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    Renovating your kitchen? Here’s where to start

    Top considerations when creating your dream kitchen

    Hannah | Oneflare

    The kitchen, as they say, is truly the ‘heart of the home’. We spend a great deal of time in our kitchens, so it’s important they reflect our lifestyle, accommodate our needs and complement the rest of our home’s decor.

    Deciding to makeover your kitchen is an exciting project that can improve the overall look and feel of your home, its functionality and liveability whilst increasing its value. However it can also be incredibly challenging if you haven’t adequately prepared and thought it through. Avoid costly mistakes with some careful planning and consideration.

    When dreaming up your perfect kitchen, there are a few important considerations before you get started / Source: Henry & Co Interiors

    Before you get started, here’s some of the things to consider for your kitchen renovation.

    What are your goals?

    The best place to start is to think about what you want to achieve from your renovation. Sometimes it’s not just that your kitchen has become outdated and doesn’t look the way you want it to – there could be something that has always annoyed you, like the pantry is too small or there isn’t enough storage space. Do you want more natural light? Do you want it to be environmentally friendly? Do you need more preparation space?

    Set clear objectives at the beginning of your project so that you don’t get to the end and still have nowhere to put the pots and pans. Write a list of what you don’t like about your current kitchen and what you’d want in your new one.


    Kitchen renovations can be expensive. Set a realistic preliminary budget that you’re comfortable with, as your budget will determine the scale of your make over. It’s also a good idea to have a contingency allocation if something goes wrong. Decide what’s absolutely essential, what you’re willing to compromise on and what can be added in down the track.

    Once you’ve established your budget, you can better determine how extensive the renovation will be, which will then dictate which professionals you will need to hire. If a complete renovation isn’t an option, there are plenty of things you can change to refresh and add value.

    Changing the lighting, appliances and bench tops are some of the things that can easily be done on a budget that will make a big difference. Be sure to make the most of your money and add value.

    Find inspiration

    It’s easy to jump in and pick something out of a magazine without thinking through the design as a whole. You don’t want your kitchen to quickly date so do your homework and find classic, timeless designs that will complement the rest of your home.

    Light, bright kitchens usually work best and you can always add colour and design elements with accessories that can easily be changed or updated.

    Create a collection of inspiring images, get samples and actually see the products where possible instead of just looking online. Try out some visual rendering technology if you can, it will give you a better idea of what your finished product will look like.

    Source: Helicrete Pty Ltd

    Layout and design

    The size and location of your space is a major factor in determining your kitchen’s layout. There are various options available, ranging from a U-shaped kitchen, an L shaped kitchen, and a galley style. Depending on the style you select, you also need to consider islands, peninsulas, and even a breakfast bar, if it suits your needs and space available.

    Alongside these considerations, functionality is hugely important. Think about what’s important for you and your family and ensure there is a considered flow in the design. You don’t want to have the dishwasher a walk away from the sink, or nowhere to put anything next to your cooktop.

    If your family routine is that the kids do their homework while you make dinner, make sure there’s enough space for them to do so. Role-playing the preparation and cooking process with your design in mind can help, and it will quickly become apparent if something isn’t right.

    Every square centimetre needs to work hard and be carefully planned. Some things to think about:

    • The height of the appliances
    • Width of walkways – don’t make them too narrow once doors are open
    • Location of power outlets
    • Adequate bench space for preparation
    • Adequate storage space
    • A place to sit and eat
    • Integration with other rooms in the house
    • Orientation of sunlight
    • Your view from the workspace

    Work with what you’ve got

    Before you let loose with a sledgehammer, think about what can remain in place. Leaving existing cabinetry and changing out the drawer and cupboard fronts can be a big money saver, and won’t necessarily affect the look or design of the kitchen. When moving key components, like the location of appliances or sinks, realise that this means a larger budget for moving plumbing and electrical components.

    There are a raft of incredible products out there that can transform almost anything, from stained sinks to tired laminate benchtops. Don’t discount what a lick of paint can do either. Be smart with your money and it will stretch much further.

    Spend your money wisely

    It’s sometimes tempting to opt for cheaper labour, fixtures and fittings to keep costs down, but often the end result can be compromised. Be wise with your budget and spend money on quality where you can. Look at spending money on a few, key feature items or focal points for maximum impact.

    Don’t forget the details

    As they say, the devil is in the detail. You don’t want your beautiful new kitchen to be spoilt by the hideous tapware you chose in a hurry. Things like taps, power point covers, light switches and handles can make a big difference to the overall look of your kitchen and should be carefully considered.


    Think about what’s most important to you, and what you’d like to splurge on. Appliance dimensions and positioning can affect the overall design and layout so do your homework and get the most bang for your buck. Decide whether you’d like to have appliances hidden within cabinetry or out on display, and plan accordingly.

    You shouldn’t wait until the end to purchase your appliances. The spaces in your kitchen need to be allotted to accommodate the appliances you plan to install. Choose appliances that fit your needs but also help you keep your budget in line.

    Source: Esteem Building & Renovations

    Timing is everything

    Be organised and have a schedule of works if you’re managing the project yourself to make sure trades are completed in the correct order. Doing so will avoid costly mistakes and save you time and money.

    Do you need plans and council approval?

    Depending on the extent of your renovation, you may need to have plans drawn up or gain local council approval. Most councils allow for minor changes that don’t alter the structure or services such as plumbing, drainage and electrical, however it is always best to check what your local government’s policies are, or your builder will be able to advise you if you have one.

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    How much will your job cost?

    The Oneflare Cost Guide Centre is your one-stop shop to help you set your budget; from smaller tasks to larger projects.