Creating your own space

ingridBy Davina Richards

Every room in your home plays a vital role in family life and none more so than kitchens and bathrooms, which find themselves at the centre of family activities, fun and food. Ingrid Geldof is a talented kitchen and bathroom designer about to hit the milestone of 21 years in business. If you haven’t heard of her, you have now.

She is the owner of award winning company Ingrid Geldof Design in Christchurch and has accumulated 32 awards since 1992, including New Zealand Kitchen of the Year and her work won New Zealand Bathroom of the Year three years running. Ingrid is also president of National Kitchen and Bathroom Association New Zealand.

Her Dutch background remains a firm foundation from which she seizes inspiration, while also drawing influence from the world around her. She plucks inspiring elements from her surroundings here in New Zealand and from across the globe to keep her ideas fresh and contemporary.

Her award winning experience, years of expertise and enthusiasm for new ideas and technologies culminate in an avalanche of evidence that manifests itself in her strong sense of design and style.

This, along with her passion, drives her to create beautiful and functional kitchens and bathrooms, from concept to completion, with every intention of making your space a dream that will last.

Whether you intend to play around with design ideas to give your existing kitchen or bathroom a visual lift, or renovate from scratch, Ingrid Geldof Design will help you to form stunning interior space with timeless style.

When did you become interested in kitchen design?

In the late 80s. I’m interested in the technical side of design as well as planning how to use space in a room. I was always good at laying things out and having order so that things flow.

I have an awareness of design, shape, form, beauty, style, and attention to detail. My mother was very organised and my father was a painter and decorator who taught me that when you do a job you always do it well.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Architectural magazines, furniture, nature, studying houses, form and art… I enjoy spending time going to look at galleries and seeing the creativity in all aspects of design.

I often travel to Europe, attend the kitchen fair in Milan, go to the DesignEx in Australia to see what’s happening in the world and learning about new products, materials and new ways of developing ideas.

How can people transform their kitchen from ordinary to wow?

You can make a big difference without getting new joinery. With any existing kitchen you can make simple changes, such as changing door handles, changing the splashback (the panel behind the stove), to a different finish – there’s a whole range of exciting panels you can use, such as glass, stones, tiles.

Possibly changing all visual panels in the kitchen, or just simply paint the walls a different colour. If you have a lot of wall space, make use of it by putting something interesting there which will take the eye.


What are the common mistakes people make when designing a new kitchen?

In my experience I have seen some kitchens which don’t function as well as they could. The layout is awkward and hard to get around in.

Some kitchens have inappropriate materials and there’s lack of attention to detail. You should specify the right materials for the right kitchen or bathroom – if you choose the wrong materials it means they’ll end up looking worn out and damaged.

It’s important to achieve a look that carries through for years to come, instead of using products that don’t last and are used more as a fashion statement.

A lot of experience and knowledge comes from a professional designer, somebody who is regularly updated about new products and new ways of doing things.

When starting with a blank canvas what should people consider before they start?

It depends on if you are using an architect, landscaper, or draftsperson. You need to have comprehensive information to provide to designers so they understand the needs of a client.

They need to know what appliances they want to use, whether they want a double basin, have specific storage requirements and how they want them to function. A designer needs to know if you have children, grandchildren, or if you entertain a lot, use the inside or outdoor space more than the other.

A good way to communicate your ideas is to gather information and look at how you work now and how you can be open and stretch beyond what you like. Collect images of things you like and start a folder – divide it in to different sections for each room in the house including any lighting or landscaping ideas you may have.

Make sure you know exactly why you like it, whether that be the handle, the colour, or the function.

Who has been your biggest influence and why?

My clients – undoubtedly! The job is for them. I tailor every job to each client.

It’s like putting on a wedding dress that has been beautifully shaped to fit that person. This is your dream home you want it to be just right.

A home has to be capable of future use. Think about the larger scope and what you want to achieve because a few years down the line you may find yourself in a different frame of mind. It’s not all about now, it’s about looking to the future and what your needs will be.

Are there any words of advice to people who are building or doing major renovations?

Use professionals (i.e. National Kitchen and Bathroom Association members) who you trust will provide the job you desire and can afford.

Use materials you know will last the distance.

Buy services and products from reputable companies and ensure specifications are for products which have back up and service locally.

Enjoy the process; it is a wonderfully creative opportunity to express who you are, use  it wisely.    |

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