The Block’s Neale Whitaker has a keen eye for what it takes to create a Create Stylish Kitchen. Here he shares some of his top style tips.
After judging 10 seasons of popular reality renovation show, The Block, Neale Whitaker knows a thing or two about kitchens. During his years on the series, he has seen plenty of kitchen designs that have taken his breath away — although not always for the right reasons.
Asked to choose a couple of his favourite kitchen creations, Neale immediately nominates the design efforts of brothers Shannon and Simon Vos, who won The Block Glasshouse.
“If I had to imagine a perfect inner-city kitchen apartment in 2014, this would come pretty close,” he says of the kitchen.
With oversized windows, a contemporary rangehood, extra deep benchtops, glossy black hardware and smooth natural timbers, the kitchen was the epitome of Scandinavian style. The high-end gas cooktop was a key element of the renovation, along with the freestanding dishwasher and breakfast bar for two.
“With oversized windows, a contemporary rangehood, extra deep benchtops, glossy black hardware and smooth natural timbers, Simon and Shannon’s kitchen was the epitome of Scandinavian style.”
Another favourite for Neale is Alisa and Lysandra’s kitchen in The Block Sky High, in 2013. The twins from South Australia won the series when their renovated Melbourne apartment sold at auction for $1.435 million. The women won $395,000 and Neale says their kitchen was a standout of the series, earning them a perfect score.
The modern design featured a striking concrete kitchen island, soft wood tones and splashes of natural greenery that created a bright and peaceful atmosphere. All modern conveniences were part of the package too, with integrated double ovens, a microwave, coffee maker and hideaway double fridge.
“Both of these kitchens showed attention to detail and great use of contrasting surfaces and textures like timber, metal and quartz — my favourite combination,” Neale says.
“You know it’s a great kitchen when you don’t want to leave on judging day!”
The Vogue Living editor-in-chief says the impact of a well-designed kitchen on Te Block can’t be underestimated, with competitors feeling the pressure during Kitchen Week — always Neale’s favourite week on the show. He says the kitchen is a key feature in any Australian home.
Soft-close drawers and cupboards and plenty of them. You can never have
enough storage in a kitchen.
Gas hob — call me old-fashioned but nothing beats cooking with gas.
Generous dining space or breakfast bar.
Mirrored splashbacks — they double the size of your kitchen and are especially effective when they reflect the garden, balcony or courtyard. KitchenAid for Nespresso is the love of my life.
Good-looking and durable quartz surfaces Silestone by Cosentino is my current favourite, especially the premium Dekton range.
Lighting — well-positioned and great-looking overhead pendants.
The most generous dishwasher you can accommodate.
A really good coffee machine — my KitchenAid for Nespresso is the love of my life.
Source: Originally published by News Corp Australia.