Having watched the latest living / dining reveals on The Block, and seeing the reactions of both the judges and the audience, it got us thinking – is there such a thing as a kitchen that’s too big?

On the show, Jimmy and Tam’s compact living area was deemed a “fail”. Noting that it was the main living zone of a large family home, the judges slammed them for the smallness of the space and the impracticality of not including a dining table.

On social media, it wasn’t just House 5 copping criticism. According to the show’s most avid viewers, only Harry and Tash from House 1 managed to create a space that would suit family life.

So… where did the teams go wrong? And what lessons can you apply to your own renovations?


What you Need v What you want


One of the biggest mistakes people make when planning a kitchen redesign is falling for the fantasy of everything that they could have. However, cool design features and an impressive array of appliances are only worth it if you’re going to use them. And, unless you’re regularly entertaining large groups, you probably don’t need four ovens or an oversized island bench.

This is a trap that most of the teams on The Block fell into. Jimmy and Tam are the most obvious example of this, choosing to cram in all of the Gaggenau appliances they won, rather than thinking about how their buyer would actually live and using a smaller selection of the most suitable appliances. As a result, their kitchen ended up much larger than it needed to be, and their living space suffered.

With all of this in mind, the best thing you can do when beginning to plan your new kitchen is to think about what you actually need. How do you and your family currently use your kitchen space and what changes and inclusions would make the most difference to how you live? Using this as the basis for your design will help you make sure that the space is both beautiful and practical.


It’s all about the proportions


The other major issue we saw on The Block was a lack of balance between the kitchen and living / dining spaces. Most of the houses featured expansive, fully stocked entertainer’s kitchens, but only enough room for a handful of guests to sit and relax. In effect, this meant that the kitchens could cater for far more people than the homes could ever hold.

Once again, this problem can be easily avoided by spending some time thinking about what you require from the space and how it will most often be used. Being clear about the kitchen “capacity” you need will help make sure you’re efficiently using both your space and your renovation budget. It should also assist you to see the bigger picture and consider how your kitchen will work with the surrounding areas.


Consider consulting a professional


As professional kitchen designers, we understand how hard it can be to get the size of the space just right. Unless you’re working within an existing footprint, there will always be some negotiation as you consider what else you might bring into the design. This is where we can really help, working with you to determine what you really need and what’s a nice to have.

At Zesta Kitchens, we’re experts in helping renovators understand how they want to live in their updated space and planning the scale of their kitchen (and the surrounding areas) accordingly. So, if you’re planning a renovation and need some advice on the right size for you, our expert team is here to help. Contact us today to book your free design consultation.