• As a chef and Food Director at Hobart’s Grain of the Silos, Massimo Mele has spent plenty of time cooking in different kitchens over the years. Now, having recently renovated his dream family home in Tasmania, Massimo shares his tips for renovating his perfect home kitchen.

    With two young boys who love to help out in the kitchen, Massimo’s kitchen is not only stylish and a dream for home cooks, but is also practical for kids with child safe induction cooktops and wide walkways, whilst being perfect for home entertaining with an open plan and a stunning leafy outlook.

  • Massimo says, “For us, the kitchen and dining area is where we spend most of our time, and this area needed to be functional, comfortable and stylish. I need to credit my talented wife Kristy for so much of the build, she has a great eye for style and knows exactly what works for our family.”

    “I am always happiest when I am in the kitchen and very happy to share the space with friends and family. I think being able to entertain, cook great food and be comfortable is the perfect recipe for success.”

  • Live in the space before renovating

    My number one tip is to live at your property before you renovate, if you can. Living in a space can really help to inform your decisions, and you will get a sense of what will work functionally, where you can put storage and where the best light comes through. Also, keep making changes if you need to. It will only improve the space.

  • Consider an open plan space for entertaining

    If you can, go open plan, you won’t regret it. The space will feel bright, spacious, and look fantastic. We entertain a lot and love having everyone around so having the kitchen and dining room open plan was important. It also makes life easier when feeding our kids as we can be close enough to supervise and keep an eye on the cook top. We’re also able to walk straight on to the deck from the kitchen, so in summer we can set up outside and cater to a bigger crowd.

Go extra on appliances

  • Choose a colour scheme that works for your home and surrounds

    Living by the water, white was always going to feature in our colour scheme as it’s so practical and easier to keep clean which is great with two young boys. But we also wanted some warmer tones to complement the Tasmanian landscape, so we opted for a white, grey and domino colour scheme. Although darker kitchens are thought to be less practical, they look stunning, and our dark cabinetry looks sleek, modern and really makes a statement. The white Caesarstone benchtops are easy to keep clean and can be paired with grey concrete look tiles or limewashed wood beautifully.

  • Create enough space between benchtops and walkways

    We wanted ample space in our walkways (about 1600mm to be exact) so we could move around comfortably as there is usually two of us in the kitchen, plus the kids assisting. It’s especially helpful when the appliances are in use. I’d definitely recommend wide walkways if you have kids or have people over a lot.

You can never have too much storage

  • This is absolutely one of my biggest must-haves when it came to our reno. Deep drawers can be used to hide items that aren’t used every day – use heavy duty sliders on draws to add a practical touch. In the kitchen, we have a large 550mm drawer

  • that is great for storing our small appliances like blenders. Overhead cupboards work well for wine glasses and more precious items. A tall cupboard next to your fridge is great to tuck away bulkier items like a broom, a vacuum and step ladder.

Appliances that make life easier

  • Internal windows as a feature

    To us, it made sense to be able to look through the kitchen and at the front door so you can see when people arrive, so we added a large window above the kitchen sink. I really love the black frames around the window and the open shelving to the right.

  • Little luxuries

    If you can, choose a few things that add a touch of luxury to you home, you live in it every day after all so why not. We have heated flooring which is fantastic for winter in Tasmania. We also opted for two integrated dishwashers (Electrolux RealLife XXL fully integrated dishwasher ESL8530RO). I hate washing up, so the dishwashers are my best friends and saving grace.

Consider which direction the kitchen should face

  • So many old homes have the kitchen at the back of the home with no view, tucked away with no natural light. Like so many others, I am in the kitchen more than any other room, so it needs to have the best aspect in the home. 

  • We’re lucky enough to have a view of the water where we are, and when we were deciding the kitchen layout, we decided to face the kitchen and dining space front on instead of perpendicular to make the most of our beautiful view. Now when we dine, we look at the water.

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