast nook
The paired back look is very refreshing and can work in almost any modern home.
Scandi breakfast nook
Update the classic white Scandi style with some soft colours to soften your kitchen.
If you’re going for a glam vibe, experiment with richer colours such as sage, deep red or navy.
Coastal breakfast nook
Embrace the seaside without a rustic feel by keeping it basic with only a few modern touches of the Hamptons.
Inner city breakfast nook
Perfect for an apartment or inner city terrace, this breakfast nook with blue upholstery is stunning.
Patterned breakfast nook
This is for the people who love a bit of loudness in their lives because this patterned fabric is made for them.
Wine fridge ideas
Who wouldn’t want a wine fridge in their kitchen, it’s something I certainly want when I get around to my renovation. Here are my favourite wine fridge ideas…
Kitchen island wine fridge
Just imagine sitting down with a cheese platter at the kitchen island and having a chilled bottle of wine within reach, sounds heavenly!
If you have the room in your open planned kitchen and dining room, why not have a designated bar to whip up a cocktail or pour a glass of red.
Wine rack nook
Got some spare space, create a little wine nook with a spot for glassware and a couple of bottles.
Kitchen cabinet door ideas
It doesn’t matter if you have a small kitchen or lucky enough to have a huge open plan kitchen, you can add your own personal touch in the simplest of ways. Almost all kitchens have cupboards to store food, dinnerware and sometimes appliances, which makes a kitchen cabinet the easiest thing to update for the biggest (and cheapest) dramatic effect.
And as the old saying goes; a change is as good as a holiday, so let’s get cracking on some inspirational kitchen ideas for your cabinets!
Door knobs and handles
Maybe your kitchen cabinets don’t need a fresh lick of paint, but what about the door handles or knobs? Updating these is a fantastic way to transform your kitchen without the added expense of replacing all of the cabinetry.
Handles and knobs can intensify charisma, solidify your design aesthetic and can keep your kitchen up-to-date with the latest trend, such as matte black or copper.
There are all different types of kitchen door handles/knobs as well. Metal, wood, painted and ceramic are all popular choices.
There’s no better way to make a kitchen standout than by adding coloured cabinetry.
Kitchen cabinetry can be brought to life with modern LED strip lighting. This is definitely something to consider if you want to give your kitchen some extra flare.
Dark cabinetry throughout looks stylish and sophisticated, however, it can make a kitchen seem even smaller, which is why we’re happy that two-coloured cabinetry is ‘in’ in a big way. At the moment, it’s centralised around a wood (real or laminate) with white or black, which is interchangeable depending on personal preference. And because this is just changing some of the cabinetry, it means you don’t have to update all at once.
It looks great in a beach-side home and has a lovely refreshing feel when teamed with some greenery for added colour.
Renew scratched or scuffed kitchen cabinet doors by sanding back and adding a fresh coat of paint. You could even take your kitchen in a completely new direction such as a nautical or country-farmhouse style, which is quite easily done as they both use a similar style of door.
In saying this, it’s a bigger DIY project than it may seem as you have to detach all of the cabinets (don’t forget to number them), so don’t hold back on getting a cabinet painter to take care of it.
Thinking outside the box
If having everything in uniform isn’t your thing, you can mix it up by using crates as draws to add a rustic touch or even using different styles of recycled cupboards throughout – just make sure it’s a similar tone for a little consistency.
Display kitchen cabinets
Showing off your ‘good’ plates, cups and other trinkets is something that has never really gone out of fashion, but what has changed is the way it’s done. This could be as simple as open shelving or multi-paned glass kitchen cabinets, it all depends on what you prefer.
Panelled kitchen cabinets
Continue the panelled look into the kitchen with custom panelled cabinets.
Like a bit of bling? You can’t go past metallic kitchen cabinets.
The options for large and small kitchen ideas are only limited by your imagination and there is so much you can do to improve your kitchen. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Kitchen splashbacks – ideas and tips
We’re all a little guilty of day-dreaming about that gorgeous island bench, but let’s not forget kitchen splashbacks. Getting the splashback right can be particularly important for small kitchens, as certain materials can make the kitchen appear larger. So how do you choose the perfect kitchen splashback for your design?
