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Kitchen Design Tips

Over the past decade kitchens have made a comeback and now play a starring role in the modern home.


Open plan kitchens that flow into the dining and living and alfresco areas are becoming the norm

David Reid Homes Nelson/Tasman/Marlborough owner Paul Richards has been in the trade for 34 years, and when he first started out, kitchens were not given much consideration at all.

These days the kitchen is usually the first space people consider when designing and building their own home, Paul says.

“The kitchen has become more than the hub of the home. Rather than just being a room at the back of the house, it’s become really important from a design perspective where the kitchen is, and how the rest of the home fits around it.”

Ten years ago a fourth bedroom or study was preferable to having a bigger, better kitchen.


Organic materials such as timber are being used to soften the utilitarian feel of kitchens.

“The kitchen is now the centrepiece – before it didn’t matter, you’d be in there cooking – you might be able to poke your head through a hole often called a servery to see what was going on if you were lucky.

“These days, kitchens are a big part of the entertainment time we enjoy, guests are in there, having a drink, chatting and helping out, we’re seeing a lot more of an integrated, organic approach to kitchen design in response to that.”

The use of organic materials, such as timber are used to help soften the utilitarian feel of the kitchen.  But resilient, easy-to-clean, practical work spaces are equally crucial, he says.


LED lighting and negative detailing are some of the more innovative trends seen in kitchen design in the past 24 months

Lighting, particularly small LED lights that fit into small recesses to illuminate walls or negative spaces have been the biggest player in kitchen design in the last 24 months.  The use of negative detailing to create interesting lines and practical spaces such as breakfast bars, canta-levered bench units and hidden storage boxes, has also been one of the biggest innovations in kitchen design in the last few years.

LED back lit wine fridges are now on the radar so creating spaces that have allowance to incorporate the wine fridge and make it a feature are fundamental to kitchen design.

“Wine fridges are something new that has been a growing as a priority on clients design briefs, probably because wine has become part of the Kiwi culture.”

Paul has won numerous awards for the homes, kitchens bathrooms they’ve built over the years, most recently their new David Reid Homes show home kitchen earned three awards, for best kitchen, best kitchen top and best presentation at the Kitchen Joinery Awards.

Paul says the key is to approach each new home with a new set of eyes.

“For me it’s thinking outside the square with each project, so we come up with a unique look and feel every time to suit our clients’ lifestyles and personalities and budgets.”

Love your kitchen? Love wine?  Enter our draw to win a stunning, temperature and light controlled Haier wine fridge to store and display your wine collection in perfect conditions.

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  • Design and Advice