Why you’ll find that one kind of kitchen is never enough

This room is ex­pand­ing in­side and out to cre­ate the ul­ti­mate cook­ing spa­ces, writes Cather­ine Nikas-Bou­los

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FRONT PAGE - More: snaiderosyd­ney.com.au

If the kitchen is one of the most ex­pen­sive rooms in the house to fit out, then how do you feel about it do­ing it three times over? Much like the bath­room, where a fam­ily bath­room, en­suite and pow­der room have be­come stan­dard in a new home, the kitchen has also mul­ti­plied.

In mod­ern de­sign, the tra­di­tional kitchen in the main liv­ing area now has its own off­shoot, the but­ler’s pantry, while the al­fresco, which is very much a part of the mod­ern Aus­tralian home, of­ten ac­com­mo­dates a fully-fledged out­door kitchen.

The orig­i­nal and best

Tra­di­tion­ally, the kitchen has al­ways been the place where the fam­ily gath­ers. It’s where fam­ily meals are pre­pared and mem­o­ries are made. Now, more than just a func­tional space, the kitchen not only has to be well-ap­pointed with top-end white­goods, but it needs to look like a show­room.

With open-plan liv­ing/din­ing and kitchen de­sign favoured by most ar­chi­tects, a messy kitchen is less than ideal.

One of Italy’s most renowned kitchen mak­ers, Snaidero, has just opened in Syd­ney, and the new flag­ship show­room is noth­ing short of luxe. The show­room floor show­cases eight Snaidero de­signer kitchens, in­clud­ing the Ola 25, which was con­ceived by the renowned Ital­ian en­gi­neer and in­dus­trial de­signer for Fer­rari, Paolo Pin­in­fa­rina.

Snaidero Syd­ney CEO Robert Miglior­ino says de­spite the glam­orous stone benches and de­signer hard­ware, the kitchens are not meant to be show­pieces.

“These are func­tional and clean kitchens, that are meant to be used,” he says. “Yes, you have the but­ler’s pantry where a lot of the mess hap­pens be­hind closed doors, but the kitchen, even though it’s high end, is meant to be used.”

Un­like the for­mal liv­ing room of old which is only used on spe­cial oc­ca­sions, Robert ar­gues the main kitchen in the home should not be rel­e­gated to some re­dun­dant role in your home.

But­ler’s got style

The but­ler’s pantry is where it’s at, with many dis­play home builders in­clud­ing them in their de­signs. More than a walk-in cup­board, the but­ler’s pantry is packed with stor­age, along with a sink, prepa­ra­tion area and ap­pli­ances such as dish­wash­ers and mi­crowaves.

But Phil Ry­der, Free­dom Kitchens de­sign man­ager, says the but­ler’s pantry serves a very spe­cific pur­pose.

“In a mod­ern kitchen, the main area has be­come a so­cial space just as much as it is for cook­ing and eat­ing,” he says. “The is­land bench­top is a place where fam­ily and friends gather, and of­ten we also use these light airy spa­ces as a place to work on our lap­tops.”

In open-plan de­signs the kitchen is con­nected to the liv­ing space, so it’s an area you want to keep free of clut­ter.

“The beauty of a but­ler’s pantry is that it can play the role of a ‘kitchen within a kitchen’ if you put in the right el­e­ments,” Phil says

It can serve as a hid­den prep and clean-up area. A but­ler’s pantry is also used to store most of the pack­aged food items so cab­i­nets and shelves in the main part can be re­served for cook­ing uten­sils, table­ware and decor.

“The main kitchen is usu­ally where your oven and stove­top are lo­cated and the big­ger space al­lows for bet­ter air flow and ven­ti­la­tion for smoke and steam for the cook­ing.”

Phil says that we’ve been in­spired a lot by the beau­ti­ful kitchens be­ing cre­ated on shows such as The Block, in mag­a­zines and Pin­ter­est.

“There’s a lot of plat­forms for ideas and in­spi­ra­tion, and I think that the idea of a but­ler’s pantry is now viewed less as a lux­ury for elite homes and more of a kitchen de­sign that ev­ery­one can aspire to if they have the space for it,” Phil says. “It def­i­nitely com­ple­ments the mod­ern life­style and the way we like to live and en­ter­tain.”

