10 Steps to Creating the Perfect Kitchen Design

by Carlisle Homes

10 Steps to Creating the Perfect Kitchen Design

Good looks and true functionality. Here’s your guide to the perfect kitchen design.

The kitchen is the heart of your home – a place where your favourite people gather and memories are made. As such an important hub, you’ll want to take your time planning a new kitchen carefully so that it delivers on both looks and functionality. 

Once the layout has been selected the next step is choosing the right finishes and appliances at our Spectra Showroom. Watch our short video below for a step-by-step guide to the key selections you'll make when building a new kitchen or read on to learn more.


1. Benchtops

The first step when planning a new kitchen is selecting the benchtops for your island and the surrounding cabinetry. Remember, what you choose should complement the style of your home and be durable enough to cope with the demands of cooking and cleaning. 

Benchtop materials

To give you the stunning good looks and performance capabilities (paramount for the perfect kitchen design), we offer premium kitchen benchtops from Laminex and Caesarstone.

Durable Laminex laminate benchtops are tough enough to cope with the demands of a busy kitchen, plus they’re affordably priced and come in a vast range of fashionable colour options so it’s easy to create a look you’ll love.

To add a truly luxurious look and feel to your kitchen, consider upgrading to Caesarstone engineered stone benchtops. This premium-quality surface exudes sophistication and feels wonderful to the touch. Caesarstone is incredibly easy to care for too as it’s scratch-, stain- and heat-resistant and requires no sealing or ongoing maintenance.

Carry it through to your bathroom benchtops or the built-in joinery in your lounge or meals area for a cohesive feel.

Benchtop colours

Bold, understated or something in between – at our showroom, you’ll find a vast arrange of benchtop colour options to browse as you plan your kitchen.

Add a natural touch with a Laminex wood grain benchtop, a modern urban feel with one that gives you the look of concrete, or opt for a timeless neutral such as Laminex Peruvian Clay or White Linen.

Looking to step things up in your kitchen? Create a sense of opulence with a marble-look or weathered stone Caesarstone benchtop, make a dramatic statement by contrasting white cabinets with black Caesarstone benchtops, or keep it soft and inviting with one of Caesarstone’s beautiful, gentle greys. 

You can make a feature of your benchtop by customising the edge profile. Choose from a shadowline profile, where there is a small gap between the underside of the benchtop and the top of the cabinetry that creates a line of shadow, or specify an overhang that extends beyond the face of your cabinetry. 

Tip: To create an opulent feel in your kitchen, opt for an edge profile that measures 80-100 millimetres. 


Aesthetic and functional, overhead cabinets provide additional storage space and can tie in the different elements in a space, to create a cohesive look. Featured here: Sacramento, Redstone Estate, Sunbury.

2. Overhead cabinetry

Next up on the kitchen planning checklist - selecting the material, colour and door profile of your overhead cabinetry. Flat door fronts will suit a contemporary kitchen while a profiled finish has a more traditional feel and is typically well suited to achieving the look of Hamptons. 

Think of your overhead cabinetry as an essential layer that builds character and style in your kitchen space. There’s a huge range of colours and finishes to choose from at the Spectra Showroom, including bright white, soft greys and a variety of wood grains. Take your kitchen to the next level by upgrading to FormWrap cabinetry. FormWrap gives a seamless finish, and provides a customised and stylised solution to suit any interior style.

Tip: Give your kitchen some variety in its design and add an open shelf to your overhead cabinetry for display.  

3. Base cabinetry

When choosing the colour and profile of your base cabinetry, consider whether you’d like it to match or contrast with your overhead cabinetry. Matching cabinetry will create a sense of consistency in your kitchen, while contrasting cabinetry makes more of a statement. 

The perfect kitchen design also features true functionality, so it is important to think about cupboard configuration. You may wish to convert some of your cupboards into pot drawers or add pull-out bins or tea towel holders to your cabinetry. 

4. Handles

Handles offer an essential finishing touch to the overall look of your cabinetry, and allow you to open and close cabinets and drawers with ease. There’s a wide variety of cabinetry handles to choose at our Spectra Showroom. For a classic yet luxurious feel consider a bronze finish, or opt for a contemporary, bold look with polished chrome or matt black. 

Or, for a minimalist aesthetic, go handleless with push catches or sharknose edging (where applicable).

