The Block Kitchen Week: Last Year’s Contestants’ Design Tips

The Block Kitchen Week: Last Year’s Contestants’ Design Tips

After a whirlwind main bathroom week, the Blockheads move into the kitchen. As one of the most important rooms in the home, the kitchen needs to deliver function and style in equal measures. We spoke to some past contestants for their advice.

Functionality first

There was no debate among the former Blockheads with this one. Future renovators looking to do their kitchen should focus on function first, always. El’ise and Matt said, “use the Golden Triangle rule of thumb and don’t stray from it,” which is where the sink, fridge and stove form a triangle. 

Jesse and Mel agreed, and added that “if possible, a waist-height oven so you don’t have to worry about hurting your back” is also a nice addition for those expert home chefs.

Reduce back strain and make cleaning easy with a waist-high oven. (Arli Homes)

Mitch and Mark said that aspiring renovators should always “think function first, and then add the design elements to it. How it’s going to be used is so important.” Unlike the bathrooms in previous weeks, the kitchen is a space to be shared and enjoyed together. Deb and Andy said “think about how several peope use the space at once.”

"Cooking, eating meals, sharing a drink and a story is the focus. Design a space that makes that easy"
Deb & Andy

Bring the wow factor

When you’re putting function first, it’s also important not to scrimp on style. Mitch and Mark said “with so much open plan living, the kitchen really needs to be a show piece.” The kitchen has become a space to show off your personal style. “A functional butler’s pantry is a must-have in a truly luxury home”, the boys continued — letting you conceal the more messy parts of meal prep.

The kitchen can create visual drama and make an impact on the overall feel of the home. (Latitude 37)

Both Jesse and Mel and El’ise and Matt said that preparation was key. Jesse and Mel said “have a design and layout already drawn… we knew exactly what style and look we wanted”. With so many different options for kitchen style, this year’s contestants and renovators should make sure to plan ahead of time. 

El’ise and Matt still remembered how they were caught out last year and had to redo their kitchen; “do your research and a list of the must haves, and the things you can live without.”

Space is key

There’s a lot of stuff that goes into a modern kitchen — appliances, spare containers, crockery and cutlery, and more — so it’s important to have plenty of space to store it. “Lots of storage space to put things away and keep the space tidy,” was crucial for this year’s contestants, said Mitch and Mark. Deb and Andy echoed those thoughts.

“A place for everything means an uncluttered space that works well.”

A separate butler’s pantry is ideal for entertaining, letting you hide away cooking and cleanup.

Finally, no matter what look you choose for your kitchen, Deb and Andy said to invest in quality. “Go for the best quality you can afford in everything you choose. This is a space that gets used a lot.”