Kitchen splashback considerations
The main thing to think about is the type of material you would like to use and the total cost for the size you need. There are so many options on the market and it’s not an easy decision to make.
Take your bench tops into consideration as well as cabinetry to narrow down your options and hopefully reduce your sense of renovator’s decision fatigue.
Don’t forget to ask yourself the harder questions too about how easy it is to clean too. After all, it’s called a splashback for a reason. So whether you’d like to make a statement or something that blends in, here are some different kitchen splashback ideas.
Simple, inexpensive and easy to clean, you can’t go wrong with a glass splashback. It will suit almost any kitchen design and comes in many colour options.
Stainless steel splashbacks
A stainless steel splashback offers minimal design for the more industrial-style or contemporary kitchen. Inexpensive, easy to clean and durable, it’s easy to see why this option is appealing to many. Whilst it may not be the wow factor that you’re looking for, it will seamlessly blend with other décor and items in your kitchen design.
Pressed metal splashbacks
Pressed metal or pressed tin is a lovely inexpensive and attractive option to provide a subtle vintage feel. However, it’s often considered difficult to clean, so keep that in mind.
Timber splashbacks are a stunning look. However, timber is expensive and can be tricky to maintain and clean. But if you want to go all out and make a statement or bring a warm Nordic feel to your kitchen, it’s hard to rule this out as an option.
A real show stopper, the glass window splashback! This splashback design draws the eye outside, making the kitchen appear larger. Ideally, you want your window to be looking onto a lot of greenery to produce the wow factor! This alluring design will make your kitchen pop. It will allow for ample natural light to filter through this well-utilised space. But, of course, this design comes with a hefty price tag.
A subway-tiled splashback is on-trend without being over the top. It’s easy to clean and a super stylish option.
Marble is jaw-dropping but it’s pricey and tricky to maintain. If you have your heart set on a marble backsplash though, and you have the patience and attentiveness to care for it, this option is sure to add value and style to contemporary kitchen design.
Kitchen pendant lighting
Whilst downlighting is standard throughout most rooms, adding a pendant light will add depth to your room and enhance your styling even further. As it’s a high traffic area that needs a high degree of functionality, there are a few things that need to be taken into account.
Pendant lights have two distinct advantages over other types of kitchen lighting – first, as focused task lighting and second, they can be a feature.
When you cook, it’s fundamental you can adequately see what you’re doing. Depending on the type you choose, a pendant can also reflect a bigger surface of light, highlighting the immediate task at hand and well as the areas surrounding it.
Pendants also have the power to set the ‘look’ of your kitchen. They come in an immense variety of shapes and colours and can even be custom-designed to allow you to choose the right feel for your space. They can be your home’s central statement piece and well worth the investment.
Bar pendant light
These simplistic and impactful lights are the ramping up to be the next big trend in lighting design.
Colour pendant light
Is your kitchen bursting with colour? Or is it neutral and in need of a splash to perk it up? The answers to these questions will help you choose the right colour pendant light. If you’re satisfied with your colour scheme, pick a similar coloured pendant light so it blends in. If you need that burst of colour, try a contrasting coloured pendant to make a statement.
Rose gold pendant light
If you want a metallic, why not go with a rose gold variation for something different.
Glass pendant light
For a refined modern kitchen, you can’t go past a glass pendant light with a beautiful filament globe.
Rattan kitchen pendant light
Rattan pendants put the chic back into beach-chic and one of the best kitchen ideas that will work in many homes to blend styles together.
Geometrically shaped pendant light
Geometrically shaped interior features also flow into pendant light design as well.
Not exactly a pendant but these art gallery spotlights give a home a very contemporary feel.
But rules are made to be broken, right…
This oversized pendant is an absolute beauty!
Kitchen island ideas
An island table in the middle of the kitchen is one of the most desirable features in a home. It’s true that some kitchen island designs are only feasible in a larger space, but there are other variations that can work in smaller kitchens too.
We’ve pulled together inspirational island designs that could easily work in most homes.
Island bench seating
This look is very unique but it creates a lovely spot for you to enjoy your morning coffee or the kids to complete their homework whilst you prepare dinner.
