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Kitchen-design tips you may not have thought of

01 February 2016

A kitchen renovation is a hugely rewarding home-improvement project, and most people have the same goal: creating a space that is both beautiful and functional. Of course success lies in the planning, so before you embark on this exciting (and sometimes slightly overwhelming) process, make sure you’ve considered the points below.

Up and away: The right combination of storage and design aesthetics will ensure that your kitchen is both functional and contemporary. It might add a little to the budget, but taking kitchen cabinetry all the way to the ceiling will give you more storage space — however current kitchen design trends are to stop the units just short of the ceiling to give a more modern line.

Plan realistically: A standard kitchen installation will take four weeks from the delivery of carcasses to site to the completion of snags (if you have opted for stone or timber tops).  Remember that for every change you make to the kitchen once the kitchen company is on site, you add another week to that timeline. Also bear in mind that the kitchen company will normally not remove your old kitchen, and you will have to arrange this.

Power and the glory: If you are renovating, you can use the opportunity to relook at your water and electrical layout. It’s the perfect time to allow for more plug points (or to move your water and waste). If it’s a new build, don’t be shy about adding a generous amount of plug points. It won’t break the bank, and you won’t regret the decision in years to come.

Bring in the light: Homeowners often make the mistake of underestimating how much light they need in their kitchen. Ensure you have good general lighting, as well as task lighting and feature lighting.  These will not only help the functionality of the kitchen but also the aesthetics and ambiance.

Counter intuitive: You’ll be surprised how you’ll make use of all the surfaces in your kitchen – and probably will still want more. Ensure you have enough cupboards and drawers to store your clutter and keep your work surfaces clear. For a kitchen to be truly functional you need a minimum of 1 metre of continuous clear work surface.

The future is green: Thinking green is the responsible thing to do.  Remember to allow for recycling bins as well as your usual dustbin.  A compost bin is a good addition.  You should also pay attention to the water and electricity usage of your appliances and look to purchase those with a good energy and water rating.

Out in the open: Open shelves are great for displaying kitchen items and are easy to access, but no matter how clean your home, the shelves will get dusty. Make sure you’re prepared for this if you’re adamant you want to go this route.

Hidden gems: Choosing good kitchen hardware is an important investment.  These are the working parts and support mechanisms of the kitchen that take the most wear and tear.  Don’t be afraid to spend a little extra on good-quality runners and hinges that have a decent guarantee as this will save you money in the long run.

Be prepared: The process of getting a new kitchen is messy and intrusive.  Help yourself stay sane by setting up a makeshift kitchen elsewhere in the home so you have easy access to a kettle, microwave and washing bucket.  Also, don’t hover over the team.  Let them do their work and then inspect it when they have left for the day.  Remember a kitchen installation is a process and once it is complete you will have the opportunity to present the kitchen company with a list of snags that it will need to address.  

Source: Stephanie Forbes, The Kitchen Specialists Association