Kitchens are the heart and busiest part of a home and, as such, one of the key selling features of a property.
So if you’re planning on spicing up your cooking zone, it’s important to nail the renovation.
Here are expert tips to revamp your kitchen into a space that serves up both style and functionality.
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RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
Kitchens are often the most expensive rooms to renovate and the process requires the help of almost every trade.
This includes cabinet makers, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, tilers, painters and plasterers.
Builder and Elevate Building Group owner Matthew Menichelli said this meant it was crucial to “do your research and have a clear idea of exactly what you are trying to achieve in the space, including its function”.
“Ensure you have a predetermined budget set aside. Once this is done, you can engage a (licensed) builder to help you get the ball rolling,” he said.
“They’re across the industry standards and regulations, which means they can give you the best insights on new ideas and walk you through the correct process and sequence of actions that need to be followed.”
A kitchen makeover typically takes three to five weeks, with first-time renovators warned to plan carefully and consider living arrangements before commencing, as they will be left without cooking facilities.
“Be realistic with your budgets and timeline,” Hipages chief customer officer Stuart Tucker advised. “Ensure you discuss this with your builder at the outset to ensure all materials and labour costs can be covered. This will save you from disappointment with your project down the track.”
Kitchen renovation cost guide
■ $15,000-$25,000 for a budget or cosmetic renovation of a small kitchen using budget materials and appliances.
■ $25,000-$35,000 for an average-sized, mid-range kitchen renovation using mid-range materials and appliances.
■ $35,000-$40,000+ for a premium kitchen renovation using top-of-the-range materials, fittings and appliances.
Functionality and ample storage solutions are key to a great kitchen design. But the space also has to have plenty of wow factor, according to Kinsman’s design manager Phil Ryder.
“The ultimate goal for any kitchen is a functional layout and plenty of storage, as these are the top selling points for any style kitchen, in any location,” he said.
“Updating the layout to be more spacious and functional is a major level up you can make to an older kitchen.”
Mr Ryder said adding an island bench was “a sure way to add value”.
“It’s the most desired layout for modern kitchens used as the hub of the home for not only eating, but also working and entertaining,” he said.
He suggested using engineered stone benchtops like Caesarstone. But if you were working to a tighter budget, the latest laminate was a good option as it simulated natural surfaces and was highly durable.
“For style that sells, it needs to feel like it was picked for a purpose and it must look cohesive with the rest of the home,” he said.
“If it’s an older Federation style throughout, design the kitchen to complement that by selecting cabinetry door profiles and handles to suit.
“With most modern homes embracing open-plan living, it’s especially important to have a seamless flow from one room to another. This can be achieved by sharing the same colour palette as the rest of the home, as well as textural and decorative elements.”
To enhance your cooking zone, Mr Ryder suggested using quality Australian-made products that would last in a design that suited your lifestyle.
“The kitchen space should reflect the number of people living there, their style of living and how much entertaining they do,” he said.
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Appliances are always a major consideration in a kitchen revamp.
Harvey Norman home appliances senior brand manager Gary Brown said if you were designing a new cooking zone, there was no point hanging on to your old appliances.
“When people look for homes on realestate.com.au, often the first picture they look at is the kitchen and what appliances are in there,” he said.
“You renovate to add value and give yourself better functionality and a better experience.”
Mr Brown said they were accordingly one area to not skimp on.
“Cooking appliances are the least-replaced and longest-serving item in the home,” he said. “People don’t replace their ovens, cooktops and rangehoods for up to 20 years.
“If you haven’t shopped for an oven or cooktop in five years, go do some research. There is so much innovation that has gone into (appliances) — it’s going to be a big surprise.”
Integrated coffee machines, built-in wine fridges, zip taps with filtered or sparkling water, and steam ovens offering healthier cooking options are gaining popularity as luxury kitchen inclusions for those looking to add extra value.
“Shopping for cooking appliances is a bit different, it’s like trusting someone to help you project manage,” Mr Brown said.
“It’s a planned purchased that might take two or three visits to the store before you know what you want, so do it as early as you can.
“The more details you can give your builder (about the appliances you want), the fewer hold ups and constraints you’ll have down the track.”
hipages.com.au, harveynorman.com.au, kinsman.com.au, elevatebuilding.com.au
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