One of the design secrets of this kitchen is an island that glows in the dark


Aesthetically, this kitchen is simply beautiful. However, it hides some intriguing, unique design features that will surprise you, which we reveal below. It’s also been designed to be more than just the perfect family kitchen – there’s an adults-only home bar and tons of hidden storage to keep this busy space looking tidy.

We asked the designer about the kitchen ideas she focused on for this project – and she reveals how to implement them in your own home.

“Customers wanted a unique and beautiful kitchen that would work for them as a family; a kitchen that would be sturdy and work for both adults and family time. This is the client’s forever home, so we had to think about the children growing up and the family developing,” says Alice Hood, senior designer at roundhouse.

“The big range, big ovens and warming drawer are key; The full size fridge and freezer are also essential as the family often eats at different times of the day due to busy schedules and the family’s avid cooks require plenty of storage space for a selection of ingredients when hosting dinners with friends and family.

‘The large island and expansive dining area make for a great host. To the left of the kitchen is a separate utility/back kitchen area that also doubles as a private area to dispose of dirty dishes and glasses when entertaining off-site, and to store freshly laundered sporting gear and gym bags to avoid cluttering the hallway to allow the entrance area is not filled with laundry, coats and bags.

“The kitchen has a lot of hidden storage space, so the area can be cleared quickly and always looks tidy. There is nothing to see that might look messy. A large pantry houses the coffee maker and toaster to avoid clutter. This also works to separate breakfast activities from main cooking.

“The layout of the kitchen defines clear cooking/social/washing up zones to accommodate the whole family.

1. Light up your kitchen island in the evening

Marbled kitchen worktop

(Image credit: Roundhouse)

If you’re looking to base your kitchen design on kitchen island ideas, this one has an intriguing feature: a glow-in-the-dark countertop.

“The client wanted the island to glow. This was a first for Roundhouse and proved very technical. We have specially designed an internal countertop lighting system to create a striking glow in the natural stone. To do this we used plexiglass body sections so the carcass lines are not visible through the stone and this fun item is certainly just one of its kind.’

kitchen worktop

(Image credit: Roundhouse)

2. Use a raised breakfast bar to zone a kitchen island


(Image credit: Roundhouse)

Kitchen countertop ideas don’t end with the illuminated material at the cooking end of the room; A material change to a rich wood has been incorporated into the design and a space-saving breakfast bar for the kids to sit at – or adults when the family is socializing.

“We designed the kitchen with the children’s active lives in mind and so that the common area is away from the cooking zone for safety, leaving space on the island for breakfast while the parents prepare and pack lunch, for example.

“Because the size of the island exceeds the size of the flagstone and joints can look undesirable, we changed the material and height at the seat end of the island to create a design feature with brass legs and eye-catching detailing.”

3. Use awkward spaces for customized storage

wine room

(Image credit: Roundhouse)

The bespoke pearl gold and oak wine room idea arose out of a need to utilize an awkward, underutilized space.

“It’s located in the basement, just a few steps from the kitchen, and is a great example of compact, clever design. Customers had a large wine collection that they wanted easy access to, so this was the perfect place to do it.

“Maximizing capacity and the need to accommodate a range of bottle sizes and crates was key, so I designed a combination of bespoke metal shelving and wooden shelving to allow for the most flexible storage possible. This cool space away from the kitchen heat is a great storage zone and glass panels in the floor of the hallway above give an inviting view of what lies below.’

4. Add a separate adult bar area


(Image credit: Roundhouse)

Home bar ideas are a must in a home where socializing is a regular occurrence – and kitchens designed for entertaining are a trend that isn’t going away anytime soon.

“This is a family home with busy cooks with busy work and family lives and active kids. The broken floor plan living room consists of clear zones that work well together for multiple activities and defined areas that create different moods with the interiors. A second reception room with TV, for example, is located just off the kitchen and offers a chill-out zone separate from the front living room.

“A separate, custom made hanging bar in pearl gold with thatched glass detailing in the parlor was created for cocktail making when the kids are asleep or chatting with friends, balancing an adult area while maintaining the feel of a family home maintain .’

5. Use an antique mirrored backsplash to add depth

Mirrored kitchen splashback

(Image credit: Roundhouse)

For anyone looking for space and light enhancing kitchen splashback ideas, consider: antique mirror glass.

“For many customers, the initial thought of a mirror as a splashback sounds daunting, conjuring up thoughts of constant cleaning and possible unsightly reflections of themselves while cooking. However, using an antique mirror with a tinted background and a patina on the surface helps hide splatters that have yet to be wiped clean and distracts from the direct reflection.

“Instead, lush greenery is brought inside from the garden, sunlight is thrown around and depth is added to the space, all of which help make it feel light and airy – something to watch out for when using such dark cabinets on higher levels used. As with this kitchen, it also proves to be a practical feature in terms of practicality, because you can keep up a conversation with your back or keep an eye on the children.’

6. Integrate an additional sink on the island

kitchen worktop

(Image credit: Roundhouse)

This space proves that kitchen sink ideas can be both part of the design aesthetic and incredibly practical.

“We needed to add a separate sink and beverage faucet to the island so the kids and guests could access chilled sparkling water without getting in the way of the chef.

“The architect had a triangular theme – the back wall of the house is sloping and there are triangular skylights. We’ve revisited this fun kitchen design theme with a custom brass triangular sink, brass detailing on the undercounter cabinets, angular crystals in the countertop and pendant lights.

“The bar area had a sloping ceiling, so again we designed custom bar shelves to emphasize the angles. This theme running through the room seemed like a fun and unique element.’

7. Make the design sustainable

Marble top kitchen

(Image credit: Roundhouse)

Sustainability in design has to be the biggest consideration this decade, and it’s being achieved here in a number of ways.

“Wood elements are FSC registered and sourced from sustainably managed forests and we are part of a tree planting program with The Woodland Trust who puts aside for tomorrow what we withdraw from the environment today. We also used leftover Patagonia quartzite from the kitchen in the bar area to save on waste and extra countertops, and all cabinetry and metalwork was made on site. All of our wood scrap and dust from the extraction system is fed into our biomass boiler, as fuel leading to heating and hot water for the factory – reducing landfill and emissions from transport to waste disposal.

‘The matt lacquered doors have also been designed with durability in mind and can be easily changed in color at the client’s request, although the whole space has been designed to be ‘eternal home’ so considerations for the children’s aging and the high quality, durable equipment and materials. The components used are BLUM’s highest quality (with a lifetime guarantee) and the bodies have solid tops and are glued and screwed which means they will last a very long time.’


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