10 Steps to Creating the Perfect Kitchen Design

Splashbacks can come in an array of materials and finishes and are a great opportunity to make a statement in the kitchen. Featured here: Astoria Grand, Attwell Estate, Deanside.

5. Splashback 

That small space behind your cooktop can make a big impact and has now become a key feature in modern kitchen designs. Herringbone or hexagonal tiles can add texture, movement and elevate the kitchen etc  . for the ultimate in luxury extend your benchtop stone look to the splashback for a completely seamless look.

6. Sink and tapware

Whether you’re planning a modern, country or minimalist look throughout your kitchen, a lot can be said on how on the importance of a stylish and quality sink and tap. The pair not only add visual appeal, but optimise essential functionality inside your kitchen. Single bowl, double bowl, matt black, stainless steel… there’s a wide range of sinkware and tap options to choose from! Create an accent feature with a matt black gooseneck tap, select a double bowl sink so you can whip through a stack of washing up, choose a blank sink to add drama to your kitchen – the choice is yours.

10 Steps to Creating the Perfect Kitchen Design

Whether it’s a feature piece or concealed, rangehoods can keep your kitchen free of odours and smoke from your cooking. Featured here: Matisse, Orana Estate, Clyde North.

7. Rangehood

Next step, choosing a rangehood to keep your kitchen odour- and smoke- free. At our Spectra Showroom, you’ll be spoilt for choice with a wide array of rangehoods from the best names in kitchen appliances.

When planning a new kitchen, consider making a feature of your rangehood by selecting a canopy style or opt for a concealed rangehood that is tucked beneath your upper cabinets.

8. Cooking appliances

Make meal prep a joy by selecting an oven and cooktop that perfectly suits your cooking style. First, consider whether you’d like an upright cooker or a separate oven and cooktop. A striking upright cooker, which houses both the oven and cooktop, can form the centrepiece of your kitchen, while a built-in oven gives you the convenience of integrating neatly into your cabinetry at a height that suits you and the cooktop can be positioned practically anywhere on your benchtops.

Then, consider fuel type. At our new showroom, you’ll find energy-efficient induction cooktops and high-performance gas cooktops, as well as many options in ovens. 

10 Steps to Creating the Perfect Kitchen Design

Achieve seamless visual flow in your kitchen by considering how your appliances will integrate with your finish selections. Featured here: Canterbury Grand, Minta Estate, Berwick.


No kitchen design is complete without a microwave, and you’ll have several options to choose from.

It’s a good idea to choose your microwave at your colour selection appointment to guarantee a flush fit within your cabinetry and to match it perfectly with your other appliances. 


For the ultimate in convenience, upgrade your kitchen with a dishwasher. We’ve got dishwashers from all the major appliances at our showroom, making it easy to choose one that suits your washing-up needs. 

9. Other appliances

While you’re at your Spectra appointment, take the opportunity to plan your kitchen so it perfectly suits the way you cook and entertain. Add a built-in coffee maker, a warming drawer to keep meals warm when the kids are running late, or a wine fridge so you can chill your favourite tipple to just the right temperature – you’ll find all these options and more in our showroom. 

A kitchen planning tip for those that love to entertain: ensure your space always feels luxurious and looks its best by utilising your butler’s pantry to store appliances. This way, appliances will remains conveniently concealed and prep and cooking will be kept separate from the main kitchen space. Now, your guests can enjoy a clear and inviting space to gather.

10 Steps to Creating the Perfect Kitchen Design

Pendant lights add elegance and form to a space while bringing light down to your counter, or wherever you need lighting. Featured here: Scarborough Grand, Smiths Lane, Clyde North.

10. Lighting

The right lighting creates a warm ambience in your kitchen and helps you see what you’re doing when you’re prepping and washing up, making it an important step in your building a kitchen. 

Provide extra illumination to your kitchen work surfaces by adding additional downlights or sleek, strip lighting to the ceiling or under cabinets. Or add character and interest with a gorgeous pendant light suspended over your island. 

With all your selections made, you’re one step closer to enjoying your dream kitchen!

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Want to learn more about creating a stylish and truly functional kitchen? Come along to one of our display homes for a closer look at what’s on offer, or start browsing and customising your kitchen with Spectra.


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