Choosing a good kitchen design is about understanding practicality as well as beautiful surfaces

Every homeowner knows that kitchens are the centre of family life. This year on The Block, the teams created kitchens that embraced the social parts of the cooking zone – as well as the practical culinary aspects.

A good kitchen design can tie a house together aesthetically and functionally. In 2023, the teams unveiled a variety of kitchens, each with impressive features, but there were some standouts – and some trends we identified.

Marble kitchen islands

All kitchens on The Block featured a kitchen island as part of their design, a feature that is almost standard in new homes and renovations today – and we loved seeing them topped with marble for a luxurious touch.

The rich crimson marble in one of the houses added the showstopping element to a kitchen. Whether large enough to become an informal dining zone, or an extra preparation space, island benches are a great way to anchor the cooking and eating zone and connect the cook with the living spaces. The jury is out as to whether you should include a sink in your island – it really depends on where the key food preparation zone is located.

As a natural material, it is important to note that marble does need to be treated with care. It reacts badly to acids and can stain easily, which includes wine and vinegar and even lemon juice, and should be sealed to protect it further.

Shots of colour

From a hot pink coffee machine to a burnt orange stove, the contestants used the opportunity to add a sense of fun to their kitchens through their choice of appliances. There are some great coloured appliances on the market now – at all price points.

While it might be good sense from a resale perspective to keep the hard surfaces in neutral tones (especially joinery), small shots of colour through appliances will add personality to kitchens. The best part of this design strategy is that it’s easy to freshen up your kitchen colour palette just by swapping the appliances for new shades!

And, even if you keep the base palette neutral in your kitchen, don’t think that neutral has to mean white. Charcoal and grey kitchens are popular and still create a great backdrop to any primary colours that you select as accents.

Curves again!

Curves will soften the appearance of hard surfaces often found in kitchens, especially if you are adding elements such as marble and tiled splashbacks. Consider designing a kitchen with arched doorways, oval islands and decorative details that echo the season’s trend towards a rounded aesthetic.

After years of sharp edges and strongly defined corners, modern kitchens are turning to softer shapes to add a sense of luxury and elegance. This could be as simple as a rounded shelf or arched niche. One house on The Block even added a curved ceiling effect to reinforce the trend of the season.

The secret to the curves? Gyprock Flexible! This 6.5mm thick plasterboard sheet has an enhanced gypsum core, designed to bend for small radius curves. This means it can create convex curves with a 250mm radius and concave curves with a 450mm radius.

Comfortable homes

One consistent feature of every week on The Block is the commitment to quality insulation. By using Bradford Gold™ and Gold High Performance Batts throughout all the homes, the contestants are ensuring that the future buyers will have comfortable homes that stay warm in winter and cool in summer. Bradford Gold™ insulation for walls can reduce energy used for heating and cooling by up to 20%, leading to a decrease in energy consumption and in energy bills.

Insulation not only helps a home to maintain a high thermal performance, it can also help with sound minimisation – especially important for families with teenagers who enjoy gaming, loud music and movies.

Good ventilation is also key to a comfortable home, as it allows fresh air to flow throughout the building and will make a difference to moisture management, temperature control and air quality. A well-ventilated home with adequate access to sunlight, can improve fresh air and eliminate odours.

  • Bradford
  • Gyprock
  • Kitchen
  • The Block 2023