JUST two days after her new kitchen was installed, Margaret Kocovski put her oven to the test, perfectly roasting pork on the rotisserie.
"It was exciting and I felt like the food was going to taste better than usual … because it (the kitchen) looked so good … and it did," she says.
Margaret and husband Slobodan worked with MKN Kitchens and Laundries at Lawnton to transform their 20-year-old, horseshoe-shaped kitchen into an open, elegant and luxurious space for cooking and entertaining.
"It is my dream kitchen. With a bit of imagination, careful planning and good product choices, it's possible," Margaret says.
The kitchen now has a 'floating' marble island bench, high-end timber veneer cupboards and drawers, motorised drawers that open when you touch them, hand fabricated polished brass handles, integrated fridge, freezer and dishwasher, induction cooktop and wok burner, teppanyaki plate, steam oven, commercial rangehood, pocket doors which tuck away and an oversized sink.
Margaret says she spent the best part of a year researching products and attending demonstrations to ensure she selected the right appliances and finishes. And she says the end result was worth every cent of the $100,000 price tag. "There's a lot of things I love about my kitchen," she says. "I wanted something unique, glamorous, timeless, elegant with clean lines."
MKN Kitchens and Laundries sales and design manager Stephen Corrish worked closely with the Kocovskis during the planning and construction phases.
Stephen says the design works because it complements the rest of the house and incorporates quality appliances and finishes.
He says people can spend up to five per cent of the value of their home without overcapitalising because a kitchen truly is the heart of the home.
"It (the kitchen) is the place where everyone gathers. It's the most important room in the house," Stephen says.
MKN's owner Rob Ryan has been creating new kitchens for 20 years and agrees.
He says people are using more lighting these days and the quality of timber veneer and laminate is now exceptional.
Hamptons-style kitchens are popular because they suit older and new homes, and have a timeless and welcoming look. In fact, Rob has just installed one at his place and loves it.
Butler pantries are also popular among homeowners who have the space. They provide a service room off the kitchen, typically with sink, appliances and additional storage.
For those after a more modern look, many are opting for laminated timber with a matt finish, often in dark colours with lighter benches.
Tiled splashbacks are making a return with the subway tile look popular.
What's hot in kitchen design
Hamptons style: white cupboards and drawers with classic design, using glass and stone
Modern style: dark timber veneer, soft-closing cupboards and drawers with no handles, light stone benches, and 'subway-style' tile splashbacks
Storage solutions: make the best use of the space you have, especially in troublesome corner cupboards
Butler's pantries: a service area off the kitchen usually with a sink, appliances and storage space
Fibreglass sinks: in black and white with matching taps. Ceramic sinks are also popular