A well-designed kitchen renovation can increase not only the enjoyment of a home, but also the resale value of a property, mentions Donna White.
By our very nature, the average person loves to take people into their home to show them what they’ve done with the kitchen – the place where we congregate, entertain and relax.
Some people start a kitchen renovation by looking at appliances. Others start by collecting inspiring photos. Wherever you start, there are item in the kitchen that are worth investing in quality.
The bits that matter are the machines that do the work and the items that we come into contact with on a daily basis. These include knives and pans, door handles and taps.
The hinges, and other essential pieces of cabinet componentry that open and close the drawers and cupboards we will access all the time, are also important. So, they need to be well engineered.
However, no one in their right mind is going to show off a sturdy hinge, or get excited by looking at one. We want to wow the visitor with the overall impact on the kitchen.
To truth, the reason we ought to feel pleased with our kitchen is because it works for us. The reason it works should be because it has an efficient layout, plenty of storage, good finishes, and strong componentry.
However, if it coordinates with the style and colour of the rest of the home, it is something in which you can take great pride.
If you have given consideration to the era of the home to the renovation within it, you deserve positive feedback from your visitors.
If it is easy to work in, you should be delighted with it, and that only comes from good design.
The style of the cabinetry, splashback, benchtop and other finishes need to be in the back of your mind, but unless the flow of the space is well planned, you are wasting your time and money.
The first step in kitchen design is planning the layout. Consider engaging a kitchen design professional even if you are building your own kitchen cabinets, and are qualified to do your own wiring and plumbing. The professional will bring practical experience to the project.
I have always stated that there is an obvious starting point in the interior design of any space. For the colours and finishes of a kitchen renovation, I draw inspiration from something in the room, and/or the era of the house.
This does not mean that you have to have a traditional style of kitchen in a villa or a bungalow.
What you do is take a design element of the house, and interpret it in a contemporary way. For example, in the renovation of my own kitchen in my 1940s home, I will use the style of the brick-laid tiles around the dining room fireplace as the splashback in my new kitchen.
It would be wrong to fit a glass splashback, because this has nothing to do with the 1940s architecture.
Let one key decision to help you decide on the next one. For example, brick-laid tiles led me to believe paneled cabinet fronts would be a better style fit than smooth cabinet fronts.
The bits that take the hardest amount of wear and tear in a home are horizontal surfaces. So it stands to reason that anything that you walk on, sit on, or work at needs to be the best you can afford. These surfaces include the kitchen benchtop and floor.
Wherever possible, continue wooden flooring from other surrounding areas into the kitchen. If there is a change from one floor surface to another, I recommend the transition to be similar in colour. This will create a greater feeling of space.
The colours of the kitchen walls should coordinate with the palette used throughout the remainder of the house.
On trend at the moment is the mix and match of cabinet colours. White and natural wood are popular choices. However, the new neutral is grey.
Grey is a sleek sophisticated alternative for a contemporary home if applied to smooth cabinet fronts, or in an older home, applied to paneled fronts. When paired with white or black benchtops, grey cabinetry provides an understated backdrop that allows accent colours to really pop.
A pop of colour injects fun and creativity. It is an element that gives the best kitchens a soul that is warm, inviting and personal.
This article featured on page 28 of Issue 015 of Renovate Magazine. Renovate Magazine is an easy to use resource providing fresh inspiration and motivation at every turn of the page.
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