If you’re a bit of a wine connoisseur and struggle to find a spot to store your wine, you’ll love this design which incorporates a wine rack into the kitchen island. Then it’s also easily accessible if you need to add wine to the sauce, or to simply sip on while cooking.
Moveable island table
Got a pokey small kitchen but you want an island? Perhaps your best option is to go with something on wheels.
Square island table
Make it a statement by having a square island table rather than a rectangle.
Combined island and dining table
This is one of the best kitchen ideas for families. By incorporating the dining area and kitchen into the same space, it brings everyone into the kitchen to help and also multitask when entertaining guests.
Having a kitchen island with wheels or repurposing another piece of furniture is perfect for renters who can’t build a permanent kitchen island. It’s also useful if you want to trial an island in your kitchen to see if it works for you.
Multi-height island table
Having two or three different heights of your kitchen island means that it can be used for standing, sitting on bar stools and also use as a breakfast table. It can also help to subtly section off the kitchen from the dining side of the bench.
Feature kitchen island
If you paint the base of a kitchen island in a different colour than the rest of your cabinetry, it turns it into a lovely feature of your kitchen.
Unique island table design
If you’re looking for something a bit different, this ultra modern island table might be for you!
Kitchen bench top ideas
Choosing a kitchen bench top can be an overwhelming task. Not only is there a huge range of options on the market, but it’s also the centrepiece of any kitchen – both practically and aesthetically. It pays to do your research, and it pays to pay a higher price for a material that suits your needs in the long-term.
So, where to begin? Let’s break it down by the different types of material.
Engineered stone, also known as engineered quartz or quartz stone, is manmade material, usually made with crushed quartz and an adhesive polymer resin. It’s one of the most popular benchtop materials today, with good reason.
Firstly, with an average price of $400 per square metre, it’s decent value for money. While less prestigious than its natural counterparts (read about marble and granite below) because it lacks that one-of-a-kind je n’ais se quoi, engineered stone offers a similar look with more versatility – you can request the exact size, shape and colour you want.
Even better, engineered stone is more resilient in the kitchen. It’s less likely to stain, and more robust than its natural counterparts. CaesarStone was the pioneer of this material, originally made to replicate terrazzo. (Terrazzo is a material that originated in 15th century Venice, made of chips of marble or granite set in concrete to give it a mosaic-like effect.)
Since CaesarStone hit the market over 20 years ago, engineered stone has come a long way, and an amazing range of options has emerged, including some with a sustainability/upcycling focus.
Here’s a list of a few popular types:
- Quantum Quartz
- Granite Transformations
- Foresso – sustainable option using wood chippings instead of granite or marble
Natural stone bench tops range from prestigious marble to edgy granite and scream of opulence. Unfortunately, this means that this equates to a high price point (as hefty as $700 – $2500 per square metre), and they can also be high maintenance. You need to use a protective sealer before use, and periodically afterwards, as natural stone is porous. This means that the stone can easily be scratched by acid from citrus fruits, or stained by wine, tea, coffee and even water.
Going down the granite or marble route – while incredibly beautiful – means regular and fastidious maintenance to care for the appearance of your kitchen bench top. Nevertheless, the real deal is irreplaceable, and in the long run, more durable. Popular natural stone types include:
They might sound like something that should have stayed in the 70s, but laminate bench tops – also known as post-formed bench tops – are the most affordable budget option. At around $150 per square metre, they’re inexpensive and versatile. They’re also easy to clean and come in a huge range of colours and styles.
Normally they’re manufactured and measured offsite as straight benches, so if you’re looking at curves or a seamless surface, look back to engineered stone rather than laminate options. You also have to be careful about damaging the surface via heat, impact or scratches. Some of the most popular kinds of laminate bench tops are:
And of course, we have timber. Classic, economic, and can easily oscillate between warm country rustic aesthetic to sleek modern warehouse vibe.
Depending on the type of wood, timber bench tops can cost between $500 and $1500 per square metre. Hardwood is a better option than soften types of timber, which are more prone to damage. Even better, try reclaimed timber – not only is it more environmentally friendly, but you can scrounge for wider planks that are more durable due to their age.
