Expert Kitchen Design Tips from Shaynna Blaze


Shaynna Blaze is  a high-profile Australian television personality known for her work as a Judge on ‘The Block’ and Co-host on ‘Selling Houses Australia’. An interior Designer and Ambassador for Taubmans, Shaynna recently renovated her kitchen and exclusively provided Stylehunter Collective with expert kitchen design tips. I asked Shaynna some questions designed to help YOU plan or renovate your own kitchen.

Caption Design with Colour and Style by Shaynna Blaze, published by Viking, rrp $39.99 (high res)

What were your top three ‘must-haves’ in designing a new kitchen?

A good layout – its important that your kitchen flows the way you cook and entertain so you need to be aware of all the appliances and functions you want the kitchen to perform. I never want to do more than 2 steps for each action when cooking.

Low maintenance surfaces – its hard enough cleaning up all the dishes without worrying about trying to keep the cupboards and benches clean. Look at the type of cooking you do to work out the best type of surfaces. For example if you do a lot of frying on the cooktop a mirrored splashback is not for you.

The biggest fridge possible – having a wide fridge to hold serving platters and large shopping trips for my family is the key to keeping us fed.

expert kitchen design tips

How did you arrive at the colour scheme?

This is an 1880 Victorian house so it need to be sympathetic to the style but still feel modern. The white in the island bench worked with the traditional features while the steely grey on the back cabinets not only added a modern touch but helped work in with the appliances, so as not to make them stand out too much.

expert kitchen design tips

What is your favourite feature of your new kitchen?

The huge oversized island bench. This kitchen will be taking on a lot of entertaining and food preparation so its 1500mm depth means I can fill the bench with food while still room to eat and entertain.

Please tells us a little about the surfaces you chose – benchtops, cupboards, flooring, splashback – what are they and why did you choose them?

I went for white composite stone on the benchtops as I wanted it to be bright and work with the existing white traditional features in the existing interior. The splashback had to be serviceable and reflective to catch light so the slub mirror tiles are perfect to hide a multitude of sins and putting them in a herringbone pattern gives it a modern twist to a period style. I had two styles of cupboards in the kitchen with the colonial panels in the island bench as a feature. I kept the back cupboards as flat panels as feature panels everywhere would have been overwhelming. The floorboards are the original Baltic pine and even if I’m not a fan of the yellow tone it throws I love the contrast of the aged and dented boards against the shiny modern appliances.

expert kitchen design tips

Is there any advice you’d like to give readers who are thinking about a new kitchen?

I always ask clients to work out if they are a cook, a chef or an entertainer. This is the perfect starting point to work out the type of layout, the size fridge and the type of appliances you will need. Always focus on this point before getting to colours and surfaces. Of course it needs to look good but mostly it needs to let you cook or entertain effortlessly.

Thank you so much Shaynna. I hope you enjoyed reading expert kitchen design tips to help you with your plans. You might also like to read about Navy & Wood interiors, bringing a Touch of Autumn to your home, and also my Two Part series from Oprah’s own de-clutter guru, Peter Walsh.


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