Kitchen Makeover

March 2014 Issue - cover story

The suppliers every contractor should know

[pull_quote_center]Today’s kitchens are more than just a place to cook, it is a reflection of ones personality and a place to relax and entertain[/pull_quote_center]

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In Africa demand for fitted kitchens is growing in leaps and bounds given its fast expanding middle class with disposable income. Fitted kitchen manufacturers who get in on the ground floor will have the first-in advantage and have the opportunity to grow brand recognition and loyalty over the long term. From South Africa to Nigeria and Kenya developers have been putting up well appointed housing estates literally overnight with home prices topping US$1million. Golf courses as part of these estates is becoming the rule rather than the exception which can attest to the changing tastes of todays homebuyers in Africa.

Gone are the kitchen of days past when all that was required was a stove, pantry, fridge and sink. The discerning homemaker today as well as commercial kitchen operator wants style, quality and convenience all wrapped into one. Fitted kitchens address these demands and they are becoming the new standard


One of the suppliers interviewed for this article puts it this way “The contemporary kitchen design today has two strong trends presently; concealment of the functional elements, and secondly the use of ‘furniture’ proportions and details to soften the impact on the space.

In terms of design, hidden kitchens are extremely popular and as such, innovative and highly creative options are becoming more readily available. The cabinetry needs to be desirable and luxurious, and non-specific to the kitchen area with flush cabinetry and minimal handles. This allows for any necessary appliances to be concealed with the use of cleverly designed pocket, bi-fold and coplanar sliding doors for the height of concealment and minimalist styling.

Incorporating functional storage systems such as dividers for use in cutlery drawers and small mezzanine racks will also provide additional storage in cupboard space, keeping the necessary food and kitchenware out of sight. Pull-out rack systems and deep pantry drawers or a simple worktop extension are other avenues to explore creating additional zones in which to relax and replenish, cook without restriction and of course entertain.

Not only designed with cooking in mind, this trend for hidden kitchen design has also reached as far as the concealment of laundry products. Whether that be a large or small appliance the options are endless, playing perfectly to the bespoke requirements so customary these days.


In terms of material, this is what he goes on to say: “A real design advantage comes in the form of unusual or colour surfaces such as mirror/glass and stone/ceramic. This has allowed homeowners to inject small areas of personality and individuality in the design. Rustic timber finishes and textured, three-dimensional veneers also remain a strong choice adding depth to furniture, all the while depicting different shades of colour. Matt lacquers with tactile finishes and interesting veneers are also popular, incorporating textured and highly visual kitchen cabinetry, such as rubberised effect lacquers, steel worktops or matt/gloss glass cabinets.”

So along with cabinets comes quality tiling, sinks lighting and appliances to complete the look. The modern kitchen is no longer simply a utility where one prepares food, it instead speaks of elegant taste, convenience and space for one to not only cook but also entertain.

If you are planning to own a new dream kitchen or remodel your current one, you should take into consideration these various requirements. You should have in mind clearly what purpose you want your kitchen to serve and settle on a design that caters for those needs. This will also enable you decide if you need any additions to your kitchen with a touch of customizable cabinets and countertops being the common ones.

Space and colour

In case you are thinking revamp, functional space is key. You should go for a design that works well for you. Consider carefully where to place various appliances such as the refrigerator, cooker and microwave. The design you settle for should give you enough room to cook, eat and entertain.

A good kitchen design should also give you enough storage space for your pans, utensil and other small appliances. Your kitchen space should also look appealing to your guests and you can simply achieve this by employing clever use of colors which will go a long way in creating a favorable ambience.

You should also consider the cost. Always go for a design that will fit your budget. Engaging a professional kitchen designer if you can find one will help you achieve your desired design which is within you budget.

There are many kitchens layouts which can accommodate any available space. So if you have a small space you need not worry as even a small space can have spacious storage with a nice flow. For instance for small spaces, always think vertical designs and L-shaped or U-shaped kitchen with a large center island for larger layouts. To achieve a design that will see you have enough room to store all your utensils and other small appliances, maximize space by using every square inch of space available.

Several suppliers today offer the best in kitchen fittings and appliances. We take a look at what the industry has to offer you

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