‘I‘m a kitchen person. I love food; I love cooking,” says Oliver Goettling, managing director of Goettling Interiors. “I grew up standing next to my mum in the kitchen, always looking at what she was doing. It’s a big passion for me.”
This is just one of the reasons why he’s a useful man to have around if you are planning on giving your kitchen an overhaul. Having spent years working in the industry, the Munich-born Goettling launched his Dubai-based company in 2010, and specialises in the planning and installation of high-end, German-made kitchens, as well as lighting, furniture and premium-quality knives by Felix Solingen. The kitchens are predominantly by the 50-year-old, family-run German company Schüller, the brand behind Next125 kitchens.
Last year, Goettling Interiors moved to new, larger premises in Ubora Towers in Dubai’s Business Bay.
“We want to be viewed as a serious competitor to the biggest kitchen brands in the market,” he says. “The product definitely has the potential; it just needed to be shown in the right surroundings.
“We want to really understand our clients, and understand their lifestyles. What does luxury mean? Sometimes, it’s not a certain function of a product – luxury can relate to the whole experience of acquiring that product. Kitchens need to be planned properly – we need to understand what a client likes; why they like it. And that doesn’t always happen in your average retail showroom. That’s why I see us more as a consultancy.”
Goettling highlights some of the key things to consider when redesigning your kitchen:
“Your kitchen needs to be fun to use,” says Goettling. “Think about the processes; then decide where things need to go.”
Ultimately, the layout of your kitchen needs to make sense – so don’t forget the basics. “Make sure you have a working triangle between your fridge, your oven and your sink; each should be easily reachable.
“Then you want to make sure that the appliances serve the way you are going to use them. If your kitchen is mainly going to be used by hired help, maybe there is no point having the latest Miele appliances that can be powered through your iPad or iPhone. But if you are into all that fancy technology, and really appreciate it, then you need to know that it is available.”
Before you start, you need to be honest about who will be using the kitchen most of the time, how exactly it will be used, and how much time and effort you are willing to spend looking after it.
“For example, you get very different worktops and they might need to be cared for differently. Again, if you are relying on hired help, give them something sturdy that cannot be damaged. But if you are into design, and are happy to give it the required amount of care, why not have a breakfast bar made out of a wood veneer? If you will be using the breakfast bar frequently, it always feels nicer to rest your arm on a piece of wood, rather than a piece of glass or stainless steel or stone,” Goettling suggests.
White continues to reign supreme when it comes to kitchens. “White kitchens were there 30 years ago; they’ll be there in 30 years – and we sell them on a weekly basis. There’s a white kitchen in the showroom now that is the first show kitchen that I bought six years ago. It’s still there and it still sells. It’s white, it’s handle-free, it’s minimal, it’s functional and people love it.”
That’s not to say that there aren’t countless other colour options on offer. Some of Next125’s kitchens come with a choice of 27 different coloured lacquers. But Goettling recommends keeping things neutral. “I like to advise our clients that if they have a favourite colour that they really want to implement in their kitchen, they should use a more neutral kitchen cabinet, and then paint a wall in that colour. Because when it comes to flipping the unit, an off-white kitchen is more likely to appeal to the next buyer than a pink one.
“So, leave your cabinets white, and then paint your walls in pink or green or blue or whatever you like. The mood that you create is the same, whether it is through the cabinet or the wall.”
A well-designed kitchen is one of those things, such as a well-landscaped garden, that will add to the value of your property. But unlike a garden, it’s unlikely to die on you. “Leave the garden alone for one summer, while you are trying to sell the property, and the garden is gone. The kitchen will still be there,” says Goettling. “The kitchen will definitely affect the value of your property. You’ll get more for your property, but it will also move a lot faster, because a lot of people don’t want to go through the hassle of moving in and then having to redo the whole kitchen. The process can be like open-heart surgery. Especially in apartments, where access can be difficult and you can only work at certain times.”
Goettling works with all kinds of clients, with very different tastes, but there is one constant: “Storage is always the biggest issue. People can never have enough. But there are storage methods that will help you maximise on any sized room. We have solutions for that.
“There are sophisticated corner solutions, using advanced technologies, to help you. But that costs money. If you have a huge space, you might not need to spend on those kinds of solutions, which will utilise the last cubic centimetre of volume. But in a small one-bedroom apartment, you might need to do exactly that.”
With kitchen companies developing an ever-increasing number of materials and design options, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to the look of your kitchen. Firstly, have a think about what you like – and whether this will fit in with the rest of your design scheme. You may love the idea of a rustic-looking wooden kitchen, but will it complement the rest of your interior? On the other hand, don’t be afraid to experiment. High-gloss materials remain popular, but there are a growing number of matte options, too. Next125 offers a tempered glass front that comes in different colours, including slate-grey, blue and bronze, and the surface is etched, giving it a matte finish. This can be paired with a natural oak or other wooden accents, to stunning effect.
It’s extremely important to hire someone you trust when it comes to the installation process. There are various parties that need to come together to create the perfect kitchen – from electricians to plumbers and contractors. “This is not an over-the-counter item, where you can say: ‘Here is your piece of jewellery, there you go, wear it’,” Goettling warns. “A lot of things can go wrong. You might choose the nicest product in the catalogue, but it needs to be put together properly.”
Source: art & life