Inspirations, Choosing Your Home, Building Your Home | 28 October 2014

Planning your dream kitchen

by Danielle Taylor

Gone are the days where the kitchen was just for cooking, guests stayed tucked away in the living areas, not setting foot in the ‘work zone’. The kitchen really has become the new living room, the nucleus of the home, a place where family gathers for meals and friends get together over coffee. Regardless of our lifestyle, a lot happens in this hub of the home, which means taking a new approach to the design and planning of your new kitchen to ensure an effective fusion between aesthetics and functionality.

Tamara Spencer, Manager of the Spectra Showroom, shares some tips on what to consider when planning your ultimate dream kitchen for your new Carlisle home.

Ovens and cooktops

The new buzz word in cooktops is induction cooking and is definitely proving to be a popular choice amongst Spectra visitors. Induction cooking works using a magnetic field converting the cookware into the heating conductor. There are many benefits for this form of cooking such as increased safety with no open flame and also cool-touch surfaces. The key drawcard is the quick response temperature controls, with the ability to quickly reach boiling points as well as instantly reduce heat once switched off or the pot is removed from the cooking surface. Induction cooktops can create a contemporary, minimalist style with easy to clean surfaces free from fiddly trivets. Unfortunately not all types of cookware are suitable to use with induction cooking, so you may need to upgrade your pots and pans!


Here’s a snippet from our extensive kitchen selection zone at Spectra

Cleaning the oven is a job no one wants to do! Many of our customers opt for a pyrolitic oven (Smeg or Technika) which actually cleans itself – a dream come true! By using high temperatures and a self-locking mechanism, these ovens turn food residue and grime into ash which can then be simply wiped away. No more toxic chemicals and rubber gloves required to be able to enjoy your Sunday roast every week. A popular choice is choosing a double oven configuration as featured in Vaucluse on display at the Somerfield Estate in Keysborough, with one pyrolitic appliance for the messier cooking and then a matching regular oven for baking and re-heating. An alternative option is the new vapour clean technology from Smeg where steam combined with detergent soften and loosen residues enabling easier removal.

Many of our kitchen suppliers offer free cooking demonstrations and classes for purchasers to enable you to learn how to use your new appliances and make the most of their features. Check out Smeg and Fisher & Paykel for more information on classes available. The Fisher & Paykel Kitchen Blog is worth a visit for some culinary inspiration!

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Double oven configuration as featured in Vaucluse on display at the Somerfield Estate in Keysborough.

Bench configurations

As the central hub of the home it is important to take the time to think about how you and your family will live in this space - how will you entertain friends, where will the main meals be eaten, where are the views and natural light sources? Consider where you may like to face if you are at the cooktop or sink to determine if it is better located in an island facing the family room or looking out the window splashback? If meals are likely to be consumed at the kitchen bench, or perhaps this area becomes a study space after school, you will need to consider stool space.

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Casual dining made easy with stools at the kitchen bench in the Pavillion at the Aston Estate, Craigieburn and the Aries at the Allura Estate, Truganina

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Stunning island benches in the Canterbury at Somerfield Estate, Keysborough and Montclair at Greenvale Gardens.

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Multi-task and watch the view or keep an eye on the kids with the window splashbacks in the Seville at the Aston Estate, Craigieburn and the Barwon at Ambrosia Estate, Cranbourne West.

Cabinetry and storage

Open overheard cabinetry or cupboards with frosted or perspex inserts have been made very popular on makeover TV shows such as The Block, providing a great way to show off your collected pieces. But of course there is no hiding messy contents with this choice! Drawers are efficient and can hold up to 30% more items than shelves. They are also easy to use, and you don’t have to crouch down to locate items. Pull out pantries and corner solutions can make your kitchen easier to use and will be a good long-term investment. It’s a good idea to think about your frequent use items and how and where they might be stored, you may consider changing some cupboard areas into drawers. What are some of the storage problems in your old houses, and how can you avoid the same issues again – where will those oversize hard to store platters go? An area often forgotten is the cupboard potential on the non-kitchen side of the island bench, which can work even if you have a stool area. Handle-less push to open drawers are a popular choice to create a streamlined style, coupled with soft close options to complete the real chef’s kitchen feel.

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Make the most of the non-kitchen side of the kitchen bench at Indiana at the Featherbrook Estate, Point Cook and the Matisse at Selandra Rise, Clyde North.

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Soft close banks of drawers at the Matisse at Warralily, Armstrong Creek.

The trend for the kitchen to become a key entertaining space has led to the emerging popularity of the butler’s pantry. This second kitchen becomes the space to unload the groceries, house the small appliances and hide the dirty crockery from surprise guests, leaving the kitchen free (and clean) for entertaining! Most of the Carlisle design range can be adapted to include a butler’s pantry as an upgrade feature. Our favourite Butler’s Pantries…

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Barwon at Ambrosia Estate, Cranbourne West. Montpellier at Selandra Rise, Clyde North.


Montclair at Greenvale Gardens. Indiana at Somerfield Estate, Keysborough.

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Sanctuary at Somerfield Estate, Keysborough.


Considerations for lighting options in the kitchen should focus on the overall style you are looking to create as well as the functionality of various workspaces. It’s better to have light fall in front of you rather than behind you, so that no shadows are cast, especially in cooking work zones. This can be achieved with a combination of overhead lighting and feature pendants.

We love these pendants…

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Canterbury at Somerfield Estate, Keyborough. Sanctuary at Somerfield Estate, Keysborough.

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Winslow at Ambrosia Estate, Cranbourne West. Matisse at Warralily Estate, Armstrong Creek.

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Illuka at Featherbrook Estate, Point Cook. Carrington at Timbertop Estate, Officer.

A stunning mood lighting effect can be achieved with strip LED lights running along the kickers at the bottom of the cupboards or under overhead cabinetry. Check out this must-have feature at your next Spectra visit.

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Trendy or neutral?

The colours and finishes you will choose for your kitchen need to have a longer life span than in many other areas of your home. It can become an expensive exercise to renovate or re-style this room in a few years’ time if you have become tired of the colour scheme! The ‘in colours’ of this season may feel outdated in just a few years. It may be a better option to choose a neutral contemporary scheme adding colour with crockery showpieces and jars or canisters or a feature wall which can be swapped around to achieve different looks.

Options to think about before your Spectra appointment…

We recommend doing some research before coming to your Spectra appointment (have you viewed the Spectra video tour? Click here), to identify your function and style requirements.

Some questions to consider,

  • How do you currently use your appliances, what do you like/not like about them?
  • How are your lifestyle/family needs likely to change in the short term/long term?
  • What other purposes will your kitchen have, entertaining, main meals, study zone?
  • Where will your minor appliances (toaster, kettle etc) live in this new kitchen?
  • What’s on your kitchen ‘must have’ list?

Above all, have some fun exploring the many options you have to choose from to create your dream kitchen, where many fond memories of family and friends’ gatherings can be created in your new Carlisle home. A pre-visit to Spectra is a must or take a tour at one of our upcoming Spectra Sneak Peak Evenings.

Here are some of our all-time favourite TOP 4 Carlisle Homes kitchens from our display homes.

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Montclair at Greenvale Gardens Estate. Barwon at Ambrosia Estate, Cranbourne West.

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Sorrento at Berwick Waters Estate, Clyde North. Atlantique at Berwick Waters Estate, Clyde North.

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. Find us on Facebook to get all the latest news and event updates.

DanielleTaylor FeaturedImage

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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