As one of the rooms in our homes that we use daily, it makes sense to have a kitchen that’s not only beautiful to look at, but tailored to the unique ways we like to use it.
A custom kitchen requires a larger investment than an off-the-shelf solution, but in the long run, a kitchen that’s customised to your needs will be far more enduring and provide a greater return.
Here are our top five reasons for choosing a bespoke kitchen.
Whereas off-the-shelf kitchens adhere to standard formats, a custom-designed kitchen will take into account the ways you and your family actually use your kitchen space and factors such as whether you’re a keen cook or entertainer.
Charbel Rizk, director at bespoke kitchen specialists Häcker Australia, explains that a tailored kitchen is designed to meet the client’s exact needs.
“Similar to getting a bespoke suit tailored to ensure a perfect fit, our designers take into consideration a number of key factors, including the formation of the household and their ages, the flow of how they use their kitchen, the frequency of use … the kitchen needs to be responsive to their needs,” he says.
“Our focus is to create a space that has the perfect balanced ratio of cooking versus dining and entertaining, which varies for each client.”
Architect Kitty Lee adds that a customised and considered kitchen ultimately means a better return on investment.
“When you make it work for you and your lifestyle, you’re less likely to want to change it,” she says.
Cupboards that are too high for regular use, or benches that are too low or too deep for comfort create what designers call a poor user experience. We want an easy, enjoyable experience in the spaces we use every day.
Rizk says having a kitchen purpose-built to your own specifications can be life-changing.
“The key to creating a bespoke kitchen is to ensure that we work to create the perfect height for the cupboards, drawers and benches to ensure the client isn’t having to stoop or stretch while using their kitchen,” he says.
“We have worked with clients who are used to having to move stools around their kitchen to facilitate access or to have to crouch down to reach their big pots at the back of corner cupboards, so to have a kitchen design that’s responsive to their needs was mind-blowing.”
Lee says another major benefit is the maximisation of storage.
Where flat-pack kitchens come in predetermined modules, a customised kitchen can transform every nook and slice of dead space into useful storage. Naturally, more storage means better integration and a more seamless, uncluttered, aesthetically pleasing result.
“In a bespoke kitchen there are so many drawer accessories and there are so many clever units that you can put in that allow you to benefit from different ways of storing things,” Lee says.
“There are lots more opportunities to add different types of hidden pantries, appliance cupboards, using nooks that you might have because of wall thicknesses.”
Rizk adds that a bespoke kitchen is engineered to be “millimetre perfect”, so no space is wasted.
While off-the-shelf kitchens provide a limited number of aesthetic options to choose from, the options for colours, layout and materials in a bespoke kitchen are endless – so the space will look and feel exactly how you want it to.
When creating a kitchen with Häcker Australia, for example, clients can choose between an extensive range of finishes – from laminates to lacquers, real wood and stone-laid veneers – and appliances, sinks, tapware and lighting from Häcker’s suppliers.
“It is a one-stop solution for clients looking to create their own unique space, without having to try and pair everything together on their own,” Rizk says.
He also points out that working with a kitchen designer makes for a more fluid process and gives you the opportunity to make changes along the way after seeing colours and objects in situ.
This is where the design magic of a bespoke kitchen really comes into play. Custom-designed kitchens consider the rooms that surround the kitchen and how these various spaces interact with each other in both a thematic and practical sense.
“The layout is critical, and working with how [the kitchen] connects to the adjacent rooms is something I always consider,” Lee says.
She gives the example of a home with a tiny galley kitchen where she extended the bench into the living room and added bespoke joinery, and was, therefore, able to incorporate more bench space plus a wine fridge, bench seat and shoe cabinet for the client.
“When you have other spaces to work with, you can really extend your kitchen and design it in a way that makes use of the spaces surrounding it,” she says.