Quality kitchen bench
Choose a strong and durable benchtop. Opt for a square-edge in stone, engineered stone (try Caesarstone Quartz) or solid surfacing (try Corian). On a budget? Jump on the trend for mixing and matching materials: use wallet-friendly laminate for the bulk of your worktops and a feature material where it will be most admired.
A fixed island in a compact cooking zone might be more trouble than it's worth. Hoist it on castors, problem solved!
Latest colour trends
Unsure which accessory colour to choose? Check out ruby reds, ocean blues and the Pantone colour of the year, Radiant Orchid (a blend of fuchsia, purple and pink), which will set the tone for 2014.
Grey kitchen cabinets
When choosing grey cabinetry, consider light levels and your kitchen size. Pale greys create a feeling of space while dark charcoal greys add drama. To keep the look from being overly moody, choose glazed upper wall cabinets.
Hide your appliances
Conceal modern appliances behind cabinetry or build them into the kitchen side of an island (note the treatment of dishwasher, microwave and wine fridge).
Modern design essentials
Simple, unfussy square-edged lines and flat-fronted doors and drawers are the hallmarks of this contemporary kitchen. A combo of laminate solids and patterns will help provide the cafe character. As for the woodgrain, mix it up: glossy and a horizontal run on the island can switch to matt and vertical for the shelving.
Get the vintage look for less
You can't deny the appeal of the old, the used and the preloved, so familiarise yourself with local salvage and reclamation yards, and start rummaging! There you can find everything from rustic timber floorboards to fabulous furniture that is perfectly imperfect! All you need is an eye for a bargain and a kitchen manufacturer who shares your passion for the unique.
Combine dark grey grout with white subway tiles so they take on a vintage vibe or stick with brilliant white as pictured. As for practicality near washing and cooking zones, they're nothing less than perfect.
Custom range hood
If your going for that classic kitchen look, engage a company that specialises in traditional kitchens and character features. Here, the custom-designed mantel that conceals the modern rangehood.
A laminate or timber floor will bring warmth and texture to your kitchen and is softer underfoot than tiles. Whatever surface you decide on, allow for installation fees, including hidden costs such as underlay, levelling and fixatives.