Is there any room more important in a home renovation than the kitchen? Sure, a well-designed kitchen ensures tasty meals, but it’s also where life’s best conversations unfold. Truly the hub and heart of the home, the family kitchen needs to shine.
The Block contestants Jesse and Mel stood out from the pack with their sophisticated space for a few reasons – and they’re good enough to steal. Here’s all the know-how you need to recreate it.
Our nation has an obsession with timber floors, and elevating your hardwoods into luxe territory can be as simple as changing the way in which they’re laid.
All the judges comment on the “sophisticated yet understated” feel to Jesse and Mel’s kitchen, and their flooring decision has a lot to do with this. The pair chose to lay their gorgeous oak planks in a chevron pattern and the visual interest creates a luxurious feel – it’s classic with a chic twist.
If you’re as crafty and Jesse and Mel, then it doesn’t even need to break the bank – the couple saved an estimated $10,000 by watching a YouTube tutorial and laying it themselves. Impressive.
The right gear
Kitchens can be a budget-drain in a renovation because you need some serious functional power to get through daily life with ease. Everything from your dishwasher to your microwave must be well thought-through, and the appliances and fit-outs you choose should reflect your needs.
Shaynna Blaze finds that their set up “works beautifully”. The dishwasher is perfectly placed to unload into the surrounding drawers and the sinks in the island are separate to the spacious gas hob and oven.
Blaze notes how no other contestants provide a 900mm-wide gas oven like Jesse and Mel, with the major benefit of this size option (over a standard 600mm-wide oven) being the capacity to cook more at once.
The placement directly beneath the gas stovetop (which is surrounded by oodles of bench space) is also a feature to consider. The oven even has a spit roast setting, so if you’re into pork crackling, take note.
Ovens powered by Natural Gas are great for having more control and efficiency over your cooking: the warm-up and cool-down time is less with gas, and once you turn off the oven, cooking stops almost immediately – meaning no dry chicken roast.
A gas cooktop is equally as beneficial, boasting precision cooking and better temperature control to have you feeling like a professional chef. An easy-to-clean option like Jesse and Mel’s will also keep the kitchen aesthetics premium.
The little details
A kitchen has to look good, so the aesthetic needs to have impact beyond the right benchtop stone and flooring. Jesse and Mel manage to nail subtle luxury in a few ways: contrast, fixtures and fittings.
Their bold move to mix timbers is something many renovators fear. The blonde oak hardwoods successfully contrast with darker, chocolate wood laminate on all the cabinetry, creating the kind of drama that screams sophistication.
In terms of fixtures and fittings, Jesse and Mel’s handles are a hit – they’re tonal with the chocolate cabinetry while the sleek style translates as modern and elegant.
Mirrored kickers above the flooring are another simple way the pair add understated impact, with Whitaker dubbing the choice “beautiful.”
The modern and sculptural light fixture is a wow piece – even more so when placed beneath the coffered ceiling with LED strip lighting that amplifies the space.
These little design details – carefully curated materials and fittings – add up to produce a kitchen that is incredibly refined.
Bring energy to life with Natural Gas.