For Dubai-based Danielle Jooste, getting the kitchen ready was her first priority after she moved into her six-bedroom house in Arabian Ranches’ Mirador community. The kitchen, she says, has always been for her the centre of the home, a meeting place where “memories are made and shared.”

Right from the sleek quartz countertops in Jooste’s kitchen to the custom carpentry and antique brass sockets and switches, everything has been designed with care. The monochromatic design theme runs through the kitchen in a bid to create a harmonious blend between the white and dramatic matte black floral-embossed porcelain tiles that lend the kitchen a coastal Spanish vibe.

Durability is also key and Jooste opted for a porcelain wood-effect floor tile to give “the impact of wood with the practicality of a tile.” Standout features of the kitchen are a walk-in pantry and pull-out larder pantry — all still relatively new concepts for Dubai. Jooste says, “It’s these traditional touches of woodwork and cabinetry that add warmth.” Seeing as her kitchen doubles up as a workspace, a place where she feeds her daughter and a cosy nook where guests naturally gravitate to while she’s entertaining, Jooste has incorporated a banquette bench with built-in storage below and an island that also serves as an informal dining table, which come in handy when she wants to lay out a cheese or antipasti board.

Lighting — both natural and artificial — was also something that was a non-negotiable for Jooste. Ambient lighting also sets the tone of a house. Danielle also says she likes her double sink and “it may seem like a small thing but the fact [that] my faucet pulls out allows me to clean.” Jooste’s total kitchen investment has been around Dh135,000. “I most certainly believe there is a ROI here as kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. People are willing to pay a premium for fully upgraded kitchens as they don’t have the time or desire to renovate themselves,” she says.

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