Top Tips for Maximising Kitchen Functionality

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Sometimes, the key to a successful kitchen renovation is knowing how to deliver the most efficient and effective kitchen, without compromising on style. According to kitchen designer Gavin Rudd, families don’t always know if there’s a better way to use their kitchen when they’re renovating. Rudd thinks that there are a few important rules that families should be keeping in mind if they want to create a kitchen that’s both fabulous and functional at the same time.

Rediscover the Butler’s Pantry

The butler’s pantry has started to appear more often in the last few seasons of “The Block” in various display homes around the country. These pantries are great for hiding the mess of the kitchen, and they can create a second room for dinner prep too. However, these rooms aren’t always super useful, and they may not be ideal for your kitchen.

Open-plan kitchens are designed to help people socialize with their friends and family while they cook. This means that you could be banishing yourself to a walk-in cupboard when you cook with a butler’s pantry so that you avoid messing up the actual kitchen. Rudd thinks these rooms are best-suited to mansions, not regular homes.

Go Beyond the Golden Triangle

According to Rudd, the working triangle was invented in the 1940s, and although it’s still relevant, there’s a lot of room for improvement. For instance, you can use the space in your kitchen in a host of different ways depending on how many ovens you have, whether you have a dishwasher, and so on. This could mean that you need to disconnect your pantry items and include them in the kitchen space.

For instance, it might be helpful to have spices and oils near the cooktop. Additionally, baking zones could be near the oven, with cups for measuring and spoons. What’s more, cutlery and dinnerware should be stored close to your dishwasher, so you can unpack the dishwasher easier.

Increase Drawer Size

Rudd noted that drawers can be costlier than cupboards, but it’s a good idea to stock up if you can. The party in the kitchen often happens below the benchtop, and drawers are great for using the entire space properly. Rudd says that if you’ve ever worried about overloading drawers, it’s a good idea to keep in mind that drawer runners are often stronger than we think. Stick to durable runners and you’ll be fine.

Create Corner Cupboards

Unless you’re working with a galley-style kitchen, then you might need to contend with the limitations of the corner cupboard. However, kitchen design has evolved to allow for some clever solutions with this storage area. For instance, you can install adjustable shelves that are shallower than the typical cupboard depth which works well for storing items that you don’t use frequently, like slow cookers and food processing tools.

Additionally, Rudd says that if you want to store larger items in your corner unit, then you can try using a lazy Susan carousel or a LeMans corner unit. Both options are great for things that you need to access regularly, like pots and pans.

Find the Right Rangehood and Cooktop

Rangehoods are a common concern in the kitchen, however, people generally don’t know how to use these items correctly. The systems that work well for gas cooking won’t necessarily work properly for an induction top. Additionally, gas cooktops warm up the splashback and nearby cupboards. Induction uses cold cooking, so the surfaces around the induction stay cold when the heat produced by cooking hits the surfaces. Additionally, the rangehood needs rigid ducting to suit gas cooking.

If the motor noise is an issue, then you can consider looking for an under-mount rangehood housed in a sound-proof cupboard, or you can check out a range hood with an external motor if necessary. Additionally, it’s worth turning the fans on a good five minutes before you start cooking to create a vortex of air.


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