7 Things I've learned about Kitchen Renovations
Updated: Aug 2, 2019
I’m currently working with a client on a kitchen renovation. There are A LOT of decisions to be made and it can be pretty overwhelming for anyone who hasn’t gone through the process before. So here are some tips that could help you if you decide to tackle a kitchen reno of your own.
1. Think hard about space planning
This can be one of the hardest parts of a kitchen renovation and is worth thinking through carefully. Assess your current layout and think about what works for you and what could be better. Always keep cost in mind with any structural changes. If you have the budget to move things, then you do have more freedom with your plan to create the best designed kitchen possible. But moving plumbing and electrical work is definitely the most expensive item apart from your kitchen itself. If you have a concrete slab (or underfloor heating like my clients!) moving utilities can involve even more dollars. So, if you can keep gas, appliances and sinks where they are, that will save you money!
2. Remember the ‘golden triangle’ rule
When designing your kitchen, you want to place your three main ‘work zones’ – sink, fridge and stove in a triangle, so they are all easily accessible to one another as you cook. I try to ensure I don’t have to walk more than a few steps when I am cooking. This may sound obvious, but also make sure you place your dishwasher near your sink and main cutlery/everyday crockery drawers for ease of stacking and unstacking.
3. Be practical
Show-pony kitchens are lovely in a magazine, but unless you have budget to burn, you’re going to have to work out what you really need and want in a kitchen. Work out what your budget is before you go shopping around so you don’t get overwhelmed by options. There are a lot of whizz bang features out there that you probably don’t need. That said, there are also many great creative solutions to kitchen space saving and design that may well be worth the cost – like an inbuilt table, appliance hide-away cabinet or ceiling height cabinets for extra storage.
4. Consider your storage needs
Speaking of storage, this is so important in any kitchen. Think through what you need to store (crockery, pots, cutlery, appliances, baking stuff, etc) and make a plan in your new kitchen for where it will all go. Don’t be afraid to toss things that you really don’t use! This is a good time for a cull. Ceiling height cabinets are a great option for creating more storage space. I generally recommend drawers as well instead of cupboards for maximum accessibility. A butlers pantry is a dream, but if you don’t have space for that then a pull out pantry is a worthwhile investment. Open shelving is very trendy these days and can look great, but keep in mind that too much can be impractical if you don’t have a lot of other storage, as it has to be kept quite orderly.
5. Go for timeless design
I generally recommend keeping the main colours in your kitchen fairly neutral, unless you really know this is going to be your ‘forever home’ (in which case, go nuts!). Purple cabinets with a moroccan tile backsplash may float your boat, but be difficult on resale. You can always add more personality and wild colours to the look through removable decorative items.
6. Do your research on finishings
There are just sooo many options these days with benchtops, cabinetry, backsplashes, etc. How do you decide on your look? I find platforms like Pinterest and Houzz are really helpful in narrowing down some styles and looks you like. Then you can start to do some research on the cost and practicality of materials to further narrow down your options. Think about how the finishings will look not only with one another, but with the rest of your house. Will they tie in well with the rest of your home? Is there repetition in the colours and materials with other rooms? If not, how could you create this?
7. Shop around for a kitchen provider
It’s worth shopping around for different kitchen providers. If possible, go straight to the manufacturer rather than a retailer as they will often be cheaper and provide great service. In terms of DIY, it’s definitely possible to remove your old kitchen yourself, but I’d be wary of installing a flat pack kitchen yourself as it’s not as easy as it looks unless you’re a tradesperson.
Hope these tips have been helpful! Would love to hear from you if you have any other great ideas and don't forget to take a look around our dining shop for some great Scandi accessories!