Updating your kitchen is one of the biggest renovation investments you will make, so it’s important that you get it right! Our kitchen designers share their advice outlining 8 essential things to consider before you kick-start your kitchen renovation.
The kitchen triangle is an essential planning tool but modern kitchens don’t necessarily need to be strictly confined to this format.
The concept behind the kitchen work triangle is that primary tasks are carried out within a triangular space between the cook top, sink and refrigerator.
Modern kitchens are used for a variety of purposes though, so stepping outside of the triangle and customising your layout to suit how you want to use your kitchen is now not taboo. Entertainers as an example may want a second dishwasher in their butler’s pantry or larger families might like to introduce a second sink.
Think instead about how you wish to use the space, write a list of the functional things you would like your kitchen to do for you and discuss how you want the kitchen to relate to other areas in the house with your kitchen designer to customise an efficient layout for your home.
2. Consider your surfaces
Kitchen renovators are lucky to now have a wide variety of tactile options available to them when considering surfaces. From timbers and stone to concrete and laminates and glass – your kitchen palette can be as organic, industrial or warm as you would like.
Surfaces play a big role in the design and functionality of your kitchen space so consider again how you want your kitchen to interact with the rest of the house. Gloss surfaces can reflect light and noise while concrete surfaces can appear cool. How do the surfaces you are interested in work with the rest of your home?
3. Plan your appliances around your lifestyle
Modern appliances are as clever as it gets – from steaming and humidity controls to self-cleaning products. There is an appliance for pretty much anything these days!
Perhaps you love cooking and would like a start of the art oven or time poor families might want a self-cleaning oven and induction technology to immediately heat and cook food. A homeowner with a vision for a sustainable home might want appliances that use eco-settings.
There is no rule when it comes to appliances so we recommend researching and tailor your appliances around your lifestyle and how you want to use the kitchen.
The average kitchen renovator allows 20% of their budget for appliances but for a home cook or a homeowner committed to complete sustainability, you could be interested in investing more.
4. Get clever with storage
Even the smallest kitchens can get clever with storage! Look for solutions that will allow for more storage but will also mean you can easily find and access items around your kitchen.
Vertical storage, appliance nooks, pantry drawers and corner drawer solutions are all great ways to squeeze every bit of space out of your kitchen!
Pictured: Blum Corner Drawer System
5. Understand the principles of lighting
Lighting design is a critical component of a kitchen renovation but many homeowners don’t get this right. Avoid hotspots and shadows in your lighting plan by carefully considering the following three lighting design elements:
Ambient lighting will provide overall illumination for your kitchen, radiating a comfortable level of brightness.
Task lighting will help you perform specific tasks such as food preparing and is often used over kitchen and laundry workspaces.
Accent lighting can be used to create visual interest in your room. Perhaps you wish to draw the eye to your splashback, artwork in your kitchen or the height of your kitchen ceiling.
Consider how you will use lighting in your space and consult with a professional to ensure your lighting plan is right for the size and height of your area.
6. Don’t forget your flooring
Believe it or not, flooring is often an afterthought for many kitchen renovators. Flooring can have a big impact on your kitchen renovation budget so start thinking about this at the planning stage to avoid a budget blowout.
If your existing kitchen is on tiles or a dated floor, you will need to look at updating the flooring as part of your kitchen renovation. Again, the look of the kitchen must be consistent with the remainder of your home so that could indeed mean re-flooring more than the one area in your home.
There are a range of flooring options available to homeowners these days so be sure to look at an option that can withstand the test of time and the foot traffic your kitchen will inevitably attract.
For more tips on selecting the right flooring for your home, read our blog “Key Criteria for Kitchen Flooring”.
7. Be realistic with your budget
The biggest mistake people make when planning their kitchen is not being realistic. As a rule, you should aim to spend between 4-6% of your property value and you should allow a contingency for any unexpected events such as trade delays or issues with cabinets and benches.
Remember that your trades, appliances, flooring, lighting, cabinets and fittings all need to work within your budget so plan ahead or speak with a professional kitchen designer to ensure your budget is realistic and achievable.
8. It’s Gonna Get Messy
It seems obvious but kitchen renovations are well – messy! Plan ahead for how the week of the install will impact upon your family and start working on a contingency. Think about rubbish removal, covering flooring and furniture and how you will prepare meals, lunches and washing up while your space is out of action. If you have a plan, your home won’t be thrown into disarray come build week and that means less stress for all involved.