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Darren Farquhar, generation three of his family company, spends his days talking to people about kitchens. So of course the natural questions is: what’s his kitchen like?

Not surprisingly, the kitchen is the heart of Darren and Lisa Farquhar’s home and they wanted to make it feel that way. “Our kitchen needs to feel lived in – we’ve got children!” Darren says. “We wanted to create that warm and family friendly atmosphere.”

The kitchen bursts to life each morning as Siana (12), Dante (11) and Alexia (two and a half) prepare for the day. “Our kitchen caters for our busy lifestyle, especially in the morning when the entire family is lined up along the bench,” Lisa laughs. “It’s all happening then.”

Despite her small size, Alexia refuses to sit anywhere but on a stool alongside her older siblings Siana and Dante. “It’s great – we want to promote that interaction between the family members,” Darren says.

There’s a natural flow between the kitchen and living space and this house is anything but boring thanks to the quirky décor. “That’s Mum’s old cupboard painted blue and those dining chairs are from a secondhand store,” Darren laughs.

The eclectic furnishings add an edge to the contemporary look. “Everything is mismatched in our home and kitchen,” Darren says.

“I don’t like anything too sterile, I like colour and interest,” Lisa says, indicating the three dangling rope lights above the huge kitchen bench. “You can just tie them up however you want,” she says.

Dark timber veneer push-catch cupboards and tiles create the classic but contemporary look that’s becoming popular in kitchen design. “I like the contrast of the dark cupboards, lighter floors and the marble in between, and the interest the tiled splash back adds,” Lisa says.

An integrated fridge, freezer and dishwasher add to the flow of the kitchen design and user-friendly features such as Servo-Drive electric drawers – particularly in the deep pantry cupboard – makes the kitchen functional for the shortest of arms.

“And you can create more space by using drawers rather than shelves because you can fit more in them,” Darren explains. “And having bins at each end of the kitchen was another important feature for us because we have children and kids are messy.”

A hidden feature of the kitchen, and one that Darren in particular loves, is a sink at the end of a bench near the back of the house. “It’s great because it links our kitchen with our outdoor area and makes it easy when we’re having a BBQ,” Darren says.

“I don’t like anything too sterile, I like colour and interest.” says Darren.

And a discrete large screen is close by. “There’s a growing trend in kitchens to integrate computers as part of the design,” Darren says. “It makes the kitchen a more interactive space. We can watch the news while the kids watch their programs or we can browse recipes while we cook.”