top 20 kitchen design features as voted for by our customers!

designing a kitchen, need some ideas – well then check out what our customers regarded as the very best kitchen design features in their surreal kitchen. over the past couple of weeks, surreal customers have been voting for their favourite kitchen features. check out the results now and if you know anyone planning a kitchen, why not direct them to this page – they might find it a great help.

we asked our customers – what do you love most about your kitchen – it could be anything from a large feature island to a small cutlery insert – anything! Some of the results were surprising but as we get closer to number 1 we found all the usual suspects……

20. lighting

good lighting is essential in any well designed kitchen whether its soft mood lighting emanating from under wall units or lights illuminating a glass display unit. effective lighting is especially important in darker rooms and works great with gloss reflective surfaces

pictured across are floating glass light shelves which have always been popular in our kitchen – a great way to break up a flat design and introduce light and vitality to a room.

19. wine cooler

i loved this suggestion and was surprised more poeple didn’t vote for it. we generally prefer built in wine coolers and most major appliance brands offer something in their range for the wine buff

18. franke rollamat

a simple but really effective kitchen accessory. it can be used for lots of purposes from draining on a sink to resting hot pots after they are taken from the oven. Best of all, when you are finished with it, roll it up and put it in a drawer out of the way.

simple, clean, effective and cool – just like every kitchen should be!

17. quartz worktops

we are big fans of quartz worktops and in the last couple of years they have become increasingly popular. extremely durable, heat resistant, stain resistant and now available in a huge range of colours and styles. click here to learn more >>

 16. colour and material combinations

here in surreal our designers revel in mixing and matching colours, materials and shapes to create something unique and individual to each client. such designs often require a leap of faith on our clients behalf as they are taking on design concepts they may never have considered before. for that reason we were delighted to hear from a number of clients who listed colour and material combinations as they favourite feature.

15. combination microwave oven

such ovens have been available for years but in recent times the technology has improved so much. the combination ovens use the microwave and oven functions together at the same time to give you far quicker cooking times without compromising on taste or texture. The best example is a standard 1.3kg chicken which might normally take an hour and 25 minutes to roast in a fan ove. in a combination oven, this cooking time is reduced to approx 40 minutes. perfect for the busy family who like to cook.

14. worktop height

something most people (and designers) take for granted, but here at surreal designs we ensure to carefully select a worktop height to suit the homeowner and deliver the best ergonomic solution for working in the kitchen. after all, this is the room you will spend most time working in so its very important that you are comfortable at all times and worktop height is just one area that requires special attention. we were surprised and delighted by how many of our customers noticed that the worktop height we gave them was more comfortable than in their previous kitchen.

13. insinkerator

it won’t dominate a kitchen like a large fridge, it doesn’t have elaborate control panels like an oven but for many customers, the insinkerator is the most important feature they put it into their kitchen. the ISE insinkerator will grind, mulch and dispose of all common food waste in your kitchen. everything from potato peelings to chicken bones with almost zero maintenance required.

12. glass splashbacks

what a simple, practical and great looking design concept. no more tiles, no more grouting – now you can have easy to clean glass splashbacks. even better, why not liven up your kitchen with a bold red or vivacious yellow.

11. roller shutters

ever since we opened in 2002, we have been designing roller shutters into kitchens – why? – because they look great and work great. ideally designed sitting on the worktop, the roller shutter allows you to keep your worktop need and tidy and clutter free. in my kitchen, after use, the kettle and toaster are pushed back into the unit and the shutter pulled down – nice and simple. in recent years, the style options have increased to include glass roller shutters (pictured across) in various colours

10. hot and cold tap

instant boiling water and cold filtered water all rolled into one tap. whether you are using it to prep veg for dinner or just to make a quick cup of tea – the hot water tap and perform a multitude of purposes. no more waiting for the kettle to boil, you have boiling water on call anytime during the day or night. click here to learn about the insinkerator hot and cold tap hc1100 >>

 9. breakfast bar

over the last 20 years, the kitchen  has evolved from being a closed off room at the back of the house to being the fulcrum of the house – a room where people congregate to cook, chat, eat and socialise. with this new found status, kitchen design progressed and one of the chief requirements was a casual seating/dining area or a breakfast bar as it became known. breakfast bars can be in many different shapes, sizes, materials and heights – whether it’s a raised glass breakfast bar on legs or just a recessed area at the back of an island to allow leg room

8. soft close drawers and doors

the feedback from our customers mirrored my own personal experience – the soft close drawers and doors are great for a house with small children because the reduce the chance of fingers getting caught and even if they do, the drawer will be closing at a much slower speed than normal thus reducing the chance of injury. added to that we have no more slamming doors and drawers and rattling presses in the kitchen

7. handleless

for many, handleless kitchens are all about the sleek lines and minimalist look which is so desired in a contemporary kitchen. however, the handleless design has many practical considerations including how easy it makes cleaning the kitchen and also, one less thing for a child to bang their head off!

6. induction

another must have in the kitchen, induction hobs have many benefits including: heats up quicker and cools down quicker than a normal ceramic hob, more energy efficient, easier to keep clean and as responsive if not more responsive than a gas hob.

5. corian worktops

perfect whether its in a contemporary or traditional style kitchen. corian (or solid surfacing) worktops are very practical with no visible joints, moulded upstands and non porous all which means they are easy to clean and hard to stain. corian is also a designers dream because it is such a flexible material and is available in many different colours and textures. the overall result is a stunning kitchen which is easier to keep

4. plate holders

a very simple but practical idea – the plate rods help organise your kitchen in a more efficient manner. they work even better with extra deep drawers which are available in the Hacker systemat and Eggersmann collections. having used these at home, i can vouch for how great they are and all the better if positioned beside or close to your dishwasher

3. larder press

larder presses come in many different shapes, sizes and styles but the pullout tandem unit is by far the most popular with people choosing their kitchen and also with our customers who have been using their new kitchen for some time. these units are designed to make more effective use of the space available whilst at the same time making it easier to find items you have stored away. the days of rooting around in the larder are now gone – the pullout tandem will make life much easier in your kitchen and much more organised as well. 

2. combi steam oven

its no surprise to us here that the combi steam oven has proven to be so popular with our customers. not to be confused with a regular steam oven, the combi steam oven combines a steam oven with a hot air oven with extraordinary results. whether you are roasting a joint of meat or baking a cake, the combi steam oven has many advantages. Food items such as joints of meat and poultry tend to shrink less and retain their moisture. cakes, tarts and scones baked using steam tend to keep fresh longer than with a normal fan oven. combi steam ovens are used the world over in all top restaurants because they deliver better taste and are easier to use. the likes of Gaggenau, Neff and Siemens have all developed high quality combi steam ovens for the domestic kitchen, all of which are available from surreal designs


  NO 1. kitchen island

time and time again, our customers mentioned their island when casting their votes. often for differing reasons but constantly mentioned – it was a clear winner. a number of people remarked how much extra worktop space they had because of their island, perfect for prepping and serving when catering for a large number of people. for others, the big benefit was the extra storage afforded by the island especially in conjunction with extra deep drawers. more revealed how they loved their hob in the island because it meant they could cook and chat with others in the kitchen at the one time. my kids love our island because they can cycle their trikes around it : )

So many reasons – but a clear winner nonetheless. I hope you found this article useful and don’t forget to forward it to any of your friends who are planning a kitchen at the moment.