Kitchens are the heart of any home. Especially in Australia, where we love to entertain and spend time with family and friends. Australian kitchens reflect our laidback outdoor lifestyle, as well as our passion for great food and drink.
There are so many ways to create a beautiful, functional kitchen down under. From sleek, contemporary styles to cozy cottage kitchens. Using materials like stone, wood, glass and steel. With splashes of color and creative storage solutions.
Here are 20 kitchen design ideas to inspire your next remodel or new build.
Embrace the Indoor/Outdoor Lifestyle
One of the biggest trends in Australian kitchen design is blending indoor and outdoor spaces. Large windows, glass doors, and open-air kitchens connect cooking areas to alfresco dining nooks, gardens and pool decks.
- Install concertina or bi-fold doors for an airy, open feel.
- Use stacking windows above counters for natural light and ventilation.
- Extend cabinetry, countertops and flooring from indoor to outdoor areas for a seamless transition.
- Consider an outdoor kitchen with sinks, BBQ and fridge for ultimate convenience.
Connecting your kitchen to the great outdoors lets you take advantage of our beautiful weather and relaxed way of life.
Choose Timeless Materials
Australian kitchens often favor natural materials that are subtle but add warmth and texture.
- Natural stone like marble, granite, quartzite and travertine make elegant countertops.
- Timber, especially oak, is popular for cabinetry, tables and open shelving.
- Coastal kitchens use natural materials like driftwood, shells and pebbles in decor.
- Add wicker baskets, ceramic pots and fresh greenery for organic texture.
Mixing natural stone, wood and greenery creates an earthy but sophisticated style perfect for entertaining.
Cool Contemporary Style
For a sleek, modern look, opt for contemporary materials like stainless steel, glass and polished concrete.
- Stainless steel appliances, sinks, faucets and pendant lights have an industrial edge.
- Glass-front cabinetry, splashbacks and tabletops reflect light and create transparency.
- Polished or stained concrete floors are seamless and easy-care.
Keep the look minimalist by limiting decorative clutter on counters and open shelves. Let the materials, shapes and lines make the visual impact.
In contrast to sleek contemporary kitchens, cottage and farmhouse styles are all about vintage character.
- Painted cabinetry in heritage colors adds cozy charm. Soft blues, minty greens and buttery yellows are popular.
- Choose an apron-front sink and antique-inspired faucet for old-world appeal.
- Open shelving with mismatched bowls, crocks and glassware has a collected feel.
- Add French cafe chairs, a butcher block island and distressed rugs for rustic flair.
Infuse personality into your kitchen with vintage elements and your favorite flea market finds.
With limited square footage, smart storage is essential for Australian kitchens. Reduce clutter and make the most of every inch with these ideas:
- Opt for custom cabinetry with pull-out shelves, lazy susans and other specialized storage solutions.
- Roll-out trays and drawers in lower cabinets keep pots, pans and appliances accessible but out of sight.
- Slide-out spice racks, tray dividers and other inserts organize the interior.
- Utilize the vertical space with tall, shallow cabinets for dishes and glassware.
- Consider open shelving for frequently used items, and hide the rest in cabinetry.
Strategic cabinets and pull-outs tailored to your space help keep kitchens organized.
Bold Color Splashes
While light, neutral palettes are popular, don’t be afraid to add bold splashes of color for visual impact.
- Paint an accent wall or island in a vivid hue like emerald, navy or mustard.
- Choose colorful tile for the backsplash, like Moroccan patterns or handmade subway tiles.
- Pick brightly colored appliances like a retro Smeg fridge or range.
- Add pops of color with barstools, pendants, pots, kettles and kitchenware.
Whether it’s a colorful backsplash, accent wall or accessories, bold color elevates a kitchen from boring to fabulous.
Sustainable design is increasingly important in Australian kitchens. Look for eco-friendly materials like:
- Bamboo cabinetry, which is durable, renewable and stain-resistant.
- Recycled glass, cement and plastic surfaces that give new life to waste.
- Energy-efficient appliances and LED lighting that reduce your carbon footprint.
- Natural linoleum made from renewable cork, wood and jute fibers.
- Reclaimed wood from old barns, factories or wine barrels for rustic character.
An eco-friendly kitchen is good for the planet and gives you peace of mind.
Don’t be afraid to add little luxuries that make your kitchen special.
- Install a wine fridge for easy access to perfectly chilled wine.
- Treat yourself to a built-in coffee machine for barista-quality brews.
- Add a drink station with spirits, glassware, ice and mixers for effortless entertaining.
- Include extras like warming drawers, steam ovens and ice makers.
- Opt for luxurious materials like marble, brass fixtures, and handmade tile.
Thoughtful details tailored to your lifestyle transform an ordinary kitchen into an extraordinary one.
Clever Mix of Old & New
The charm of vintage kitchens mixed with clean lines and modern conveniences is a popular approach.
- Combine an antique butcher block island with sleek stainless appliances and pendant lighting.
- Mix reclaimed wood shelves and painted cabinets with solid surfaces and undermount sinks.
- Install a professional gas range in a cottage kitchen for serious cooking functionality.
- Add industrial touches like metal stools, blackboard walls and factory lights.
Blending old and new elements strikes the perfect balance of charm and functionality.
From sunshine streaming through windows to adjustable fixtures, lighting is key in Australian kitchens.