If you’re lucky enough to have the space to fit a but­ler’s pantry, the ba­sic el­e­ments to in­clude are suf­fi­cient bench­top space for food prepa­ra­tion, stor­age ar­eas for food items, and a well-or­gan­ised space for small ap­pli­ances such as the toaster, mi­crowave and cof­fee ma­chine. If you have room it’s also handy to have an ex­tra dish­washer and sink, where all the mess can all be hid­den away from the main kitchen. Be sure to in­clude power-points to make the whole space run smoothly. More: free­domk­itchens.com.au

Out­side chance

Aus­tralians’ love of en­ter­tain­ing out­doors is a key rea­son the al­fresco room is so sought af­ter in new builds. It’s not just a place where fam­ily and friends can take in the sun­shine and fresh air, but some­where to en­ter­tain groups of peo­ple, all the while keep­ing the house clean.

IXL Home mar­ket­ing man­ager, Mal­colm Rus­sell, says the out­door kitchen trend is boom­ing.

“Out­door rooms and al­fresco ar­eas con­tinue to be one of the big­gest trends in Aus­tralia,” Mal­colm says. “In this coun­try, we’re blessed with great weather al­most all year around and we also love to en­ter­tain out­doors, so it’s only nat­u­ral that we want to start bring­ing as many of the lux­u­ries from in­side the home to our out­door space.”

To set up an out­door kitchen, first and fore­most, you need some sort of cook­ing fa­cil­ity, whether it’s a pizza oven, a clas­sic bar­be­cue or even a proper kitchen with oven and sink.

When it comes to seat­ing, you can ex­per­i­ment with dif­fer­ent op­tions to suit your en­ter­tain­ing style. Mal­colm says lounges would be great for cock­tail hour or you could opt for an ex­tendible din­ing ta­ble for fam­ily gath­er­ings.

“Some sort of cover, whether it’s a roof, or canopy is also es­sen­tial for en­joy­ing the space in all weather con­di­tions,” he says.

For added lux­ury, Phil sug­gests in­stalling a bar fridge, “so the chef is never too far from a cold beer or glass of wine”.

No mat­ter the set-up, the main dif­fer­ence be­tween in­door and out­door kitchens is the dura­bil­ity of ma­te­ri­als and prod­ucts used.

With any­thing out­doors, es­pe­cially any­thing that re­quires elec­tric­ity, it is cru­cial to have ad­e­quate cover to avoid dam­age from the el­e­ments or safety risks. If it’s just a bar­be­cue, a sim­ple tai­lor-made cover will pro­tect it from wind and rain. How­ever, a more com­plete out­door kitchen will need a fixed roof or per­gola.

He says kitchens are of­ten the key room that buy­ers con­sider when pur­chas­ing a home and an out­door kitchen is a great way to build upon this im­por­tant sell­ing point.

“Com­bin­ing a kitchen with an invit­ing al­fresco en­ter­tain­ing area gives you an ad­di­tional place to en­ter­tain and, if the in­door kitchen is on the small side, the out­door kitchen is an­other well-equipped space to pre­pare and cook meals,” he says.

Mal­colm says we’re go­ing to con­tinue to see the growth of the out­door kitchen and al­fresco en­ter­tain­ing trend with more elab­o­rate out­door kitchens and other lux­ury fea­tures, such as a lounge ar­eas with home theatre op­tions. Or, you could go the tra­di­tional route and in­stall a pool. More: ixlap­pli­ances.com.au

This Snaidero kitchen is as much a show piece as it is a work sta­tion.

The sleek lines of a Snaidero is­land bench of­fer a wel­come spot for guests.

This out­door kitchen from IXL even has a range­hood to man­age steam and smoke.

These but­ler’s pantries (above and left) from Free­dom Kitchens ex­tend your work­ing area with­out ex­tend­ing the vis­i­ble mess. A well-planned pantry should in­clude plenty of open and closed stor­age as well as good light­ing, bench space and a sink. If funds al­low, a mi­crowave and dish­washer are wel­come ad­di­tions.

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