1. How to budget for your renovation
Budgeting is one of the most important aspects of any renovation. It is the key to achieving the look and style that you want, at a price you can afford to pay. The first step is to deliberate and create a budget that is right for you, then, stick to it. Planning exactly what you want your kitchen to look like prior to setting the budget will help you in the decision process.
Depending on what you need to get done to your kitchen in terms of installation, appliances, fittings and fixtures, your renovation can vary from anything between $5,000 and $20,000. Usually, it is cabinetry, appliances and electrical services that really do some damage to your budget so make sure these are accounted for and get a range of different quotes from providers. If you want to save some more, try buying pre-fabricated kitchens from the likes of Ikea, Bunnings and Masters. These can come at a fraction of the price compared to custom built kitchens and still look great.
2. Planning the right kitchen for you
In designing a kitchen it is important you create a space that not only provides a warm, welcoming and stylish environment, but also a functional one.
Essentially, your goal is to create a kitchen that works for you. Make a list of what’s missing in your current kitchen and consult a professional for guidance on how you can incorporate these into your new design. They’ll be able to tell you exactly what you need to do to create the perfect kitchen that works for you!
Also, ask yourself the following:
• How often do I prepare and cook meals?
• To what extent do I utilise my kitchen?
• How often do I entertain guests?
To make the venture is worthwhile, ensure that your kitchen renovation will suit your lifestyle and needs better than your current one. For example, if your current kitchen has limited storage space, your renovation plans should include ways to improve this. You could maximise storage by employing floor to ceiling cupboards, family sized freezers or installing drawers in the place of cupboards. These options will assist in equipping your kitchen for all those bulk buys or appliances you rarely use! A fancy splashback could be something you love right now, but aesthetics eventually grow old whilst functionality lasts a lifetime.
Another important consideration is your workable space. You need to maximise your bench space and, more importantly, your “work triangle”. A work triangle in your kitchen is essentially the distance between your fridge, sink and stove top – the areas of the kitchen you are likely to use most. A good work triangle involves placing these work sites an efficient distance apart, all while minimising traffic through the primary work zone. For those with a smaller kitchen, the ideal work triangle should be fairly compact so that it makes the most of the available area.
It is critical to note you should never sacrifice the functionality of the kitchen. Invest your money towards good quality drawers and smart cupboard interiors that will save you hours of time looking for lost items in old-fashioned cupboards. Think about the most used sections of your kitchen and don’t skimp on these. Bench tops and storage are two very important aspects to any fully functional kitchen so make sure you invest in these areas to save years of frustration in the future.
3. Making the magic happen
Often, by the time it comes to actually implementing all your plans, you have a camera roll filled with photos of kitchens you love and want to copy. You know exactly what your style is and what you want from the space. This means it is time to make a selection on final finishes and fixtures – what countertop material do you want? What splashback would suit your style? What appliances do you need? What light fixtures are going to work best? Really, there is a no end of questions that need to be answered before the renovation can completely take place.
Dependent on your selected look and style, there is a range of different appliances you can opt for that will compliment your desired look. For example, if you are envisaging a sleek, modern and flawless kitchen there are a couple of key attributes you can incorporate to help you master the look. Corian countertops, mirrored splashbacks, LED lights and soft-close drawers are just a few to get your started. Combining a clean palette with careful design can help to create a sleek look that has a fresh modern edge.
However, if it’s more longevity you are after, opt for timeless colour palettes in neutral tones and classic styles. While modern, high gloss kitchens are popular at the moment, more traditional styles hold their charm more over time. It is best to invest in something that you and your family will enjoy for years to come.
To ensure your kitchen represents the people that will be using it, don’t forget to add some personal touches to create a more interesting space. For an injection of colour and personality to your kitchen, experiment with interestingly tiled splash backs, or stimulating hues for the perfect finishing touch. These can also be applied through kitchen appliances and accessories such as tea towels and plates.
Tips for making the most of your kitchen
Making the most of your newly renovated kitchen all comes down to organisation. Essentially, kitchens are the heart of our homes yet chaos and madness seem to gravitate to this area. Keeping your kitchen orderly and functional to ensure its useability is a must!
Firstly, it is best to de-clutter your kitchen and get it into ship shape before commencing any official organisation. Throw out anything that is out of date, spoiled or that hasn’t been touched or used in the last six months. Wipe down and give the area a good clean before deciding exactly what items in your kitchen you use and how often.
Next, it is time to employ the concept of zoning – the placement of items for a particular task where they are needed and will be used. This could mean you aren’t exactly placing like and like items together but, never fear, this approach will help you keep your kitchen in order. Why you ask? Because zoning increases the chance you are placing the item back where it belongs just after you have used it.
For those items you don’t use often, like muffin tins or a slow cooker (depending on your kitchen habits!) stow them in a less accessible area. These are best kept out of the way to allow room for those items you use on a daily basis. You could even go as far as to store these items in a cupboard, the garage or even the attic.
Moving on from storage organisation, another great tip to keep your kitchen in operating order is having a permanent shopping list in the vicinity. Each time a product runs out it can be added to the list straight away ensuring you don’t forget anything come shopping time.
Lastly something to keep in mind – your kitchen is not your home office. The fridge or bench top is not the correct place to store important documents whether that be bills, work documents or communications from your child’s school. Keep these in clipboards, stored away in a safe location, to ensure these things are not destroyed by kitchen mess over time.