The Gruen Eco Design blog about how to convert your dream from an energy efficient home into a reality. 

Kitchen Ideas

Life has been a bit crazy again at our house. We had backpackers staying with us. My niece arriving (who will be staying with us as an au-pair for 8 months) and we were all knocked out with gastro. So, there hasn’t been much happening on the design of our 20/20 House.

But we had been at ikea and have been looking at possible kitchens for us. You might wonder, why ikea? Well, that’s really easy: money, or should I rather say budget constraints.

We only have a quite restrictive budget. And our aim is to spend as much as we can on great windows and the best insulation we can get. Which means we have to be creative with some other areas. The kitchen is one of the areas.

We will be getting the carcasses from ikea. The idea is to then get a really nice benchtop from somewhere else. And then get a carpenter to build us some nice feature shelving to complement the kitchen. By doing this your kitchen should cost you between $5,000-$10,000, instead of $30,000 – $80,000. Of course, there are no limits. You can easily spend over 100K on a kitchen as well…

We are still not sure what type of benchtop we want. But I think we might have settled on the actual carcasses. I am a big fan of really simple white kitchens without handles. Therefore, I do like the Voxtorp range.

However, the sample kitchen on the above photo is a bit to sterile for me. I would not want it all white on white. We are planning to get polished concrete floor in our kitchen dining area. And then, to warm it all up a bit, add some nice timber feature element to the white kitchen cabinets. We also haven’t made up our mind yet about what kind of splashback we want. But we do want some sort of splashback window. And a walk-in pantry with lots of storage, possibly tucked in under the staircase.

And for sure, like pretty much everyone else. We do want an island bench. One important thing to keep in mind when designing your kitchen is the material size of countertop materials. For example, most ceasar stones only come in a maximum length of 3m. Reconstituted stone sometimes is available up to 3.2m. Therefore, it is important your island bench conforms with these dimensions. Imagine you want a beautiful waterfall ceasarstone breakfast bench. But the overall length is 3.2 metres, and you would need a joint in the slab. Even though if joints are done well you still see them and that would destroy the seamless look, plus the added material cost. So better to design the island as 3m long right from the start 😉

Hopefully life will normalise soon, and we will find some time again to keep working on the design of our family home.