When renovating kitchens, home owners often seek authentic spaces that would blend effortlessly into the surrounding areas. The areas need to be functional, while also anchoring the architectural layout. But, like all architectural endeavours, there are a few tricks of the trade.

Kitchen Studio Joburg

Stephanie Forbes of The Kitchen Specialists Association shares some tips for a hassle-free revamp:

Kitchen design and budget go hand in hand: It’s important to research finishes and what they cost. “Knowing what you can afford, or being able to afford, or being prepared to pay for what you want, is vitally important for a conflict-free kitchen renovation.”

Aligning taste and budget: Forbes points out that certain budgets don’t lend themselves to certain design trends or finishes. “Often the new ‘hot and happening’ materials cost more. While your heart might tell you that you want Duco, veneer and ultra-matte nanotechnology laminate, your budget might not accommodate these finishes.”

Frugal finances: Ergonomically, there’s a huge move to focus on drawers for storage instead of cupboards. But drawers are costly, especially if you’re planning on storage-enhancing inserts and soft-close runners. “These high-end finishes will put pressure on your budget, as the manufacturing method and hardware is costly. If you have an image in mind of a kitchen with handleless drawers and cupboard inserts, you need to have a big budget.”

The challenge: “When budget is an issue, the designer must find alternative, more cost-effective ways to provide a similar look,” explains Forbes. However she points out that the materials aren’t as durable and may not react the same way to cleaning and marks. “Have realistic expectations for the materials you are going to use.”

Connect the dots: Make sure your expectations are aligned with what your selected company can deliver. Their showroom should be a good indicator of this. For more info, visit www.ksa.co.za

Trend Alert

Ergonomic design lies at the heart of any custom kitchen. With the trend towards integrated living, kitchens are the new lounging, living and chilling spaces, so make sure that your layout is well organised and in sync with the rest of your house. Visit www.spotlightjoinery.co.za.

Spotlight Joinery

According to Vinesh Maharaj of The Kitchen Studio, the key is to create a customised kitchen that meets the owner’s every culinary desire. “By focusing on bespoke design and quality products, any kitchen can strike a perfect balance between aesthetic appeal and functionality.”

Kitchen Studio Joburg

Modern classics

While “form follows function” has been a design mantra for many years, future-focused kitchens have reinvented this notion. It’s about merging these concepts to create a sense of synchronicity – where everything works together to create a new-generation culinary experience. www.siemens-home.bsh-group.com/za/.


White kitchen cabinets will always be popular. For a fresh approach to this classic, introduce tactile, textural elements like timber-cladded cupboards. Visit www.joosjoiners.co.za.

Joos Joiners

For a more masculine look, opt for an elemental alchemy of metallics, juxtaposed with graphic silhouettes.


Design savvy

Contemporary interiors call for kitchens that merge seamlessly with their stylish surrounds. But renovations needn’t be extensive and invasive. As they say, a little can go a long way.

An open-plan oasis

Different flooring options that flow from one functional area to the next can be effective in creating a sense of connectedness. These visual cues delineate spaces without a physical barrier like a wall. “If you are reflooring, make sure you give good consideration as to how the flooring will work and match up with other flooring in the house,” advises Forbes. Visit www.mmkitchens.co.za.

Martin Meyer Kitchens

Budget savvy

Small tweaks such as painting a wall in an on-trend colour or adding graphic rugs can give your kitchen a new lease of life in no time. This approach is especially effective when your cabinets and finishes aren’t dated.


In good form

Adding a cantilevered breakfast nook is the ideal way to extend your kitchen’s functionality without breaking the budget. That way, you can keep an eye on your kids while they do their homework and you prepare dinner. The key is to flesh out your kitchen’s bones by fusing modern luxury and ingenuity. Visit www.linearconcepts.co.za.

Linear Concepts

Making a splash

If your budget allows, add a few splurge items to your kitchen ensemble, such as opulent marble. With its naturally organic colours and granular veins, marble makes a strong statement. Mixed with laminate floors, wood-look cabinets and neutral tones, marble creates a warm, inviting space. Visit www.spotlightjoinery.co.za.

Spotlight Joinery

TIP: For a low-maintenance alternative to marble, opt for Phoenix Stone. Find it at www.womag.co.za.

Appliance updates

Revamping your kitchen is not only about installing quality cabinetry and adding sleek finishes. Following a 360 approach with world-class appliances will go a long way to take the fuss out of kitchen duty.

The future is now

Thanks to a range of technological innovations, slogging around in the kitchen is no longer an option. So discover your inner culinarian with our round-up of appliances that take the fuss out of cooking.

Hide and sleek

Intelligent built-in appliances are the latest buzzword in the world of kitchen design. The ideal counterpart for contemporary, minimalistic kitchens, appliances can now be hidden behind furniture fronts or sliding doors.

Innovation station

According to Miele’s Liam Gawne, Miele’s New Generation 7000, with its three new lines, includes innovations like “a camera in the oven, or a system to prevent roasts from becoming too dry. Several machines even pre-empt the user’s next actions”. Visit www.miele.co.za.


Gold standard

With dishwashers, focus on sustainability, energy costs and water consumption. We love Miele’s streamlined EcoFlex dishwasher. It certainly raises the bar when it comes to minimalist, fuss-free functionality. Plus, it’s 20% more economical than its class A +++ energy counterparts. Visit www.miele.co.za.


Art imitating life

If clean-lined design doesn’t push the right buttons, you can always unleash your culinary rebel with four limited-release CheckMyPlants Smeg retro FAB28 fridges. The fridges feature iconic South African plants by award-winning South African film producer and stills photographer Filipa Domingues. Visit www.smeg.co.za.