With the rise of cooking shows, couples are renovating existing kitchens to suit their dual cooking needs

There’s a new trend emerging for interiors, where foodie couples are demanding their own individual space for cooking.

Darren James Designs has completed its first dual kitchen design in Draper, north-west of Brisbane, for young culinary pros Gemma Newall and Jacob Maher.

Darren James of Darren James Designs says the kitchen renovation took three months and the young couple are very happy with the results.

“The young couple spend a lot of time in the kitchen, they simply love to cook and love to cook together. So this kitchen was all about them and their cooking style,” James says.

James says it is becoming a more popular design choice in kitchens, with every design being individual and unique to each client.

“I definitely think cooking shows are getting more people into the kitchen, seeing more appliances added to the kitchen and having people wanting more space,” he says.

James says a lot of planning went into how they cook and work in the space and the fact they love to cook together meant they included a large peninsular with dual prep areas which mirror each other.

He explains both dual prep areas house custom made butchers block in pull out drawers directly below the wet deck as well as a full utility station for knives, spices and oils housed in an electronic pop up lift unit.

James says there are plenty of appliances in the dual kitchen, including a large gas cooktop hob in the island, ovens on the perimeter wall, and a built in deep fryer and teppanyaki plate in the scullery.

Culinary couple Gemma Newall and Jacob Maher say they had quite an old and small kitchen before and since the renovations they have loved the dual workspace, as it is really useful and provide plenty of space to cook together without getting in each other’s way.

Newall says they both thoroughly enjoy the cooking shows on television, watching both My Kitchen Rules and Masterchef to name a few.

“We like to see what other people are doing and what they consider to be good food. We are really interested in all those shows,” she says.

However, unlike the competitions seen on screen Newall says the couple are more collaborative then competitive in their dual kitchen.

“Usually when we’re cooking together it’s because we’re cooking a meal for people so it’s definitely more of a collaborative effort than something that’s competitive,” she says.

Newall says it’s difficult to pick a favourite part of the design, because there are so many aspects that they really love. She lists the dual aspect, the great amount of space and their numerous appliances, like their three ovens, as some of the favourable parts of the design.

“Having the space is really nice and the design was definitely organised around multiple people being able to use the kitchen at one time… so far we’ve had about four people cooking in the kitchen and that works still, so that’s good,” Newall says.

  • Angled marble cladding on the peninsular softens and lightens the heaviness of such a large prominent feature
  • Corian benchtops are mitred with the marble on the peninsular to allow for a seamless flow between the two surfaces
  • Dual routed wet deck(s) in Corian benchtop (peninsular)
  • Dual hidden/concealed lift up utility stations with custom made stainless steel inserts to house the knives, spices, condiments and the like
  • Dual custom made butchers blocks housed behind marble fascia drawer front
  • Solid cedar timber stack panel stained in half walnut adds to the natural textural layers and creates a warm and inviting space for the office nook.
  • Led strip lighting incorporated randomly in the stack panel creates mood and ambient lighting
  • Separate dry area / open pantry stores cooking items
  • Separate/additional cooking zone including teppanyaki plate and deep fryer housed in open pantry
  • The pop of green ‘avocado’ tiles brings the outside in and compliments the stunning view of the rolling hills of Brisbane’s Samford valley
  • The custom designed/made stainless steel and cedar shelf racking compliments the semi- commercial feel of the kitchen the clients desired
  • All overhead cupboards fitted with Electronic Opening Servo drive from Blum
  • A modest home office
  • The original space included two separate areas with a wall diving the kitchen and bedroom which was positioned on an upper entry level of the home. To make way for the new pantry and study the wall was opened up and the floor was dropped down to the kitchen level.
  • We therefore found the extra space by appropriating a bedroom that sat a few steps higher. Ceilings were aligned and new flooring was laid to match the existing kitchen floor.
  • The timber floors throughout
  • The ceiling (of the old/existing bedroom) was dropped to the new height required

Would you consider a dual kitchen design?