Renovating a Kitchen can be daunting and costly ; whether you are renovating for profit or just want a beautiful kitchen at a reasonable price here are some tips to help you .
The kitchen is the nucleus of the house and the position and layout is vital. Not only should it support the preparation of meals but should also have a seriously good hangout feel. Avoid the eat-in kitchen if you can, a more open plan style is more popular and appropriate for today’s casual lifestyle. It’s ideal to have a line of vision from the kitchen window to the back garden so children can be supervised from the kitchen.
While managing your costs is important, it shouldn’t impact the quality of the final product. A kitchen is a once-in-20 year investment and it needs to be built to last so using skilled tradesmen is essential.
Don’t forget to list your old kitchen on eBay or Gum tree. Take the photos while it is still in situ and looks its best before you remove. Even if you offer it for free it will save adding to the landfill and will also save you removal and tipping fees.
Solid Timber kitchens are expensive and appeal to a select few, if you want your kitchen to have broad appeal go for polyurethane, gloss finish in a neutral colour. I find that white kitchens are still the most popular and versatile. You can completely change the look of the room by painting the walls and white goes with everything. Save on the costs by going directly to the cabinet maker/ joiner rather than a retail kitchen company. If you are tall or short please resist the urge to have the base cabinets made in a non standard size to suit you , (unless you are disabled), appliances only come in standard sizes and will not line up with the bench tops destroying the overall look of the kitchen.
Appliances can blow your budget out of the water so you need to get onto the shopping early. Watch for sales, auctions and model run outs. Stainless steel is a must and 90 cm cookers create a luxurious look and are a winner for serious cooks. When your new kitchen is going to last 1- 2 decades who cares if the stove is last season’s model? Integrated dishwashers are less popular these days; good quality stainless steel will look great for a fraction of the price.
Down lights are best for ambient and task lighting. The Australian Building Code specifies a lighting ratio of 5 watts per square metre of floor space making low energy compact fluoros and led the best options. Accent lighting will add the sparkle to your kitchen; consider pendants over an island unit and led strip lighting for under the cabinets.
Think the storage through well, it needs to be adequate and functional. There are many engineered solutions in kitchen cabinetry these days such as pull out pantries and motorized drawers. While some bells and whistles are essential proceed with caution as they can escalate the costs very quickly and maintaining motorized features can be a nightmare.
Think about adding some kicker drawers to store large items such as trays and platters. If you have the room, consider the Rolls Royce of storage, the butler’s pantry.
Engineered stone such as Caesar Stone is good looking and cost effective and once again go directly to the stone supplier for the best price. Stick with light, neutral colours and 40mm thickness in the kitchen and 20 mm in the Butlers pantry. Note that the thicker bench is only ever thickened on the edge; the bench itself is still only 20mm.
Whether you go for glass or tiles, keep to a neutral colour. If you want a vibrant colour in your kitchen, add it with decorator items. Remember the kitchen is a long-term investment and your passion for a colour WILL wane.
For a small kitchen consider a mirror splash back to help create the illusion of space.