Being softer than stone or metal, a wood surface is kind to crockery, fantastic as a food preparation surface, and less pricey. Not only that, but you can fix any scratches by just sanding the surface and applying some more oil. Here are some fantastic native timbers to consider:
- Tasmanian oak
- Victorian ash
- Spotted gum
Metal bench tops have become fashionable in recent years with the advent of a post-industrial aesthetic – out of commercial kitchens into humble homes. Being durable, heat resistant and stain-proof, they’re easy to maintain and also extremely hygienic. Brushed down aluminium, copper and stainless steel are superb choices for a metal kitchen bench top. Zinc has been popular for years in France.
A stainless steel benchtop will cost you around $1000 per square metre. You should also note that a metal bench top will show up streaks and fingerprints and is easily scratched; when selecting your material, brushed steel is a good option for scratches.
Another hygienic option is a synthetic solid surface like Corian, which can be formed or moulded into any shape. Corian was made to serve as a hygienic, non-porous laboratory worktop, which makes it wonderful for domestic kitchens.
- Stainless steel
Finally, here’s one of the most fascinating of sustainability options when choosing your kitchen bench top. Bamboo is an attractively unique choice, in that it has the same warmth of timber but with a distinctive natural grain that looks quite special in the kitchen.
Speaking pragmatically, unlike timber, bamboo is not susceptible to heat damage. You can put hot pots and pans straight onto the bench top without fear of burning the surface – bamboo is resilient against both heat and cold.
Bamboo is also fairly scratch resistant, and very stable. It is not affected by water exposure or moisture, so won’t warp, decay or support mould growth. Additionally, it does not expand or contract as timber does from hot or cold weather.
Last but not least, of course, bamboo is one of the most environmentally friendly options you can select for your kitchen bench top. It is completely renewable; bamboo is a fast-growing grass, not a tree. Solvents, glues and finishes used in manufacturing a bamboo bench top also tend to be low VOC or non-toxic, making bamboo bench tops a healthy choice for both the environment and your home.
Kitchen home improvement ideas
A lot of what I’ve shared already are big changes, but what if you’re looking for some budget kitchen ideas? Here are my top home improvement ideas:
Storage is key
- Lack of storage is a problem that can get worse over time. So get a head start by measuring up your kitchen and think about what storage units you will need.
- Don’t be afraid to buy flat pack cupboards and customise them later if you’re trying to save money.
- If you need a lot more storage, think about a floor-to-ceiling cabinet.
- Cabinets don’t just have to be practical; add a shelving unit without a door to display wine glasses for something extra.
- Too create the illusion of more space in a smaller kitchen, use open shelves. This D.I.Y project is a much more inexpensive home renovation as all you need is a wood plank and some brackets.
- Don’t forget to have a clean out of your kitchen utensils. Sell what you don’t need and receive a less-cluttered space and some extra cash for the revamp.
- Choose a design theme and stick to it.
- Incorporate indoor-outdoor living with your yard design. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got plenty of backyard ideas that will work with your kitchen.
- Go for a neutral base colour if you want something that will age well. For example, use a white or cream as dark colours will close you in and make the kitchen feel smaller than it is.
- Paint the walls and cupboards in your base colour so that they blend into each other and make the room look more spacious.
- To add a focal point, don’t go immediately for colour. Perhaps choose a different tile layout for your splashback for some texture. There are plenty of splashback tiling experts to give you a helping hand.
- If you’re removing doors, don’t forget to map them with numbers so you know which door goes where.
- And let’s talk about hardware. Buy some updated handles and knobs, it’s easy and cheap to do.
- Want a feature? Pick a standout pendant light.
- Always invest in statement pieces that will last e.g. a luxurious sink, a Caesar Stone benchtop, or if you’re renting, some luxe appliances.
- When looking at your finishes, think about who is using the space. A material like stainless steel will show up every single mark and smudge, so not the best choice for families with little kids.
- Waiting until the end of season sales and Black Friday will mean that you get a good discount, but go one further and look to shop the ex-shop floor display items. You may find you get an even more substantial discount even if there are a few small scratches.
- Install soft-close hinges and gliders on drawers yourself. This will make an enormous difference to your kitchen atmosphere when it isn’t constantly flooded by the sound of slamming cupboard doors. It’s subtle but something that people definitely notice.
And that’s it, I hope you got some kitchen ideas and if you’ve got one to share, let me know in the comments below.