- Place windows above the sink and prep areas to illuminate workflow.
- Supplement with pendant lights, strip lighting under cabinets, chandeliers and sconces.
- Install dimmers for ambiance control from day to night.
- Use task lighting like under-cabinet lighting to illuminate work zones.
Proper lighting helps you prep ingredients, read recipes and safely navigate your space.
Clever Island Solutions
Kitchen islands are hubs for prep, dining, storage and design impact. Rethink the island with these creative ideas:
- Opt for a large, substantial island to replacing dining tables. Add seating for casual meals and entertaining.
- Include storage with cabinets, shelves, and pull-out trays or racks.
- Extend counter space with lower level cutting boards, marble tablets, or stainless steel extensions.
- Make it portable with lockable wheels so you can reposition as needed.
- Complement the design with matching pendant lights.
A functional, well-designed island streamlines kitchen tasks and adds style.
Tying the whole kitchen together with a cohesive color palette looks pulled together.
- Limit the color scheme to one or two neutral tones, like white oak cabinets, marble counters and white subway tile.
- Accent with black stainless appliances, matte black hardware and pendant lights.
- Use texture to add interest, like rough wood, veined stone and woven baskets.
Repeating elements like color, finishes and materials create harmony and sophistication.
From hexagonal tile to triangles and curves, geometric shapes add excitement.
- Hexagonal floor tile patterns complement minimalist cabinetry.
- Try a circular backsplash, octagonal window or triangular island.
- Curved cabinet fronts, circular booths and oval tables soften lines.
Geometric elements, whether subtle or prominent, add visual punch.
While glossy cabinetry is prevalent, matte and textured finishes are also popular choices. Consider:
- Concrete-look laminates with mottled, uneven surfaces full of depth.
- Matte lacquers and stains on cabinets in soft neutral hues.
- Distressed, aged woods with visible knots, cracks and markings.
- Metallics like hammered copper sinks and textured brass lighting.
These subtly textured choices offer a nice contrast to polished stone and smooth glass.
A raised dishwasher at counter height streamlines workflow in the kitchen.
- Eliminates the need to bend down continuously to load and unload.
- Located conveniently right next to food prep and sink areas.
- Opens up design options, like cabinetry in place of lower dishwasher space.
- Visually lightens up the look by elevating appliances off the floor.
For ergonomics and style, a raised dishwasher is a smart choice.
Open shelving lets you highlight your favorite kitchen collections for an infused look.
- Show off vintage cookware, colorful dishes or gleaming glassware.
- Display neatly lined jars of spices, tea, coffee and ingredients.
- Arrange small succulents, potted herbs or plants.
- Feature cookbooks, ornate cake stands or decorative wreaths. collections layered on open shelves add personality.
Carve Out Dining Space
With open floor plans, look for ways to delineate the dining area within kitchens.
- Use a different floor treatment like tile under the table and chairs.
- Separate with an area rug in the dining zone.
- Install a dropped soffit ceiling over the table.
- Add visual barriers like a console, hutch or peninsula.
Defining the dining section helps zone the kitchen for better functionality.
Smart Appliance Garages
Keep countertops tidy and direct eyes away from appliances with hidden garages.
- Cabinetry that conceal blenders, mixers, toasters and food processors.
- Pull-down doors hide coffee machines and stand mixers.
- Side pockets or vertical spaces to neatly tuck away microwave ovens.
Garages keep appliances accessible but out of sight until needed.
Stylish Butcher Block
A thick butcher block island or countertop adds natural beauty and durability.
- Choose wood types like maple, walnut or acacia in light to dark finishes.
- Consider an end-grain orientation for visual appeal.
- Use waterproof wood glue and avoid harsh cleaners for longevity.
- Add a mobile option with lockable wheels for flexibility.
- Complement with warm pendant lighting and wooden barstools.
Butcher block is striking, functional and suits casual to high-end kitchens.
Q & A
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about kitchen design ideas in Australia:
What are some popular cabinet colors?
White, navy, charcoal and neutral grey are popular cabinet color choices. Soft pastels like sage green, cornflower blue and buttery yellow are also on trend.
What backsplash materials work well?
Subway tile, marble, travertine, glass, metal and unique patterned tile are great backsplash options.
Should I choose quartz or granite countertops?
Quartz is lower maintenance and scratch resistant. Granite offers a wide variety of natural patterns. Both are excellent choices.
How can I incorporate indoor/outdoor living?
Try concertina doors, stackable windows, extended cabinetry and outdoor kitchen elements.
What is the best way to maximize storage?
Optimize every inch with pull-outs, roll outs, specialized storage inserts, tall narrow cabinets, and open shelving.
How do I add a vintage look?
Painted cabinetry, apron-front sinks, open shelving, French bistro accents and reclaimed woods create vintage charm.
Should I use butcher block in the kitchen?
Yes, it’s beautiful, durable and adds warm character. Maintain it properly for longevity.
Whether you favor a minimalist, eclectic or vintage vibe, there are so many ways to create your dream kitchen down under. Use indoor/outdoor elements, mix materials, add pops of color, and incorporate clever storage. Focus on quality materials and timeless styling mixed with personalized touches.
With some inspiration from these top design trends, you’re sure to end up with a fabulous kitchen that suits your lifestyle. The kitchen is the heart of the home, so invest time into getting it just right. Bon appétit from your new Aussie kitchen!