The Block Kitchens 2023: Deep dive into functionality

The Block Kitchens 2023: Deep dive into functionality

The Block 2023 has certainly entertained us with some stunning kitchen reveals. It’s the episode we’ve all been busting to see … why? Because kitchens sell homes!

With that in mind, it’s important to analyse all the features in each kitchen, butler’s pantry, and laundry. So, let’s take a deep dive into all the design highlights and a few functionality flaws.

1st Place: House 5 Eliza & Liberty (30/30) cost $23,669

The island bench that stole our hearts! A generous bench is always a winner, and this one certainly claimed the lead with its’ 4-metre expanse, in soft grey stone. Meal preparation in this kitchen would be a full family affair!

The design creates interest with the overhanging edge, allowing for seating on two sides, which is perfect for entertaining. However, a bench of this size, in a large family home, should be able to accommodate more than 3 stools.

This was by far the most functional and well-designed kitchen. The girls chose cabinetry in Oyster Grey Matt and Walnut Woodmatt to compliment the benchtop. Stealing the show is the bold orange Smeg appliance, complimented with the well-placed bowl of oranges! This is a safer way to introduce something colourful, as it is easily replaced if a potential buyer wasn’t quite so passionate. A functional work zone from oven to bench to sink has been designed well, and this functionality extends seamlessly through to the butlers’ pantry and laundry.

As Shaynna Blaze stated, “there is storage for days.” The well-thought-out plan includes large pot drawers, pull-out pantry cupboard (although the glass panels could be a cleaning challenge) and of course that bonus linen cupboard in the laundry! Everything from tablecloths to dry goods is all within arm’s reach.

This luxury kitchen claimed its place as the heart of the family home.

House 3: Kristy & Brett (28.5/30) cost- $29,878

All white with a statement stone. A compact design with classic white satin cabinetry, the island bench is the hero in this kitchen. or is it the villain? Although the all-white kitchen will have a wider market appeal, the benchtop may be a deal breaker or maker come auction day.

The bench design is well proportioned with a double sink position nicely on the left, allowing for meal prep area. The white boucle stools were not the best choice in a kitchen, especially with kids in the house. The butler’s pantry got the thumbs-up from the judges, with its functional layout and great storage. However, with more meal prep space than the main kitchen, the cook may find themselves hidden away from the action.

As for the laundry, functional but tight, particularly on bench space. Those over-flowing washing baskets must go somewhere before they hit the washing machine!

Appliances seemed to dominant this design, with excessive wall stackers and a double wine fridge, there is a missed opportunity for more practical storage in the main kitchen. It seems too many luxury appliances may have cost them more than big bikkies!

House 1: Kyle & Leslie (25/30) cost $33,740

Curves are cool… but costly. Take out the honours for most expensive kitchen renovation this year, Kyle and Leslie have continued with their curvaceous style.
The feature curve benchtop, with oak woodgrain, is most definitely on trend, however it costs a lot more to achieve. Storage was well organised with pull-out bins near the sink and large pot drawers near the cooktop. The all-white colour and pale oak scheme will appeal to a broader audience, yet once again, the appliances seem excessive in the kitchen space.

Although the laundry space felt somewhat tight, it did have smart storage solutions. Neale was loving the ‘utilities cupboard’ that stored the vacuum.

The over-all design of the kitchen may have worked better, had they scrapped the butler’s pantry in favour of a larger kitchen, with a door opening to the outside area.

House 2: Leah & Ash (23.5/30) cost $22,083

Sophisticated or socially awkward? A darker design with Ziato Metallic and Botegga Oak woodmatt, this kitchen is a nice contrast to the adjoined vibrant living spaces.
However, the layout is small, and the dark cabinetry can make it feel smaller.

The island bench is beautifully executed with complimentary pink marble tiles, yet having a sink in a small bench is not very practical.

Once again, the need for a butler’s pantry has compromised the functionality of a family kitchen. The space may have been better utilised with a wall pantry and a larger island bench to seat family and friends.

House 4: Steph & Gian 922/30) cost $22,381

You can’t out-design functionality. On first impression this space is simply beautiful. But dig a little deeper and fault lines start show.

Making the bold move to ditch the rangehood and switch the sink for an island bench cooktop with reverse exhaust, cost them a win. The judges pointed out plenty of functionality issues with this design – no one wants salmon fat splattered over their shirt whilst they sit at the bench.

The cabinetry is done in a soft maple woodmatt, a perfect match to the stone benches and splashback, and wall lights are placed where a rangehood may otherwise have been.

In this design the butler’s pantry is nicely positioned behind the main kitchen, which looks slick but is it smart?

As the judges pointed out, most of the storage is now away from the main cook area. The large pots and pans, along with plates are all stored here. Although it is beautiful designed and well organised, all the functionality is happening in the butler’s pantry and very little in the kitchen.

The laundry space is well designed with impressive bench space and storage, along with access to the outside.

It’s clear that functionality and market appeal play significant roles in the success of a kitchen design. These insights from The Block Kitchen Reveal provide valuable lessons, and a good understanding of what works and what doesn’t in the heart of the home.

We specialise in helping renovators get the look they want for a lot less. Like this Kitchen Shack clients kitchen featured for less than $15,000!!! It’s no wonder Melbournians are working with our experienced Kitchen Shack designers where we offer free in-store design and quotes at Lowest Prices Guaranteed*. Start your kitchen renovation today!