December 7, 2023

If Money Were No Object – Features & Materials To Elevate Your Kitchen

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If you were expecting an article about gold refrigerators encrusted with Swarovski Crystals (yes, it’s a real thing), you’re sadly mistaken. Rather, we’d like to introduce to you the features, materials, and products we’d recommend and endorse if budgets were of no concern and you were just after a better kitchen. Some of these recommendations are purely for aesthetic reasons, others are for more practical purposes.


Give Me Curves

Curves in kitchens are a cabinetmaker’s nightmare (don’t worry, Dan Kitchens love a challenge), but for homeowners, they represent a new wave of styling cues that soften the overall appearance of an interior, often in playful and nostalgic ways. Doors, rangehood shrouds, benchtops and stone drop-ends are the typical elements given the curved treatment. Unfortunately, the fabrication of these elements takes a lot of expertise and time by skilled cabinetmakers and stone masons, resulting in hefty price tags.

Curved rangehood cabinet

Curved features tend to be included judiciously, however in higher budgets, they can be more readily utilised, resulting in truly unique kitchen spaces that buck the trend of rectilinear sharp edges and straight lines. Curved panels can be plain and smooth, but to add more detail shaker profiles, grooves, fluting, reeding and many other profiles can be used.

Curved and round features in this kitchen

Light Up My Kitchen With LED Strip Lights 

Let’s be sensible here, we’re not talking about the DIY variety RGB strip lights you buy from Amazon. Premium strip lights are built into the joinery and often have smart sensors connected to them. LED strip lights can add a real sense of luxury and drama throughout the kitchen, often in places you wouldn’t think about.

LED Strip lights in floating shelves Mosman 3 Kitchen

Typical applications include task lighting under wall cabinets and accent lighting in kickboards and above cabinets near the ceiling. For something unique and luxurious, specify strip lights inside cabinets, at the back of drawers, on floating shelves (great for bar areas) and on shelves inside display cabinets.

LED strip lights in the kickboard Newport Kitchen

Motorise It

There’s something magical about touching a drawer and watching it glide open. It’s certainly playful, and guests like to discover how the drawers are opened without handles (kids and adults alike). 

There is a practical application to motorised drawers too; some drawers are quite heavy (plate drawers for instance) and it’s handy having the assistance of the servo; and adding them to bin drawers is very convenient when you’ve got “chicken fingers”, as you can open the drawer with the touch of your knee.

Motorised Drawers and internal LED strip lighting DKA Showroom

For the tech-savvy homeowner, other features that can be motorised include pop-up televisions, raisable and shiftable benchtops, lift-up wall cabinet doors and knock-to-open fridges, dishwashers and ovens.

The Scullery

Pantry, butler’s pantry, call it what you will, the scullery is essentially a second kitchen that is out of site, usually behind a sliding door or around the corner from the kitchen. It’s a space that typically is allowed to be messy; where you leave your benchtop appliances out; where you make your coffee and breakfast with open cabinets and shelves for easy access.

Kitchen with opening to a beautiful scullery Double Bay Kitchen

Choosing a Scullery isn’t for everyone. Firstly, there’s the space issue, because many can be almost as big as the kitchen, and this means that the space may not be available. Secondly, there’s the price tag, which is anywhere from ½ to the complete cost of a kitchen. Sculleries are most appealing to homeowners who do a lot of cooking or entertaining.

Scullery with open shelves and benchtop appliances Mosman 3 Kitchen


Natural Stone

The beauty of natural stone cannot be understated. Unlike man-made stone and porcelain, every stone slab is unique, having been made by Mother Nature over millions of years. It has a lustre and liveliness that other benchtop materials have been unable to match. Yes, many natural stones are hard to care for, and yes, the slabs are often smaller than the man-made stones/porcelains, so it has its genuine drawbacks.

Natural stone Calacatta marble Turramurra Kitchen

Natural stone prices can start quite low, but they can reach lofty heights when demand, rarity and quality are at play (much like the diamond market). Once the stone has been fabricated into benchtops and splashbacks, the priciest stone slabs can easily form the largest cost in a kitchen installation.

Timber Veneer Island in American Oak Randwick Kitchen

Timber Materials

There’s a reason why timber is one of the most replicated materials in the kitchen. In its natural form, timber is exceptionally beautiful. We are drawn to it, with its unique character, subtle texture and warm hues. Most of the natural timber you see in doors and panels of today’s kitchens comprise timber veneer – thin layers of timber that are laid out on a timber substrate.

Timber veneer doors natural stone motorised drawers and LED striplighting Millers Point Kitchen

Timber veneer can be cut and laid in different ways to create a distinctive appearance (quarter-cut, crown-cut, random-matched etc). In Australia, we are blessed with a great variety of native hardwood timbers, also with good access to popular overseas varieties like American Oak and Walnut. 

The rising cost of natural timber products has seen a decrease in its use in the kitchen (gone are the days of solid timber doors being ubiquitous) and a booming demand for products that imitate it. Like natural stone, often the thing being imitated becomes more coveted, and timber is no different.


With a potential ban on engineered stone sales looming over the horizon (from the perspective of early December 2023), many customers have asked what they could use instead. If it weren’t for the durability and stock issues of natural stone, that would be our clear number-one pick. 

Porcelain benchtop and splashback Northmead Kitchen

Porcelain has a few major advantages over engineered stone and natural stone; it’s more durable; it comes in larger slab sizes; it comes in a wider range of thicknesses; and for matching and fabrication purposes it’s more colour and design-consistent. 

It is more expensive than most engineered stones and comparatively expensive to many natural stones. What many designers like is the ability to use porcelain as door and drawer fronts, creating a really exceptional aesthetic.

Invest In The Best With Dan Kitchens

In a world where budgetary constraints don’t exist, each of these features and materials could be included to create your dream kitchen in an instant. From the elegance of curved features that defy convention to the captivating allure of LED strip lights illuminating every corner, the possibilities are endless. Unfortunately, the reality is that each of these inclusions is dictated by price, and we’re not all blessed with pockets so deep. 

However, you may be able to select one of these luxurious features or materials to integrate into your kitchen, perhaps one that resonates most with your individual taste. At Dan Kitchens, we understand that your vision for the perfect kitchen knows no bounds, so why settle for anything less than the best on that one inclusion? Find that one special piece, and allow the experienced team at Dan Kitchens to elevate your culinary space with a sense of everyday luxury.