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Add casual coastal chic to your cooking space with these 5 tips from renovation experts Kyal and Kara, inspired by their own kitchen design

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With its warm, weathered tones and touch-me textures, the kitchen in Kyal and Kara’s Blue Lagoon home is the embodiment of ‘barefoot luxury’. “This look compliments the Australian landscape beautifully, and particularly suits open-plan homes that are all about indoor-outdoor living.” Inspired? Kara reveals the five elements you’ll need to create the look.

1. Choose a soft, sandy palette 

A modern coastal kitchen calls for a layered palette of gentle, sandy hues: “Rather than injecting colour into this kitchen, we layered different textures using a simple palette of cream, tan and beige tones to make it feel warm and inviting,” says Kara.

“Our starting point was a beautiful oak floor, which we paired with a Dekton®  Taga benchtop that played on its warm, earthy tones while introducing pattern,” she says.

2. Opt for hard-wearing surfaces

While natural stone is undeniably beautiful, contemporary finishes can be a smarter option, giving you the looks and toughness, without the headaches. “We love the striations and depth in natural stone, but given this is our family home we didn’t want to worry about stains and marks,” says Kara. “We chose Dekton® surfaces for their durability, resistance to stains and the fact they are completely no-maintenance.”

3. Add natural textures

Tactile natural materials, such as timber, leather and woven rattan are essential to this aesthetic, says Kara. “They add warmth and texture to make a space feel welcoming – which is particularly important to Australians as we spend so much time entertaining here.” Introduce it with open timber shelves, woven-fibre pendants, leather handles and warm oak flooring.

4. Introduce luxe touches

Never underestimate the impact of those carefully considered little touches, says Kara. “For us, the kitchen has always been the gathering place for friends and family. We wanted this kitchen island to feel like a grand piece of furniture where memories could be made, so we specified a luxurious, extra-thick benchtop.”

5. Consider adjoining spaces

“Remember – creating flow in a space doesn’t just come down to layout, but ensuring that material choices between the spaces flow too,” says Kara. The colours and materials in an open-plan kitchen/living/dining room don’t need to match, but should have a sense of cohesion.

In Kara and Kyal’s living room, for example, they chose Dekton® Liquid Shell by Cosentino for the bench seats to harmonise with the Dekton® Taga by Cosentino in the adjacent kitchen.

You can view more pictures of Kyal and Kara’s home, Blue Lagoon, or check out their eight-episode miniseries for the full journey of the design and build.


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Nothing beats colour for adding personality and interest to a kitchen – two interior designers reveal how to get it right and the common mistakes to avoid