Darren Palmer’s thoughts on Freedom Kitchens revealed on The Block

Darren Palmer's thoughts on Freedom Kitchens revealed on The Block

17 October 2016:

Kitchen Week is one of my favourites on the show and this series’ Freedom Kitchens were no exception. The level of creativity blew me away (the two winning kitchens scored a perfect score of 30 out of 30!) and here I explore each couple’s kitchen and list out my favourite elements.


Apartment 1 – Karlie & Will: “Industrial meets Deco”

The pairs ‘In-deco’ kitchen design strikes a perfect balance between modern industrial with influences of Art Deco. This kitchen blew myself and my fellow judges away which is why we scored it a perfect 30 out of 30!

A feature blockout in Rural Oak frames the cabinetry. The living and cooking spaces are visually linked with the introduction of a timber-look table in Natural Halifax Oak, a new addition to the Freedom Kitchen range that beautifully replicates the appearance and texture of solid oak.

The duo have used a modern palette of white, black and timber to stunning effect, with the introduction of the brand new Cosmopolitan White™ benchtop from Caesarstone® adding another standout feature.

A display enclave in the kitchen island, sleek NEFF appliances and a butler’s pantry, featuring open shelving, complete the look.


Standout design features:

• Deep and dark, this kitchen is a big departure from the traditional idea of a fresh white kitchen – proving that, sometimes, the best kitchen design can exist outside of your comfort-zone.

• Contrast is created between black and timber tones, rough and smooth, light and dark – adding plenty of interest.

• The sheer scale of the kitchen, from butler’s pantry to outdoor area, is luxurious – sometimes more is more.

• The lighting is considered, functional yet perfectly appropriate for the space.



Apartment 2 – Carleen & Dan: “Bold Contemporary”

Carleen and Dan have created a bold and luxurious kitchen that pays homage to the beautiful Art Deco building it is part of.

Cherry Riftwood cabinetry has been used on the back run of the kitchen and is continued all the way through to the butler’s pantry adding ‘wow’ with its warmth and texture. Cabinetry in Iceland White Satin on the island bench contrasts with the timber tones. Further drama comes from the inclusion
of Caesarstone® benchtops in White Attica™ – a new marble-look design featuring a clean white base with dense, dark grey interwoven veins.

Integrated appliances by Bosch, a display nook within the island bench, and heavy use of touch catch cabinetry throughout, further enhances the modern and sleek design.


Standout design Features:

• Floor to ceiling timber-look cabinetry works to create a sense of presence and drama, with tall panels emphasising the already high ceilings

• The island bench in one of Caesarstone’s new designs, White Attica™, feels like the control tower of the whole living space due to its size and in-built functionality

• The butler’s pantry, whilst adding an area to keep mess hidden from sight, still feels very connected to the main kitchen area due to the omission of the door. This open feeling compromises nothing in terms of keeping things neat and tidy yet gains a sense of space.

• Feature lighting adds a touch of period style to an otherwise very modern kitchen.



Apartment 3 – Andy & Ben: “Modern with a Twist”

The boys have created a modern kitchen with an Art Deco twist, fitting the heritage of the building.

Colour and texture have been used in interesting and refreshing ways to celebrate Art Deco whilst keeping clean contemporary lines. Top cabinets in Black Riven are offset to create interest and play on the Deco style. Paired with Newbury Baye and Bayleaf to create a fresh colour palette.

An entertainer’s dream, the design features ample storage throughout both the kitchen and sizable butler’s pantry. Using chic NEFF appliances and stunning Caesarstone® Fresh Concrete benchtops.


Standout design features:

• Never afraid to take a risk, the boys have played with colour to great effect. The soft pastel mint green works very well to enliven the whole living/dining space

• Another giant island bench in Caesarstone® Fresh Concrete takes pride-of-place in this kitchen

• The area available to contestants in this season of The Block is more than most home owners get to work with, but the planning is just as important as when creating smaller kitchens

• The kitchen features ample drawers and storage, a must-have for any modern kitchen.



Apartment 4 – Julia & Sasha “Hollywood Glamour”

Oozing luxury and glamour, this kitchen is a modern take on the traditional Shaker style. Featuring stunning Gaggenau appliances throughout, Caesarstone® Statuario Maximus™ benchtops, and splashback and Shaker style cabinetry in matte white and black; this is a kitchen that demands attention.

A metallic sink and new Bright Brass cornet handles add luxury to the timeless design and the butler’s pantry offers generous storage, open shelving, coffee machine and integrated dishwasher.


Standout design features:

• The fresh white and brass colour scheme feels classic and contemporary all at once. It works perfectly with the overall scheme of this apartment

• Stunning marble-look Caesarstone®​ Statuario Maximus™ benchtops and splashback complement the style of the space

• Handles serve as jewellery to the cabinets, elevating them to something even more elegant and contemporary

• The Gaggenau downdraft is a luxury inclusion that removes the need for a rangehood and creates extra design buzz around an already highly specced array of appliances.



Apartment 5 – Kim & Chris ‘Blue Steel’

Featuring bold blue tones and a Bluetooth sound system, which turns the cabinetry into speakers, Kim & Chris have created the ultimate modern entertainer’s kitchen.

By pairing Alaskan Gloss cabinetry in Royal Oyster with Flair Deep Sea top cabinetry and Caesarstone®​ Alpine Mist™ benchtops, this kitchen is both slick and functional. It also boasts Siemens appliances, the biggest butler’s pantry on The Block and a plethora of cupboards and drawers. This is a kitchen that appeals to those who love a sleek and modern design.


Standout design features:

• Symmetry and scale work in favour of this kitchen. Huge expanses of benchtop and prep space add weight to the design

• Clean and simple lines without handles make for a slick and contemporary look

• A bold use of Colour creates extra designer flair and is beautifully matched with Caesarstone®​ Alpine Mist™ benchtops.


For more information, visit Freedom Kitchens

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