Remodelling that old, worn out kitchen is something many homeowners spend long years dreaming about. If you’ve been saving those recession dollars and are finally getting close to realising that dream, the kitchen planning tips below will help make sure your new kitchen is everything you want it to be.
While the glossy kitchens pictured in home design magazines might be tempting, remember that your new kitchen needs to suit your particular habits and needs, not those of the latest fashionable architect.
In the early stages of kitchen planning, ask yourself what you need the room to do. Do you do a lot of entertaining? Do you need facilities that can cope with preparing food for large numbers of people. Do you want the kitchen to be a place where the family spends time even when you’re not cooking. What is your lifestyle like? Does you kitchen need to cater safely for young children? Do members of your family have special needs? All these things will factor into your overall kitchen remodelling design.
Before you begin your kitchen remodelling, arm yourself with knowledge that will allow you to make informed choices.
Collect kitchen design brochures and catalogues, browse websites related to kitchen products, fittings and materials, visit kitchen design centres. These are all great sources that you can use to learn just what’s available out there in the world of kitchen design – and what it costs!
Collecting a folder of products and designs that you like will make it easier for you to show your kitchen contractor just what you want. This bank of information is also useful for drawing up “must-have” and “nice-to-have” lists and for gauging how far your budget will stretch.
Get the Basics Right First
It would be nice to think that everyone undertaking kitchen remodelling has enough money to get the kitchen of their dreams. The sad fact, however, is that most of us have to make compromises, sometimes a lot of compromises, to fit that kitchen into our budgets.
The best approach, if you can’t afford everything you want, is to concentrate on getting the “bones” of the kitchen right first. The basic layout of the room, the positioning of major appliances, the installation of cabinetwork and plumbed fixtures are the foundations of your kitchen. They are often the most expensive elements to purchase and are certainly the most difficult and costly to change if you get things wrong.
By spending the time to get these things right from the get-go you’ll be creating a room that you can build on sometime in the future when, hopefully, you’ll have the extra cash for that granite bench top or those titanium cupboard handles.
Money Saving Tips
When planning your kitchen, think of areas where you can save a little money. For instance, kitset cupboards can be made to look trendy with the right paint and a change of door handles. Standard bench tops can be can be livened up with borders of colour or inset piping. A little creativity can stretch you kitchen remodelling dollar.
Design Points to Consider
Whether your kitchen is a grand undertaking with hectares of floor space, or a petite apartment galley, certain design factors remain constant if your cooking space is to function efficiently. Some of these design points are listed below.
- Plan your kitchen around a focal point. Is there a window with a great view? Or a particular structural feature in the room you’d like to take advantage of?
- Place the sink between the fridge and the cooker, that way you won’t have to walk past one to get to the other and you’ll cut down the distance you walk each time you prepare a meal.
- Try for at least a meter of counter space on both sides of the range and on both sides of the sink.
- You’ll also find it useful if you have some free counter space on the opening side of the fridge.
- Build cupboards up to the ceiling to avoid dust-catching wasted space.
- Avoid seams in bench tops and splashbacks as much as possible – they collect dirt and can be sites for water intrusion.
- Think about lighting – it creates mood and is also essential for the safe operation of your kitchen. What areas of your kitchen need to be particularly well-lit?
- Exploit corner space with lazy Susans.
- Consider large, roll-out drawers for pots and pans, rather than reach-in cupboards.
- Take the “golden triangle” into account. The main points of a kitchen are the fridge, the sink and the stove. If these can be positioned in a triangle, the points of which are not too far apart, work in the kitchen will be more efficient and require less energy from the cook. As a rule of thumb, although the sides of the triangle do not by any means have to be equal, the total distance of the three sides added together should be between 4 and 8 metres.
- Think about the future. Do you plan to use this kitchen in old age? What features might be necessary then? Taps that are easy to turn? Cupboard handles that are old-hand friendly? Building these into your kitchen now could save you money in the long run.
Kitchen Remodelling Success
Doing your research, building up a resource folder of kitchen fittings and products, speaking to kitchen centre staff, allocating your money to essential structural and design elements first, applying creative money-saving ideas, and adhering to sound kitchen design principles are all things which will help ensure success when you begin your kitchen remodelling project.
For more tips on kitchen remodelling check out this video.