Smart Kitchen Ideas

Throughout the generations, a well-designed kitchen has always been the hub of family life. It is also one of the main selling points when one decides to sell, or buy a new house.
Not only is the kitchen a place where memories are made, in a modern society a well-designed kitchen helps busy families function effectively and orderly

What are some of the main factors to consider when you plan a new kitchen?

Kitchen work triangle

Commonly referred to as the “kitchen work triangle,” the concept describes how efficient your kitchen layout is, both aesthetically and functionally. The “triangle” is represented by imaginary lines between your stove, sink and refrigerator. In effect, it means how easily and efficiently one can move back and forth between the food storage, cleaning, preparation and cooking areas. If these areas are far apart, or difficult to reach, your entire cooking experience will suffer. If there is regularly more than one cook, plan the working triangle to accommodate more than one person.

Design and layout

A variety of traditional kitchen layouts and designs are possible to ensure both a practical and attractive kitchen configuration. Of course, one can be creative and design a kitchen perfectly suited to your specific space, needs and preferences. Depending on the size and shape of your kitchen, here are some ideas:

Worktop Materials

The worktops are arguably the most important part of any kitchen, since it is the first part that anybody notices and it can make or break the general aesthetic appearance and the feel of luxury. The quality of the worktops will also determine the lifetime of the kitchen and how long it remains in fashion. With the right choice of worktops, it is a simple matter to reface your cabinets.

There is a huge variety of worktops in different materials, colours, textures, thicknesses and price ranges available on the market. For more detail on each of the top-quality materials, please consult our Worktops page.

Kitchen Cabinets Facing

The cabinet doors and drawers define the aesthetic appearance of the cabinets and complement the worktop surfaces. Doors can be overlayed – meaning they are mounted on the front of the cabinet frame; or inset – meaning they are fitted on the inside of the frame with exposed hinges.

Facing materials

The traditional choices include solid wood, any one of the worktop surface materials mentioned in point 3, or even painted MDF.

Facing styles

The choice here is almost endless, ranging from flat panels, to raised panels, to ornately shaped or engraved door and drawer fronts.

Slab/Flat style

Plain slabs, with no adornment. It gives a clean, contemporary look. It can be used on both framed or frameless cabinets

Shaker style

Based on Shaker-style furniture, these units that are simple but attractive. The recessed solid panel doors, light finishes and basic hardware are basic features. A variation is to use a glass or mirror panel insert.

Glass doors

Glass can be used as a central panel, be frameless, or even sliding doors to show off the china inside the cabinet.

Single arch

Also known as cathedral style, the door has an attractive grooved rectangle with a single arch at the top for a pronounced effect. Typically solid wood or other material that can be grooved is used.

Double arch

The double arched cathedral style door has an arch both at the top and at the bottom.


Doors with a bordered edge in a large variety of styles and glass, stained glass or mirror panels are best suited to country style homes and kitchens.

Raised panels

Raised hardwood panels protrude above the base, rather than being recessed as in the other styles, such as shaker.

Tongue and groove

Flat panels of wood joined with v-groove or tongue and groove joints can be framed with a border, or be used borderless. This style has again become popular in cottage-style kitchens.

Sliding doors

Particularly useful in compact kitchens, because the doors do not need space to swing open.

Heritage style

This is a traditional style which is more ornate than the Shaker-style. It has a raised central panel with more intricately detailed woodwork. It is particularly suitable for large kitchens where the ornamentation will make the kitchen more interesting. In smaller kitchens it may be a bit overwhelming.

Louvred doors

Made from horizontal wood slats, louvres create the illusion of space and make the cabinet look wider and vertical louvres make the door look taller. Apart from the appearance, work particularly well where ventilation is required (vegetables, etc.)

Distressed facing

Very popular with those who love antiques and vintage stuff. Various techniques are used to create a rustic or antique appearance.


This is a lower budget option that may not last as long, but can still look good. These cabinet doors are made from medium-density fibreboard wrapped in a plastic coating of various designs, colours and textures.

Smart storage

Storage space in a kitchen is always at a premium, but the secret is to things stored orderly, with easy access. Here are some ideas to plan your storage areas:

Think vertically

  • By extending cabinets to the ceiling, you not only maximize kitchen storage space, it looks attractive and eliminates areas where dust can collect.
  • Store plates upright to give easy access without heavy loads or breakages
  • Organise trays and cutting boards

Utilize existing space

  • Paint a chalkboard for your grocery list, to-do list, measuring quantities, etc on one of the inside of a cabinet door
  • Put retractable drawer inside the cabinets to eliminate difficult access areas. Instead of having to dig at the back of the shelf, you pull the drawer out and pick out the things at the back.
  • Install retractable racks inside cabinets to store pans
  • Install pull-out storage shelves in your grocery cupboard
  • Install low shelves between the regular shelves, or between the top and floor units, or inside doors for spice jars, jams, etc
  • Install narrow or two-sided retractable shelves to access from both sides when pulled out

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