We explore smart design elements in the kitchen through the lens of three leading Australian designers.

As a designer, striking a balance between functionality and aesthetic appeal in the kitchen requires an innovative approach. Delving into three case study homes crafted by Australian designers State of KinCHROFI and Molecule Studio, we investigate how designers optimise both function and aesthetics in the kitchen. A common thread among the three designers was the integration of the kitchen appliances into the joinery, achieving a seamless outcome. 

Produced in partnership with Liebherr

Scott Street by State of Kin

This 1940s home in Perth’s Leederville received an upgrade from local multi-disciplinary design studio State of Kin. In the kitchen, State of Kin aimed to enhance the space’s original character while infusing it with smart, user-friendly design elements – fit for a contemporary family. The layout allows for a smooth workflow, with the stove, refrigerator and sink connected in a triangle shape. “It was important to minimise unnecessary steps between these areas,” State of Kin director Ara Salomone says. “Adequate storage space and sufficient lighting were also crucial,” she adds.

State of Kin chose Liebherr’s integrated fridge for their Scott Street project, concealing it behind the kitchen’s rich timber joinery. “Liebherr’s integrated fridge harmonises with the kitchen cabinetry, creating a sleek and uncluttered appearance,” Ara says. “The fridge also has advanced features such as precise temperature control, humidity regulation and efficient LED lighting, which are essential for a well-functioning kitchen.”

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Little Manly House by CHROFI

On Sydney’s harbour, local architecture firm CHROFI designed a home that supports an outdoor-focused family lifestyle. The living spaces, including the kitchen, are positioned to spill out into the garden, with the materials engaging with the natural hues of the coast. The orientation of the space also optimises natural light and ventilation – an intelligent design decision given Sydney’s climate.

To maintain the kitchen’s visual appeal, CHROFI chose Liebherr’s integrated French door fridge, which they have tucked discreetly behind the timber cabinetry. “The fridge essentially becomes invisible in the space, avoiding disruption to the material palette and ensuring the garden remains the focal point,” CHROFI associate Daniel Spence says.

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Darebin House by Molecule Studio

In Melbourne’s Alphington, local architecture studio Molecule have designed an urban sanctuary composed of nature-inspired materials and functional family spaces, including a large spacious kitchen. The studio’s director, Anja de Spa, says that a smart kitchen “responds to the spirit of the home, with a palette that speaks to the client’s unique personality, and functional design elements seamlessly integrated throughout.” For Darebin House, this meant stainless-steel benches with custom built-in sinks and blue-green laminate cabinetry with integrated appliances.

Molecule chose the Liebherr integrated fridge and freezer for its “superior functionality and seamless integration”.  Like State of Kin, the design team considered the space’s workflow, and the side-by-side column configuration of the fridge and freezer, with left hinges on both units, “allows for easy access from the working zone and improved circulation.”

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Darebin House by Molecule Studio | Photography by Derek Swalwell

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