because people aren't mass produced, neither are our kitchens

Compass Kitchens

Design & Colour

Some Food For Thought

In many ways, creating a new kitchen is similar to a Baker creating a new cake, a slice or gingerbread recipe. With Design you can put a new twist on an old recipe or construct a whole brand new one, step-by-step.

Things you may need to decided on include:

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  • What you have a taste for
  • What Style you would like to use
  • What type of Materials do you want to use
  • What colours and textures do you like
  • What shape and Layout do you prefer
  • What is the best Work Flow Layout for your space
  • What are your specific storage needs
  • Will all these suit you and your Lifestyle
  • How much you want to spend; so the design matches your budget

Like with cakes, Kitchens have the same basic ingredients. Cakes don't taste special though until you stir in the chocolate chips, the raspberries or the ginger; and so it is the same with a new kitchen renovation when choosing to use Custom Made cabinets, quality fittings and hardware, resilient materials and custom design features that create points of interest that will give your kitchen its unique character as well as functioning perfectly to your needs.

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Every kitchen has certain elements to consider:

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  • Cabinet carcass and shelving types
  • Storage Spaces & Storage Methods for easy access
  • Door & Face Panel Material types and these best suit your requirements
  • Benchtop Material Types and these best suit your requirements
  • Colours & Textures for these Door & Benchtop materials
  • Appliances and their Placement for optimum work flow
  • Splashback; their Material type, maintenance and their finish
  • Flooring; their Material type, maintenance and their finish
  • Lighting, their types, function and positions
  • Sinks and Taps and their Placement for optimum work flow
  • Architectural detail of your home and any added Structural requirements for your Kitchen Renovation; Walls, Windows, skirting, Cornices, Bulkheads, moldings, and
  • Then other services for your Kitchen including Electrical and Plumbing with their planned placement to optimize function while maximizing space.
  • These all need to be considered in relation to one another so your kitchen is a joy to use as well as it working in perfectly with your family lifestyle.
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It's the designer - manufacturer who plays the role of baker for your new kitchen; whereby bringing all of these elements together in the most aesthetic, functional and practicable way possible. Being both Adelaide Kitchen Designers and Manufacturers with more than 35 years expierience; here at Compass Kitchens we can create for you a new custom made kitchen that has its own unique flavour, by helping you find the right mix of Floor Plan Layout, Style, Materials, Colours and  Finishes to suit your own personal taste and needs.  A good place to start is to have an idea of type of  Kitchen Style  you would like to use:  Such Styles can include; Modern Contemporary, Industrial - Commercial, Transitional Shaker, Scandinavian, Retro or Deco, Country  Farmhouse, Traditional, Federation - Hampton, and Classic French Provincial Styles.

Starting points can include:

The architectural style of your home - by making your home's interior reflect its exterior, you bring continuity to the whole structure.

What atmosphere would you like to create, Contemporary, Heritage, Open, Warm, Cool, Light, Formal or a Country feel, these all have implications to materials, colours, lighting, layout, and style.

Your needs - perhaps you want the space to cook big family meals, or you're an at-home gourmet, do you like to entertain, or do you have special accessibility needs, what Benchtop height suits you best.

Your storage needs - for storage space of frequent and not so frequently used items. Storing foods, wine, spices, portable appliances, cookware, cutlery, and utensils, crockery, glassware, kitchen linen, your favorite recipe books and any Decorator pieces.

Ask yourself, what aspects of your current kitchen please you and what annoy you.

Visual Interest. Often overlooked are the semi-functional decorative features, which add important visual interest to the room. Items like open shelving or glass door display units, plate and wine racks, colour contrasting panels and detailed mouldings, all adding character to the room.

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Your cabinet's Door Style and Colour will have a significant Impact on your new kitchen's palette; making a strong visual statement. Later on, please see our section that discusses how Materials Determine Style.

Next you will want to choose functional, complementary Benchtops, then flooring, plumbing fixtures, then Splashback materials and architectural details. Don't try to get everything to match exactly. You can best give your kitchen a certain feel by making sure everything co ordinates and yet still keeps its own individual character.


Appliances are also an important consideration. Which ones should you select, consider their style, and how efficiently they function. Where you put your Refrigerator, Oven / Cooktop, and Sink will also determine how cook-friendly your layout is relative to preparation and serving areas. Try and place them within a few short paces to each other, leaving the path between them unobstructed.


Colour is another all-important element to styling a room. The many options available from today's colour pallet provide wide opportunity for you to express what you want of a room's character and mood. Understanding how to use these colour pallets can give you the confidence to use more colours.

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There are three main colour scheme types used today, these are Monochromatic, Harmonious, and Complimentary.


Monochromatic colour schemes are based on the use of various shades of the same colour, and are the easiest type of colour scheme to use.


Harmonious colour schemes are based on similar or adjacent colours of the spectrum (ROYGBIV). An example of this would be to use Orange - Yellow - Green with the dominant colour being the one in the middle, in this case Yellow.


Complimentary colour schemes are based on using colours that are opposite each other on the spectrum, colours like heritage Reds and Greens. By incorporating yellow and Blue here, one can create a bright and cheerful mood.

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Light Blues and Greens are cool & can make a room feel bigger, where from the other side of the spectrum Reds and Oranges are warm and can make a room seem closer.

When choosing a colour scheme avoid dark colours on your larger vertical areas if the space you have is already small, because this will make your space look even smaller. These vertical areas include Doors, Splashback, Window Treatments, and adjacent Walls.

Horizontal surfaces, including Benchtops, Shelving, strip Handles and Head Mouldings can be used to introduce some "drama" to your colour scheme.

Your Flooring can be either lighter or darker than your Doors. Your walls, ceiling and splashback colours should be chosen at the end and should complement your selected colour scheme.

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Whenever you are able, always view these colours (and materials) together in the natural light of your home, as their tone can drastically alter when taken away from showroom environments.

Lighten dark rooms with paler tints. Warm up cold rooms with warmer colours. Calm down rooms with Monochromatic or Harmonious colour schemes, and liven up rooms with Harmonious or Complimentary schemes.

As a final piece of advice, while you are having your new kitchen installed, it is a good idea to make other arrangements for your meals; setting up a makeshift kitchen elsewhere and / or preparing some extra frozen meals. You may also like to pack up all your decorator items, orniments and books etc,  in rooms near the work area so to protect them from any dust during the renovation.

Then when it's all done, celebrate with some chocolate cake or some gingerbread! We hope this information has been useful in providing some "food for thought".

Let's discuss your project

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Specializing in Kitchen Renovations here in South Australia we service all suburbs ranging from the Inner Adelaide districts and radiating out to the Eastern, Western and Southern suburbs and those extending throughout the Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula including Goolwa to Victor Harbor to Normanville & Yankalilla.

Come home to a beautiful functional new kitchen renovation by Compass Kitchens.


Trading Hours :


Monday - Friday : 08h00 - 17h30

Saturday: 08h00 - 12h00, Sunday off work


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