Kitchen Renovations Perth – Getting The Details Right
Images by: Biasol Photography: Daniel Aulsebrook
Kitchen renovations in Perth are on the rise, according to Master Builders Australia economics manager Matthew Pollock;
Home renovations are forecast to increase with total spending tipped to come close to $9 billion this year. Growth is expected to be strongest in WA, South Australia and Queensland.
The clients I’m speaking to usually want to upgrade their existing home, because they love the area they live in and don’t want to move. Plus when you take the average house price in Perth is around $500,000, by staying and improving you’re going to save approx. $20,000 on stamp duty charges, compared if you bought again.
Kitchen Renovations and Working With a Designer.
It’s not enough to create just a stunning kitchen. A kitchen has to be practical, considered and a hybrid between cooking, eating and living. Today the modern kitchen has become the informal entertainment area for guests, friends and family.
It takes more than one design appointment to refine all the details such as the layout, functionality and finishes of the kitchen. You’ll usually have an initial meeting with me, where you’ll set out the brief and I’ll take overall dimensions of the space. Then I get to work on creating the concepts. This is followed by another meeting to discuss and refine the design layout, finishes, fixtures, materials and form a firm budget. This is where I issue a final set of documents. You’ll then have a last run-through meeting where any final changes can be made.
So if you’re thinking of Renovating your Kitchen, here are some pointers to think about before you meet with a designer.
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Creating a practical layout for your Kitchen.
Everyone has heard of the kitchen triangle the fridge, sink, oven/stove triangle. But I like to think of the zones or areas you will need in your Kitchen? Zone for when you’re cooking, washing up and food prep zones, even morning coffee zone or entertaining with cocktails/wine & cheese nights. Have you got enough bench & storage space for each zone? Can we fit an island bench within the kitchen for quick eating, for conversations and kids doing homework while mum is multitasking with the cooking?
Innovative storage solutions will make or break the perfect kitchen design. Butler storage rooms (middle image) are all on trend now, but if you are limited on space consider a custom pantry you can conceal with doors (Right side image). The issue with butler storage rooms is they can be cumbersome if they are too far away from the food prep and cook zone of the kitchen.
Images by: Madaline blanchford
Quality Kitchen Hardware and Hinges
Look at good-quality accessories and hardware, such as pull-out corner units, drawer dividers, soft-close runners and door hinges. A kitchen layout set-up that has more drawers than cupboards, works best. If going for a contemporary look, go for handless door fronts, if you want to inject more character choose beautiful handles that enhance the look you’re after.
Image by: CM Studio
Don’t buy appliances before solving all layout issue and you have a finalised budget. If we realise you’re over budget there are ways of cost saving without losing the aesthetic and practical appeal. If the appliances have already been bought it means these sizes become a constraint to the design outcome and limit certain layouts.
Another important point people often forget is fridges come in so many different sizes. If upgrading your fridge, make sure you compare energy star ratings, Buying a more efficient fridge can save up to 20% on your power bill. If you are planning to create a zero energy home, buying the right fridge is paramount.
A zero energy home is a home well designed to take advantage of solar passive design principles to suit the location, is energy efficient and produces as much renewable energy as it consumes over the course of a year, leaving the occupants with a net zero energy bill, and a carbon-free home.
If keeping your existing fridge, look at an option to build cabinetry (a wine rack/storage) either side. Therefore, if you do upgrade there is available space in the future.
Images by: Studio Nine Architects
I think it’s time we moved past our obsession with downlights. I see two main issues with downlights in kitchens;
- If it’s the only form of lighting in the kitchen the lighting can be quite harsh.
- Too many downlights used. I’ve seen as many as 16 downlights in one kitchen area.
Consider soft mood lighting like the above hanging pendant, from studio nine architects. The 3-pendant look lighting scheme above the bench-top is also popular. Keep in mind the style of your pendant matches the scheme of your kitchen design. A lot of display homes try and make a ‘feature’ of the pendant lights but it still needs to look like it belongs and tell part of the design story. If you’re asking yourself why those lights? when you walk into a kitchen, my hunch is they are the wrong choice.
You can also use under cabinet lighting and LED strip lighting available under base cabinets/ upper cabinets. If going open shelves above, consider lighting as a feature.
Consider the materials you. Make the trip somewhere like Home Base and look at the available finishes. Take photo’s of the different finishes that appeal to you. What particular stone’s or timber’s look beautiful? Finishes such as coloured glass or lacquer to designs of door handles. By creating a collection you’ll help the designer find the right finishes and tones.
If you’re renovating, take the flooring into consideration. What is the existing flooring? If you need to replace it consider replacing the floor right through to the front door creating a seamless look. This also saves money and time replacing the floor in the future.
Beware of going gloss or black material for cabinets and benchtops, especially if you have children. These surfaces will be very hard to keep clean. To help keep the budget under control consider neutral plain door fronts/ handles. It can pay to spend more on the benchtop and splashback or a statement tap. These design elements really make a difference.
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