Kitchen Design from Kishani Perera
August 6, 2013
Interior DesignAdviceKitchen
In my mind, the saying "you eat with your eyes" couldn't be more true. Though there's no real logic behind this thought, I fully believe that a meal tastes infinitely better when prepared within a well designed space. Perhaps it's just my inner design nerd emerging, but I'll stand by that fact until the end! With this in mind, we recently turned to interior designer extraordinaire, Kishani Perera, to learn all about how she tackles kitchens. Chefs unite as your meals are about to become a whole lot tastier. For more interior inspiration, be sure to check out her fantastic book: Vintage Remix. 
SMP: Your favourite kitchen you’ve ever designed?

KP: I am actually working on it now! It’s a very high end property, so we were allowed the luxury of being able to select some very special (ie: super pricey) tiles, stones and appliances. The overall look is really unlike anything I’ve ever seen! We found exquisite hand cut mosaic tiles for the backsplash that were Moorish inspired, but completely made out of marble mosaics, we specified a very unusual marble material for the island that looks like a matte brown leather, and mixed with a beautiful Calacutta for the surrounding counters. The cabinet design is also quite intricate, and mixed with decorative mesh from the UK and an antiqued glass. It’s fresh and modern with a vintage feel, and has a generally quite chic look!
SMP: Any tips on personalizing a kitchen in a rental home?

KP: In rental kitchens I take the time to swap out the usually bland light fixtures for ones that I purchase myself. When moving, the originals can easily be replaced. Additionally, I replace the cabinet hardware for more personalized ones, and of course, paint. Paint is really the quickest, easiest way to give a rental kitchen a bit of charm without breaking the bank.
SMP: If you were to splurge on one item in your kitchen design, what would it be?

KP: I advise clients to purchase nice appliances, quality is always a good investment!

SMP: Fact or fiction: the kitchen “work triangle” is essential to good kitchen design?

KP: Fact, the work triangle is quite a practical arrangement for kitchen planning.
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1. Since the kitchen should exude cleanliness and order, along with design, invest time in creating both functional and beautiful storage solutions. From fun cabinet and drawer liners, to great racks and shelves, kitchens should be cute yet feel organized and well kept.

2. If you are redoing a kitchen, I tend to favor slightly more traditional and classic surfaces like carrara and calacutta marbles. You can add color and whimsy by painting the walls or cabinets in vibrant hues – but if you tire of them, it’s easy to change the look with a fresh coat of paint (rather than having to rip out countertops & backsplash).

3. As with bathrooms, infuse kitchens with interesting textiles and floor coverings to add color and texture. I love to use vintage rugs and non-traditional towels. I also love to find beautiful cabinet hardware.

4. Don’t forget to accessorize! You can display your favorite cookbooks, and canisters in a way that is artful AND functional. Often times, I find that people are afraid to accessorize their kitchens because they don’t want clutter – but a few knickknacks here & there never hurt.

5. Bring the outside in. there are somewhat limited opportunities to add warmth to kitchens, but plants, or even small pots filled with organic herbs, can add that much needed warmth to your space.


Interior Design: Kishani Perera | Photography: Jean Randazzo & Troy House