We can just feel the excitement – you’ve decided to treat yourself to an entire new kitchen (call it a Christmas gift or call it a personal splurge). Regardless, getting a brand new heart for your home is definitely reason to celebrate. But before you pop that cork – have you really considered every single thing that goes along with a kitchen renovation?
Yes, it’s fun dreaming about those new cabinets and fridge shelves, but updating your cooking (and dining- and working- and entertaining-) space is a major undertaking that definitely brings some stress along with the new style.
So, to help make this process (although terribly exciting) a bit easier, here are the hard facts that you need to consider before renovating your kitchen.
Kitchens no longer begin and end at glossy surfaces, as we now have so many more options to consider, from timbers and stone to concrete and glass. Yes, your kitchen can be as ‘whatever’ as you want it to be!
So, consider how you want those surface materials to appear in your home – gloss can reflect light and noise, while concrete can appear a bit cold.
The concept of the kitchen work triangle is that primary tasks are carried out within the triangular space between the cooking top, sink and fridge. And although this has been a tried-and-tested feature in kitchens for decades, the more modern layouts are no longer defined by this.
For example, feel free to add a second dishwasher to the butler’s pantry or insert a second sink – but keep in mind the functionality of the work triangle (it has worked for so long for a reason).
There is a machine for pretty much anything these days – and you need to decide what your goal with that new kitchen is before you splurge on the appliances of your choice.
If you’re BIG on cooking, you might want a top-of-the-range oven. Or if you’re always on the go, a self-cleaning one might be more sufficient.
Do your research to see what’s out there!
Even the smallest of kitchens can get very clever with storage – vertical storage, appliance nooks, pantry drawers, corner drawers… there’s no more excuse for having a myriad of elements cluttering your countertops.
And like appliances, you need to know what’s out there to know what you want.
How can you avoid hot spots and shadows in your oh-so perfect new kitchen? Consider the following:
• Ambient lighting will provide overall illumination for your kitchen, radiating a comfortable level of brightness.
• Task lighting will help you perform specific tasks (like food prepping) and is often used over kitchen and laundry work spaces.
• Accent lighting can be used to create visual interest in your room, like drawing attention to your backsplash, wall art, etc.
Consult with a lighting professional to determine what types of lighting will best suit your new kitchen.
Even though flooring can have a major impact on your kitchen renovation, it is so often an afterthought. Rather consider it at the early planning stages to avoid a budget blowout.
Remember that your choice of tiles (or wood, or linoleum, or vinyl flooring etc.) needs to fit in with your kitchen’s design style. Fortunately there are a range of flooring options available these days, so be sure to consider an option that will not only look terrific in your space, but can also withstand the test of time and foot traffic.
As a general rule, you should aim to spend between 4—6% of your property value on that renovation, plus allow a contingency for any unexpected events such as trade delays or material issues.
As your trades, flooring, lighting, cabinets and whatnot all need to work within your budget, it is advisable to speak with a professional kitchen planner beforehand.
This might sound obvious, and yet so many people are upset once that renovation starts impacting their daily schedules and lifestyles.
Think about rubbish removal, covering flooring and furniture, how you will prepare meals, how to calm down your pets who are upset with the new people trampling in and out your house, etc.
Shape up a clear plan, and your home won’t be thrown into disarray come build week.
And so, finally: these are the: Kitchen must haves for 2017 (you'll know 'em first).