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The 10 commandments of kitchen design


When it comes to designing a fabulous and functional kitchen, thou shalt consider everything including the kitchen sink.

Chris Carroll, our resident interior stylist, is no stranger to styling up a stunning a kitchen and will be the first to tell you if you’ve made a huge mistake (seriously, read his story on the 10 signs you’ve messed up your kitchen design).

The good news is, Chris is here to help you avoid such mistakes. Follow his 10 commandments of kitchen design, and enjoy a sophisticated space that won’t let you down.

Pay attention and never regret your kitchen choices again. @ Ross Campbells

1. Thou shalt not have one-legged stools

“The stools with one gas-lift leg running up the middle are the worst stools of all. You’re asking to fall flat on your face, and that’s even before you take a sip of wine!

These sorts of stools wobble weeks into the purchase. Go for something with four legs that poses no stack-it risk.”

Choose sturdy stools to save spills. @ Temple & Webster

2. Let there be timber somewhere

Warm up cool spaces with timber details. @ Dan Kitchens

“Kitchens are so cold; full of tiles and stone benchtops. You gotta warm it up, and timber is the best way to do it.

Pop a stack of timber serving boards against a wall and create a cute little textural vignette. It’s easy and affordable, so everyone wins.”

3. Honour thy pantry organiser

Tupperware is key! @ Denise Braki/Temple & Webster. Styling: Jessica Bellef

“Pantries are like Narnia; you walk through the door for all-spice and get lost for months.

For the best pantry organisation, you’re going to need tiered mini shelves, lazy Susans, spice racks and more Tupperware than you could imagine. It could save your life.”

4. Thou shalt be daring with splashback tiles

@ jafar | 123rf

Splashback tiles are an opportunity to be adventurous and create a focal point in your kitchen.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but do consider some interesting colours, shapes or patterns. If all else fails, I love a tinted mirror splashback.”

5. Let there be greenery, even if it’s fake

Add fresh herbs to your counter top for a touch of green. @ Getty Images

“Your kitchen can feel clinical if you don’t have some green@ery in it. All it takes is some fresh herbs on the counter, a gorgeous bunch of flowers, or even a fake plant.

Any of these will work, so get your green on and breathe some life into this zone.”

6. Honour your everyday items

Don’t be afraid to display the daily necessities. @ Ross Campbells

“A kitchen isn’t a museum or an art gallery – It’s a functional zone! Don’t be afraid to display everyday items like utensils beside the stove, canisters containing tea and coffee, and even treats like cookies displayed in a nice glass jar.

A bowl of fruit is the simplest way to add everyday colour to your benchtop, too.”

7. Thou shalt choose nice appliances

Closeup on table with vegetables in kitchen
© citalliance | 123rf

“Notice I said ‘nice’ and not ‘designer’, so don’t feel like you should have the priciest, top-of-the-line kettle.

Remember to embrace colour here. There are some awesome pastel, copper and rose gold appliances on the market right now that will add some bling to your kitchen.”

8. Thou shalt not covet bare walls

Add colour with a bold print. @ May Photography/Mint Kitchens

“People tend to think there’s no place for art in kitchens, but they’re 100% wrong! A blank wall in a kitchen is prime real estate for artworks, and you can easily find pieces that tie into the overall look and feel of the space.

Just steer clear of food art. That’s an ’80s flashback nobody asked for…”

9. Thou shalt keep metallics to a minimum

White-Brown Color Kitchen
© iStock

“A kitchen is already so cold, and the last thing you want to do is fill it with loads of stainless steel. You probably have cabinetry handles and sinks in this material, so there’s no need to add in bowls or other decorative items, too.

A room is all about balance, so inject warmer materials into the mix to keep the room feel inviting.”

10. Honour cleaning products in cute bottles

“I love good-looking bottles of cleaning products, and chances are you do too. It’s a nice way to add a designer feel to wiping down benchtops.

If you’re on a budget, why not purchase the more expensive bottle once and then fill it with more affordable cleaning products as time goes on? Nobody will know but you.”

This article was originally published as The 10 commandments of kitchen design by and is written by Katie Skelly.

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