The Guide - Design

New home fit outs with fixtures and fittings


There’s a frightening number of products that fit into this category, but here we’ll concentrate on the most important, and the most popular - lighting and kitchen fittings.

In general terms, choosing fixtures for your new home is a danger zone in terms of budget blow outs. With so many individual items, costs build up quickly. So beware the blow-out, go in with a clear budget and be mindful of price as you shop around.

We could publish an encyclopedia on fixtures and fittings, but for most people, the key focus is on lighting and the fixtures in their kitchen. That's understandable, and in each of these areas, there are some amazing product choices to be made.


First, let’s look at lighting.

Ambient Lighting

This means the general lighting that will be in every room in your new home. In most cases, ambient lighting comes from the main wall or ceiling lights with a central control. Think about what you want here, standard globes, down lights or a large single fitting.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting has a more specialised purpose and can add detail, highlights or even special effects to your rooms. Accent lighting can be used to great effect to illuminate feature walls, or special design and architectural features. It can also be installed specifically for artworks like paintings and sculptures.

Task Lighting

Task lighting is specific to a certain area or activity. Cooking, gardening and reading are all good examples. Task lights for these activities might be desk lamps, outdoor decking lights, lights over your BBQ or cabinet lighting for the dining room. And now, please come through to the kitchen.

What style?

Who would have thought that the highly practical kitchen tap would have become a genuine design feature in your new home? They have, and these days the variations in design, and cost, can be mind boggling. If you have an uber-modern kitchen, then head for minimalist tapware with sharp, clean lines and high-shine finishes. For traditional / country style kitchens, go for taps with curves and decorative details.

To finish

What type of finish for your kitchen fixtures? There’s choices to be made, so stay true to the overall decor of your kitchen spaces and browse according to that theme. Polished chrome and brushed stainless steel are right for super modern. Brass and copper are more traditional and country-style. To bring it all together, tie your tapware in with the finishes of your appliances and door hardware. That way you can elevate your interior design achievements and create a cohesive look.

Coloured taps

Yes indeed, these are a thing now and they can look totally awesome. They are definitely more daring, and when used properly can make a very cool design statement. There’s all sorts of colours to choose from, and if you have a colour highlight theme in your open plan kitchen area, then integrating your tapware with the theme can be super cool. If colour is a step too far for you, neutral colours are available too including blacks, greys and whites.

Cabinet handles

Lots and lots of little knobs and handles to choose from. This is one department that can really make your head spin with the choices available. Styles, colours, sizes, finishes, shapes, the challenge here is not so much finding something, but narrowing down your options. Before you begin, create a clear brief for yourself and work out what will connect best with the rest of your kitchen decor. That way, when you enter the show rooms, you’ll be able to focus your attention on the most likely candidates.

Handle types

A Kitchen Cabinet Pull is a handle designed for easy grasping and opening. Big or small, they allow you to grip them easily and are most often a ‘bar’ type configuration. More creative versions also exist that mimic tree branches and other objects. They are all good options and offer a real function as well as a modern aesthetic.

Integrated Cabinet Handles are hidden handles, giving the front face of the door or drawer, a smooth, uninterrupted finish. Integrated handles can be formed from grooves along the edge of the door, recessed handles and top-mounted handles.

Touch Openers let you open kitchen cabinets and drawers with a touch of your hand, or, when your hands are full, any body part that you can bump the drawer or door with. Very handy and the look is modern and minimalist, with no handle at all.