Kitchen advice from professional remodelers!


Sticking with standard cabinet depth

“600mm is the standard minimum depth your cabinet can be. At this depth you are limiting your options for sink and tapware and reducing your storage space. If you have the space and the budget, why not go wider and give yourself more storage depth? A typical depth that we specify is 680mm and can be as high as 700mm,” says Graeme Metcalf of Dan Kitchens.

 Not allowing enough space for fridge doors to open

“A lot of plans we see from customers, and sometimes even architects, have the refrigerator placed right up against the wall. On paper this position looks ideal, however in practice this is far from it,” says Graeme Metcalf of Dan Kitchens.

“The problem lies with opening the refrigerator door. In this position, it can only open 90 degrees with the fridge handle hitting the wall. To make matters worse, most refrigerators require doors that open more than 90 degrees in order to access the crisper and to remove shelves for cleaning. To avoid this, you can increase the width of the refrigerator niche (not a tidy look and space inefficient), place a tall cabinet between the wall and refrigerator (usually a pantry) or in the case of integrated refrigerators, add a wide filler panel. A refrigerator hinged the other way isn’t a good solution as you have to walk further to open it,” says Graeme.

 Being too trendy

“After investing in a new kitchen, you’ll want to be sure it won’t date. It’s easy to be swept up in the trends of the moment, but it pays to include these references in things that can be switched out easily. Keep you fixtures, such as surface, tapware and more permanent elements classic and draw your favorite trends in via accessories,” says style editor Jessica Hanson.

Not adding drawers

“One of the biggest evolutions in kitchen design has been the shift from cupboards to drawers for storage. A kitchen of drawers creates a more flexible, functional and ergonomic space. Distributing appliances in drawers provides you with the flexibility to configure your kitchen to suit the way you work and live,” says Mark Elmore, general manager of design and integration at Fisher & Paykel.

 Only focusing on looks

“You need to plan for function. Identify the key work and storage zones within the kitchen plan; such as your prep area, cooking area and washing area. Make sure they reflect how you want to use your kitchen, and don’t be restricted by conventional kitchen layouts. There are plenty of tools online to help you visualize your perfect kitchen, such as Fisher & Paykel’s The Kitchen Tools – this site is a source of visual inspiration, helpful drawings, product specifications and case studies. Originally designed for architects and designers, the tools and content are professional and detailed,” says Mark Elmore, general manager of design and integration at Fisher & Paykel.

 Being inconsistent

“If you want to create a seamless look in your space, it helps to choose integrated appliances. Fisher & Paykel is one of the few brands that has designed its range of kitchen appliances, from fridges and dishwashers to ovens and cooktops with classic, clean lines – a cohesive material palette and matching design touch points, with the same handle, black glass and stainless-steel finish,” says Mark Elmore, general manager of design and integration at Fisher & Paykel.


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