As every home or apartment renovation differs in needs, looks and budget, I want to share with you some general directions that you can use as a useful guide, as well as sharing with you the journey AND end results of one of my own clients renovations, which included a kitchen transformation.
When you're undertaking a renovation, there is one room that delivers greater satisfaction than any other: the kitchen. It will of course give any home an immediate lift in its value, adding contemporary new good looks, and possibly greater functionality, but renovating a kitchen could also be about updating with better quality appliances, adding additional storage solutions, improved ergonomics as well as updating the quality of the finishes. So, where do you start?
When renovating, there is plumbing already in place, and this means, the changes to the kitchen layout may be limited especially if your home is on a concrete slab OR you are in a block of apartments. So, firstly, consider where the sink should sit and build the rest of the kitchen around it. Note: while water pipes can be taken almost everywhere, it is the drainage OR waste, that in most cases cannot be moved. If your home is on bearers and joists, you may have more freedom to consider a different layout, by accessing underneath without breaking the bank.
2. LAYOUT The most used 'working stations' in a kitchen are the sink, the fridge and the stove. To create a functional space these three items should not sit next to each other, but be easily accessible to each other. In large kitchens the temptation may be to spread out, which can result in lots of walking between 'stations' while preparing a meal. Keeping the main working stations close will simplify kitchen activities. Note: Place the fridge in an easily accessible location, as it is often used separately from meals preparation.
Ideally between 'working stations' you should allow clear working surfaces where you can chop, stir and blend while 'cooking up a storm', and of course space to serve the meal. Note: A good guide is to ensure no bench space is narrower than 300mm, but 500mm or wider will look good and provide practical and efficient space.
The more the better, as we all know very well, but with often only a limited floor-plan base cabinets may not be adequate, so adding as much cabinetry as possible by going up, will help avoiding overfilling the room and making it feel closed-in. Note: Higher Kitchen cabinetry is a great way of both achieving more storage and adding a sense of height to the room.
5. THE LOOKS Looking at various magazine images we can all go gaga when seeing those impossibly streamlined and clutter-free kitchens. In fact, everyone wishes for a kitchen that feels on-trend and full of all the latest comforts and gadgets. But many striking trends can pass faster than they came and may leave us with an ultramodern whilst dated looking kitchen. To help avoid this, whatever your taste, I encourage you to opt for natural tones and tactile finishes instead of sci-fi sterile materials. Note: to achieve warm but contemporary looks add contrast by playing with timber grains against stone surfaces.
6. BUDGET How much you decide to invest in a kitchen will heavily affect the results but, while never going for cheap, a kitchen renovation can be affordable, as the effective ways to save money, while still satisfying your end goal, are many. Ultimately, every home and therefore kitchen renovation is unique and I always suggest discussing your plans and goals with an experienced Designer as it will give you the personalised answers you need, and ensure you make the most of your space and budget. Note: Styling details like lighting, stools and of course décor items are a great way to add the WOW factor to a budget-conscious kitchen renovation.