“The hub of the home is the kitchen and good or bad design can make or break a house.”
Have you ever carried a pot of cooked pasta in boiling water from the stove, around the island bench, past the dishwasher, and over to the sink where you drain it in a colander before making the same treacherous journey back to the stovetop. If you have ever lived in a design like this and have nearly burnt yourself, your children or your cat in the cooking process there is a good chance that your kitchen has not been designed by a professional and there is also a good chance that this will drive you bonkers every day for the rest of your life.
Good design is paramount to the flow of a home and the ease of use in high traffic areas, but good design takes thought and it takes planning.
This is why it is a smart idea to get professional help when designing a new home or renovating an old one and that’s where someone like interior designer, Carmen Hansberry comes into the picture.
Carmen Hansberry is the founder of Carmen Hansberry Designs, an interior design firm specialising in kitchen design. While they do specialise in kitchens CHD can also follow their design style and eye for detail throughout the rest of the house. “We can also do bathrooms, cabinetry, colours, prestart help, new builds, whatever the client wants. We aim to help general renovators or owner builders,” Carmen tells us.
Carmen is a fully qualified interior designer who has been in the industry for approximately 15 years. She has won in excess of 30 awards, including twice winning “Kitchen designer of the year” at the prestigious HIA (Housing Industry Association) awards.
Carmen’s signature look for homes and kitchens is the ‘Hamptons’ style which is becoming more and more popular in Western Australia. This style is modern, light and bright with a breezy, beachy feel similar to the Hamptons holiday area just above New York City in the USA. “This look incorporates clean lines, weatherboard, flat cupboards and bench tops,” Carmen explains “It has been popular in Canada and the US for a while but is starting to appear more and more in homes in Perth and WA. Display homes have been incorporating this look for a while. It is a style that won’t date”
Carmen Hansberry Designs is based in Applecross but Carmen will happily travel all over Perth to meet her clients and building companies. She also attends design shows interstate and overseas.
There is great value in using a designer as they work out the best way to maximise your space and determine how to obtain ease of use in the home. For example, Carmen states that it is very important to think about things like the proximity of the sink to the dishwasher, to the fridge, to the oven. It is also good to think about whether you want to incorporate an island bench or is it more of a galley style kitchen. “Kitchens are essentially boxes,” Carmen says, “and we just need to work out how to use that space to the best of its ability.”
Before enlisting professional help, whether you are renovating or building brand new, it is best to have a plan and to think about a few things first; what sort of look do you want throughout your home, what is the colour palette like? In terms of the kitchen, do you want a wall oven or an under-bench oven? Which appliances do you definitely need, how often and how many people will be using the space? It is also important to know your budget as that can make a difference to the appliances chosen, the bench tops used etc.
We asked Carmen what the latest trends in kitchens are and she said that muted and natural colour schemes are in, clean lines, light and bright designs, tiling in a chevron or railroad pattern, wooden floors and features like soft close hinges on cupboard doors and drawer runners for ease of use.
Another trend which is popular, particularly in high end homes is a wet kitchen or “scullery” which is a second kitchen predominantly used for preparation and clean up. This is often tucked away out of site somewhere behind the display kitchen. Carmen tells us that they can be as small as a walk in pantry with a bench containing some appliances or they can be a second full kitchen with sinks, cooktops, range hoods and bench-space.
A lot of homes are now open plan so the kitchen does set the tone for the rest of the house. A lot of socialising and work is done in the kitchen these days. It really is the heart of the home.
Carmen speaks about her job with an infectious energy and clearly has a passion for her work. She tells us that her industry can involve long hours and sometimes she works 7 days a week but she loves what she does. “I live vicariously through my clients.” She says. “I could talk about kitchens all day,” she finishes with a smile.
Please see below for a gallery of some of Carmen’s work:
You can check out more of Carmen’s work through her facebook page here: Carmen Hansberry Design
Carmen’s contact number is 0417 889 517 if you are interested in talking design or kitchens.