When it comes to buying a house, the kitchen is one of the most important features home buyers take into consideration.
If your kitchen is more drab than fab, it’s time for a spruce up. Too often when we talk about renovations it can seem overwhelming – too costly, too hard, too time consuming. But it doesn’t have to be. Let’s look at some of the things to consider if you decide a kitchen renovation is on the cards.
Get the reno right and guarantee instant appeal for prospective buyers – it could be the thing that clinches the deal.
The kitchen is the heartbeat of the house. You want it to have a character that suits the rest of the interior and blends in with the general theme of the house. If you aren’t confident with your own design ability, invest in an hour with a designer or colour specialist. You might think that their fee is on the high side, but relatively speaking it can be a small expense that could add thousands of dollars to the end result, not to mention save you from hours of confusion! The consultant will come to you, get an idea of your tastes and budget, and create a palette of colours and materials for your kitchen. Think of this person as an inspiration giver.
When slicing and dicing it’s important to have adequate lighting. After all, the only thing you want to chop up is dinner. This, of course, means there are no pesky shadows being cast over the bench, a hot stove or oven. While it’s essential to have good lighting in the kitchen from a practical perspective, it can also have a big impact on the mood of the room so it’s crucial to get it right – lighting plays both a practical and aesthetic role. LED strips are particularly effective as task lighting, especially when placed under a shelf to illuminate the bench beneath.
Having plenty of bench space is a must for anyone who enjoys cooking. It also means you have room for the coffee machine and any of the latest gadgets that heighten your culinary competence. The type of surface you choose can really make a difference to the feel of the room. Whether granite or wood, stone, stainless steel, concrete or laminate, each has its own unique character that can impact the atmosphere you are trying to achieve. Keep in mind that natural benchtops (such as marble and timber) will stain, but this isn’t a bad thing. Over time those marks will build up a beautiful patina that tell a story of hours spent creating delicious food for those you love.
In a world of whiz-bang appliances, surely you can never have too many? But with extra appliances comes the need for adequate storage so your kitchen appears clean and uncluttered. An inbuilt bookshelf is a must to keep all those beautiful cookbooks on display – and at your fingertips too. Deep drawers are a non-negotiable for pots and pans and should be below the bench. A good tip is to make sure they aren’t too wide, so to prevent two people from cooking alongside each other at the bench. Ensure everything below the bench is designated drawer space and all above it, shelves or cupboards – it will look better and adds to the convenience factor. Kick activated drawers on the lowest level are an especially helpful feature. Place your bin drawer as close as possible to where the food preparation will occur for speedy disposal of scraps.
So, you may not have a butler but that doesn’t mean you can’t have the pantry… space allowing. A butler’s pantry is essentially a kitchen within a kitchen and includes a sink, food preparation area and storage for food, appliances and utensils. Great for hiding the dirty dishes after a meal, they are becoming increasingly popular in Australia.
If you appreciate a fine drop, wine racks can add an extra layer of sophistication to your kitchen. There are many novel ways of keeping your bottles of vino stored correctly, including purpose-built kick-activated drawers or island bench cubby holes. And don’t forget the wine fridge – to chill the whites or keep the beer cold – but place it away from the work spaces to separate the food prep action from the tipple seekers.
Extra smart ideas
- We love the idea of a chalkboard to leave notes and add a touch of creative flair to the hub of the home – for shopping lists, menu dish ideas and kids’ chore reminders.
- Replacing tired bench stools is an inexpensive way of refreshing the décor – you might want to take it up a notch with the hue of these to inject a pop of colour into an otherwise minimal colour scheme – think bright yellow or pastel pink.
- If your space is small, consider adding a mirror splashback to help reflect light and create a feeling of openness
- Don’t forget to position the oven, fridge and sink close to each other for convenient movement between these utilities.