Kitchen Renovations

7 kitchen benchtop ideas to steal from Australia’s best renovations

Whether you’re doing a quick flip or complete kitchen overhaul, a beautiful benchtop can boost the value of your home.
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In the home, nothing works harder than the kitchen benchtop. This unsung hero gets chopped on, sat on, splashed and often — despite our best intentions — covered in creeping junk. The kitchen bench is the first destination for mundane everyday accoutrement: shopping bags, school bags, keys, Frank Greens, to-do lists and random bits of paper. (Or is that just in my house?)

So, kitchen benchtops need to be tough… as well as beautiful. It needs to withstand the slings and arrows of busy family life and it’s usually one of the first or key things guests see when they come over.

It’s no surprise then that kitchen benchtops are the most common major kitchen fixture to be upgraded during a renovation, according to the 2023 Houzz Australia Kitchen Trends Study — followed by cabinets and then splashbacks. In the report, engineered quartz was cited as the most popular kitchen benchtop material, with white voted the most popular colour for a kitchen benchtop. (However, given the recent government ban on engineered stone benchtops — which includes quartz — this type of benchtop material is likely to drop down the list.)

Looking for kitchen benchtop ideas for your next kitchen reno? We mined the best transformations on Selling Houses Australia for inspiration and advice, to help your kitchen bench work hard and wow guests. 

Wendy Moore host of Selling Houses Australlia
Selling Houses Australia host Wendy Moore is brimming with kitchen benchtop ideas. (Image: Foxtel)

1. Dark and stormy in Maroubra

Selling Houses Australia host Wendy Moore updated this tired home in Sydney’s Maroubra in Season 15 with affordable flat-pack kitchen cabinets and a stunning new waterfall kitchen bench. With moody volcanic tones, the ‘Basalt Cemento’ stone benchtop by Granite Transformations adds a touch of drama to this otherwise light-filled beachside home.

Selling Houses Australia Season15 MAROUBRA kitchen
(Image: Foxtel)

2. Small but mighty in Denistone

In Season 14, Wendy overhauled soulless styling for a pair of sisters selling their childhood home — after being empty for two years and on the market for months. Appealing most to buyers was no doubt this pastel sage and white kitchen, which optimises the compact space. The kitchen benchtop is finished in ‘White Diamond’ granite, featuring flecks of blue and grey that complement the joinery perfectly. The splashback tile is Herringbone Orient Green Honed Mosaic from Beaumont Tiles, and one of Wendy’s fave features is the fluted glass cabinet doors.

selling-houses-australia-season-15 Deniston kitchen
(Image: Foxtel)

3. Going coastal in Clermont

The owners of this run-down three-bedroom Queenslander had a very small renovation budget but after 10 years on the market[HM2] , something drastic had to be done to get the place sold. Imbuing a beachy vibe — despite Clermont being five-ish hours from the coast — in S15 Wendy brought in American Oak kitchen benchtops from Bunnings, new appliances from Euromaid, kitchen cabinet handles by Kethy and splashback tiles sourced at a local hardware store. The kitchen cabinets were painted in Wattyl Teal Grey[HM3] and the result is simply breathtaking.

(Image: Foxtel)

4. Modern cottage kitchen in Jindabyne

A historic old schoolhouse owned by a sculptor with eclectic taste was a welcome challenge for Wendy and the Selling Houses Australia team in S14. “I fell in love with the Jindabyne house the moment I saw it,” says Wendy. “I knew exactly what it could be, and the result was perfectly in line with that first vision.” A sixties-style yellow laminate benchtop was replaced with a dark granite from Granite Transformations, which set the tone for a masculine and earthy mountain kitchen aesthetic.

(Image: Foxtel)

5. Cool monochrome in Como

The owners of this eight-bedroom home in Como, south of Sydney, dreamt of travelling the world in a converted bus but not a single registered bidder attended their auction (ouch). The S14 Selling Houses Australia team swooped in to refresh the home’s outdated décor, including the removal of a kitsch tropical-themed kitchen splashback, replacing it with Carrara marble hexagonal tiles. Due to budget constraints, the only other change to the kitchen was the addition of a dishwasher. The existing stone kitchen benchtop was as good as new, proving that you don’t need to rip out your entire kitchen to win at the real estate game.

(Image: Foxtel)

6. Light and bright in Sunshine West

Living up to its suburb’s name, this 1950s house in Sunshine West, Melbourne, was transformed from a veritable building site to a heavenly family home. To complement the neutral palette, in S15 Wendy installed warm and durable timber kitchen benchtops, and added Euromaid appliances, Blanco sinks and taps, Luxaflex blinds and ‘Bauhaus’ handles from Mother of Pearl & Sons. Fun fact: the U-shaped format of this roomy kitchen makes it easy for busy families to navigate, with plenty of benchtop space for lunchbox making!   

Selling Housese Austrlaia Sunshine West kitchen reveal
(Image: Foxtel)

7. From scary to sophisticated in Ipswich

Wendy’s Selling Houses Australia co-host Andrew Winter described this cluttered home as “a house of horrors” in S15, but the country abode was full of potential. The kitchen, thankfully, didn’t need much updating — mostly a serious clean-up — and was given a bright lick of paint using Wattyl Scribbly Gum. Also bringing the kitchen into the 2020s were new pendant lights and a skylight, while new cane barstools add texture and warmth to the existing kitchen benchtop.

(Image: Foxtel)

Catch up on Selling Houses Australia on Foxtel.

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