We checked in with Darren Palmer to see what he thought of Kitchen Week on The Block
“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!),” said Darren.
Apartment 1 (Karlie & Will): “Industrial meets Deco”
Striking a perfect balance between modern industrial and Art Deco influence was Karlie and Will’s ‘in-deco’ kitchen.
As Darren explains, “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.
Darren listed some of the other stand out features of this kitchen as including the contrast created between black and timber tones, rough and smooth, light and dark – which added plenty of interest – and the sheer scale of the kitchen, which is luxurious, proving that sometimes more is more.
Plus, “The lighting is considered, functional yet perfectly appropriate for the space,” said Darren.
Apartment 2 (Carleen & Dan): “Bold Contemporary”
Darren sums up this kitchen simply, stating “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.
Other stand out features include floor to ceiling timber-look cabinetry that works to create a sense of presence and drama, with tall panels emphasising the already high ceilings, and an 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.
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,” said Darren.
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.
“The boys have played with colour to great effect. The soft pastel mint green works very well to enliven the whole living/dining space,” said Darren.
“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.
“The fresh white and brass colour scheme feels classic and contemporary all at once. It works perfectly with the overall scheme of this apartment,” said Darren.
“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,” said Darren.
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,” states Darren.
Symmetry and scale work in favour of this kitchen, with huge expanses of benchtop and prep space add weight to the design.
Meanwhile, clean and simple lines without handles make for a slick and contemporary look.
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