ALEX TALKS . . . ENTERTAINER'S KITCHENS

In the spirit of Summer and long balmy nights lending themselves to dining outdoors, at-home Christmas parties, and more family and social gatherings than you can poke your BBQ tongs at, Alex talks about how good design can turn a space where we simply prepare meals and drinks into a real 'Entertainer's Kitchen'. 

'I believe entertaining is intrinsically tied to the Australian dream of the way we live and dine . . . it’s a lifestyle.

Fresh produce, accessible cooking shows and the 'market-to-table' movement have captured the hearts and taste buds of our country more than ever. Coupled with our long-held belief that the heart of a home is it's kitchen, as a designer it's my role to create unique spaces that are not only beautiful to live in, but are perfectly functional and efficient in every way.' 

We love the textured tile splash back in our  Moore Park Gardens  project. The flexible island bench-come-dining table extension creates the ideal entertainer's kitchen in an inner city pad. The timber floorboards throughout the kitchen and living spaces create a visual connection and feeling of space.

We love the textured tile splash back in our Moore Park Gardens project. The flexible island bench-come-dining table extension creates the ideal entertainer's kitchen in an inner city pad. The timber floorboards throughout the kitchen and living spaces create a visual connection and feeling of space.

'The key to a successful Entertainer's Kitchen is open plan with some areas to hide the mess, so you can enjoy the entertaining part and not have to clean up and keep the space looking perfect as you go. Coffee and tea making bars or cupboards where all the ingredients for a good brew are in one location means you don't have to cross the length of the kitchen every time you want to boil the kettle.'

The kitchen in our  Stanley Avenue  project is perfect for entertaining with seating at the breakfast bar allowing for two-way conversation, plenty of bench space for prep and plating, stone flooring throughout the kitchen and living creates a cohesive and larger sense of space, and last but not least a good exhaust is a must!

The kitchen in our Stanley Avenue project is perfect for entertaining with seating at the breakfast bar allowing for two-way conversation, plenty of bench space for prep and plating, stone flooring throughout the kitchen and living creates a cohesive and larger sense of space, and last but not least a good exhaust is a must!

'Wine fridges or a bar area that are easily accessed from the adjoining kitchen, living or family areas ensure that gin and tonic preparation doesn't get in the way of meal preparation! Guests can happily help themselves without pulling the chef away from the job at hand.'

In our  Marian Street  project, we installed a bar area with side-by-side  Vintec  wine fridges. The bar area can be closed off with mirrored pocket doors that creates the feeling of space in the kitchen. 

In our Marian Street project, we installed a bar area with side-by-side Vintec wine fridges. The bar area can be closed off with mirrored pocket doors that creates the feeling of space in the kitchen. 

We designed a walk-  in pantry behind the kitchen    in our    Lord Street  project  that allowed for ample storage and additional preparation zones to hide the mess!

We designed a walk-in pantry behind the kitchen in our Lord Street project that allowed for ample storage and additional preparation zones to hide the mess!

'As you may already know, I am obsessed with lighting, and believe that flexible lighting is important in Entertainer's Kitchens to create ambience and different zones for preparation or dining. Ambient strip lighting under overhead cupboards cast light onto deep spaces and in-pantry lighting on a sensor means you can always see even those items hidden at the back!' 

High quality appliances are important in an Entertainer's Kitchen. A 900mm wide oven will allow you to cater for large groups with ease. 

High quality appliances are important in an Entertainer's Kitchen. A 900mm wide oven will allow you to cater for large groups with ease. 

All images via ©Alexandra Kidd Design

COLOUR OF THE YEAR . . . MARSALA

Celebrate the 2015 Pantone Colour of the Year with us as we show you simple ways to share the Marsala love each season. 

marsala 03-02-15 4.jpg

SUMMER 
Adding a hint of burnt orange and lilac to your Marsala scheme can create a more summery palette. Try a statement piece of art with flecks of Marsala tones and gold foil [1]. A feature wall in a brighter shade can emphasise a bold look [2]. Or take your love of Marsala to the beach with a gorgeous Missoni beach towel [3].

AUTUMN
Create a nostalgic touch to your interior with delicate chinoiserie patterns paired beautifully with rustic oak. Your choice of flooring treatment will influence the overall feel of your home. For understated luxe go for a classic parquet flooring with contrasting inset stone [4]. For a bolder, more contemporary look try a large patterned rug in soft ivory and deep Marsala [5].

WINTER
Stay cozy with soft upholstery this Winter. Have an old armchair that needs updating? Inject some colour and texture and have it re-upholstered with this suede-like velvet [6]. For a plush bedhead solution, have a custom bedhead made with luxurious button detailing. If it is a small accent you're after, add oversized cushions to your living room in a buttery soft leather [7].

SPRING
Brighten up your Marsala palette with touches of salmon pink tones. Sangria' from Porters paints [8] is the perfect solution if you can’t commit to dark and moody Marsala walls. Keep your palette neutral with splashes of exciting prints. Try an oversized floral wallpaper for something more feminine, or frame your favourite fabric to create a one of a kind artwork [9].

Image 1 via Michelle Armas / Image 2 via Porters Paints / Image 3 via Amara / Image 4 via Berti / Image 5 via Designer Rugs / Image 6 via South Pacific Fabrics / Image 7 via South Pacific Fabrics / Image 8 via Porters Paints / Image 9 via Signature Prints