The Loft

The Home Base blog

Spice It Up: Part One

We asked a Perth family who are now enjoying a beautiful new kitchen to share their secrets of success


Many homeowners dream of one day updating their kitchen to make everyday living and entertaining a breeze.

But there’s often something that stands in the way, whether it be finances, inconvenience or a lack of time due to the challenging pace of modern living. Many people are also not sure how to turn their dream into a reality and the pressure to get it right can be stressful given the hurdles that need to be overcome to get on to the starting blocks in the first place.

Nadia and Steve Tamagi love cooking and entertaining so revamping the kitchen in their newly purchased North Perth property was always high on their list of priorities. As their previous home was much smaller, the couple had been longing for an open, spacious and highly functional kitchen for ages. They had their minds set on certain must-have elements but weren’t entirely sure how to achieve maximum functionality.

Steve was happy to retain the G-shaped layout of the original kitchen but when Maggie Milligan from Town & Country Designs suggested a new approach, he could quickly see the merit in her advice.

The couple is convinced that Maggie’s advice and guidance throughout the renovation is what made their project a massive success.

“One of the key reasons for buying the property was the potential to create a large open-plan living area overlooking the pool from the kitchen – we are passionate cooks and love to entertain and the existing kitchen did not enable us to do this,” Nadia says.

“We had to deal with a floor plan which posed interesting challenges due to height of ceilings and physical constraints around the position of the refrigerator and walk-in pantry.

“I found it challenging to picture the design and layout in my head and understand space and measurements. My husband, on the other hand, is much more visual, though struggled to make quick decisions.

“Maggie was very intuitive in understanding these challenges and was able to help me to visualise with her plans and drawings and use her years of experience in the industry to assist with decisions.”

A central island bench became the star of the show and the rest of the design came together easily thanks to Maggie’s infinite experience.

“Being able to confidently call Maggie when we needed and know she would be receptive to our ideas, concerns or questions and deliver a high-quality product proved invaluable,” Nadia says. “Her years of experience also provided insights which delivered a kitchen which is both beautiful but highly functional, right down to the minor details of accessing glasses whilst at the fridge to unloading the dishwasher in an efficient manner.”

Nadia says it also pays to start early, to research, research, research, and to draw up a template showing the size of various components such as the island bench or appliances to get a sense of space and proportions before committing to the design.

“I love the natural flow of the kitchen and find it elegant, cool and bright,” she says. “It’s lovely to work in, and easy to clean – especially the pyrolytic ovens.

“The island bench also provides a great entertaining space and we find our friends and family naturally congregate around the area regularly.

“The functional additions were also a highlight for me. Having defined spots for my spices, oil/vinegar and utensils is luxurious when compared to my previous kitchen.”


  • Have a budget in mind when selecting a supplier. Ensure they are aware of your constraints as there are many levers to pull to achieve your dream within your budget.
  • Be patient, as getting the design right is critical to the process. Take the time to draw up and cost different alternatives.
  • Be open to new ideas, learn from other people’s experiences and understand how you will use your kitchen so that the design and flow align.
  • A great piece of advice we received was to buy your appliances early if on sale. The kitchen can always be designed around these and you can pick up some great deals at certain times of the year.
  • Be open to compromise. Doing this with my husband was a great challenge – we didn’t always agree and there were many discussions around differing opinions. We both spend a lot of time in our kitchen and it was important that the end result reflected both of us.

Visit Town & Country Designs to find out more or see the showroom on the Ground Floor at Home Base.