Saucy spaces

Ingrid Geldof of Ingrid Geldof Design in Christchurch offers her top tips on how to achieve a great kitchen design; stay cool and enjoy the process.


  • Employ a reputable National Kitchen and Bathroom Association NZ (NKBA) kitchen or bathroom designer to avoid costly mistakes
  • If building, employ your kitchen designer at the same time as the architect to ensure the kitchen is not compromised and can integrate seamlessly with the architecture. If you are using a building company still insist on an independent kitchen designer if you are particular about your kitchen and want the best
  • If renovating, get your kitchen designer in first
  • Have an idea of what your budget might be, kitchens can range from $20K to $150K
  • Start a scrapbook with pictures of styles and details you would like to give to your designer
  • Have a look around the appliance stores, such as Kitchen Things, to get a good idea of the appliances you might wish to incorporate
  • Visit places like Home Idea’s Centre, Hafele, Blum , Artisan Stone, Mercer, Burns and Ferrall showrooms for ideas on materials and fittings
  • Establish what is important to you and grade their importance, such as function, appearance, adhering to budget, safety, using eco-friendly materials like those from Laminex and Prime Panels. Spend as much as you can stretch to; you will never regret what you spend, but you might regret what you don’t
  • Ensure that you understand the process, the timing and who is doing what, before you begin
  • Get excited and enjoy the process.


  • Don’t expect your builder to be a whizz in the kitchen; by this I mean don’t expect them to be a kitchen design specialist. There may be talented builders out there who can also be a specialist kitchen designers, but it’s a little like getting your doctor to perform specialist surgery
  • Don’t leave it too late to get your kitchen designer involved. Avoid having to compromise
  • Kitchens are expensive so don’t try to manage it yourself; you may find you have missed out on some critical new development which you will be annoyed about forever
  • Don’t skimp on the hardware; get the best possible drawer runners and hinges you can afford. Blum, Hettich and Hafele have lifetime warrantees
  • Don’t select colours or finishes which will date in a hurry unless you are prepared to replace them
  • Don’t put the dishwasher between the sink and the stove top, as this is where you will stand the most and others will want to put things in or take things out of the dishwasher.
  • Same goes for the cutlery drawer
  • Don’t put the sink and the cooktop too close together; allow at least 700mm work space
  • Don’t use delicate products if you have a family – opt for robust
  • Don’t buy a cheap tap, less than $300 generally speaking, as they are used all the time and need to last the distance. Ensure they carry a warranty
  • Don’t get stressed.


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