Inspirations, Living, Building Your Home | 17 June 2015

Choosing the benchtops

by Danielle Taylor

It just makes sense that the area in your new home where you will spend most of your time, the real nucleus of the home, is also the design space with so many decisions and options to select. You could say that the kitchen area is the central ingredient in your décor styling, it is often where the tour starts when you are showing off your new home to family and friends.

But does the kitchen set the scene as a statement or support and compliment other key elements?

It depends how you approach the planning. Tamara Spencer, Spectra Manager gives us the low down on how to bring your ideas together when looking at kitchen benchtop selections.  

Décor style

A good starting point when deciding on the right kitchen benchtop for you is to start with a décor style or theme, rather than focussing on individual elements. Think about the overall look you are hoping to achieve, combining the flooring style, the splashback effect and the cabinetry finishes and colours. It’s the perfect opportunity to start a Moodboard to establish a colour and finishes palette and get the imagination started. The benchtop style may not even be the starting point but can start ideas flowing, for example you may love a particular timber floor or a polished porcelain grey based tile which can set the basis for the overall theme. 

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Start your own Moodboards, create as many as you like, or start with a Collection such as Noosa Resort Living…

Kitchen statement

Maybe you already have an idea in your mind of the benchtop that will underpin the style of the rest of the space, creating a real statement in your kitchen. This may be with a bold single colour or the use of feature waterfall (end panels) edge colours. To continue the impact, you might opt to contrast the bench with the splashback or create a seamless style by using a complementary palette throughout, so many options! To take some of the guesswork out, have a play with the Visualiser tool, where you can mix and match materials for your benchtop, pair with different cabinetry materials and splashback colours for the perfect signature look!

We love these bold kitchens with benchtops creating an eye catching statement…

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Atlantique on display at Berwick Waters, Clyde North 

Vaucluse on display at Somerfield Estate, Keysborough

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Winslow on display at Williams Landing Estate, Williams Landing

Vista on display at Ambrosia Estate Cranbourne West


Another area of inspiration could be an existing piece of furniture, or one that you intend to add to your collection, that you want to become the focal feature in your kitchen/meals space. This could be the start of your theme to flow through the kitchen area to influence your benchtop selection.

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Barwon MK2 at Ambrosia Estate Cranbourne West


Are you leaning towards Caesarstone or do you prefer a Laminex finish? Both have edge profiles and thicknesses which significantly influence the overall finished effect. Consider the same benchtops throughout your home for a consistent feel, mix it up with slightly different décor items but keep the hard finishes the same, or from the same family. The striking dark benchtop featured in the kitchen of the Sanctuary at Keysborough continues throughout the powder room and bathrooms to develop a consistent theme.

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Sanctuary on display at Somerfield Estate, Keysborough

Care and maintenance

Whether you opt for Laminex or Caesarstone, both are durable with everyday use.  You should avoid applying heat directly onto the surface and both should be cleaned with damp cloth. To find out which material best suits your benchtop needs check out their care and maintenance guides: Laminex, Caesarstone.

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Arlington on display at Warralily Coast, Armstrong Creek

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Matisse on display at Warraily Coast, Armstrong Creek

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Riva on display at Berwick Waters, Clyde North

To experiment with themes and find your perfect signature interior style make sure you check out our new Inspire by Carlisle.  Be prepared to lose track of your time while you customise your home by choosing paint colours, bench tops, tiles and much more AND see it change in front of your eyes with Visualiser!  Explore the Carlisle Collections to get the low down on feature items for each of our unique display home themes, and build your own Moodboard to create a visual diary of all the ‘must haves’ for your new place.  And, because we promise you, you will be coming back for more, you can save all your favourites in your own Inspiration Book to share with friends and continue to refine, over and over again!

View all of the Carlisle Homes design themes via our extensive image galleries and virtual tours and plan your display home tour of our stunning homes.  Register for our next Spectra Sneak Peak Evening and meet our interior designers to start your new home journey.  

For a behind the scenes experience and to get the scoop direct from the design team, be sure to follow us on Instagram, @Carlislehomes.


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Danielle Taylor

Interior Design Manager

With over 25 years experience in residential building, it’s no wonder Danielle’s colleagues are in awe of her ability to continually create new and on-trend interior colour schemes for the Carlisle display homes.

However Danielle’s passion for creating beautiful interior and exterior design themes doesn’t stop at selecting colours. Danielle wants the display homes to not only look beautiful but also be attainable for our customers. Her days are spent researching and selecting the perfect furniture pieces, decorator items, wallpaper, lighting and fittings to create a complete home they could move straight into.

“Sometimes you need to see something on display to realise what you like. I love that our displays inspire our clients decisions on furniture layouts, lighting and colour to complete their dream home”.

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