20 Essential Tips for a Kitchen Renovation

Today's kitchens are often the heart of the home. Therefore, careful planning is required to ensure a kitchen that's both beautiful and highly functional. Here are 20 tips to consider when designing your kitchen.

1. Think Ahead

When redesigning a kitchen, put function first, There's no ideal kitchen shape. Whether it's a galley or U- or L-shaped, plan for the sink, fridge and cooktop to form a triangle, with no more than 2 meter between each for ease of movement.

2. Eliminate Wasted Steps

Think about how and where you use items. Store breakfast foods and bowls near the breakfast table. Keep wraps and plastic containers in one handy spot near a work surface for wrapping leftovers. Locate dishware and flatware near the dishwasher to ease the process of unloading.

3. Design wide walkways

Paths throughout a kitchen should be at least 1 meter wide. Paths within the cooking zone should be 110 cm wide for a one-cook kitchen and 120 cm wide for a two-cook configuration. When planning, adjust kitchen islands and peninsulas accordingly.

4. See the light

Unlike in other rooms of the house, overhead lighting is insufficient in kitchens, says electrician. In the kitchen, you don't want the light behind you, casting a shadow on the workspace. You need it positioned to fall in front of you. He likes under-cabinet lights because they shine directly on counter-tops.

5. Space and surfaces

There's no such thing as too much counter space. Choose a surface that's easy to work on and care for. But keep in mind that grout between tiles is hard to maintain and that stainless steel will scratch very easily.

6. Start fresh

Don't reuse appliances or items from the old kitchen. It may seem as if you're saving money, but an old appliance will stick out like a sore thumb in a new environment. Find other ways to economize. You don't have to spend $100 on a drawer handle when cheaper ones still look fantastic. The same goes for bench tops.

7. Safety First

Make your kitchen as safe and family-friendly as possible by planning for good visibility to backyard and indoor play areas from the cooking area. Also consider slip-resistant flooring and ovens located at adult height to minimize the chances of accidental burns.

8. Stay Clear of Corners

To make cabinet and appliance doors fully functional, plan space for the door's clearance and swing direction in your kitchen design. Keep appliances away from corners, and make sure doors won't bang into each other if open at the same time.

9. Find the right height for the microwave

The correct height and location for a microwave oven may vary depending on the chef or the kid-friendly character of the kitchen. For adults, 40 cm above bench top level is a good microwave height. For kids, a below-bench top setup may be safer and more suitable.

10. Determine the island's function

When it comes to kitchen islands, form follows function. If you want to cook and eat on kitchen islands, plan enough space so the cooktop is safely separated from the dining area.

11. Consider the bench tops

Chefs who like to cook require more bench top space -ideally between the range and sink - than those who cook infrequently or who prepare simple meals. In addition, incorporating two bench top heights makes baking easier and helps kids who are involved in meal preparations.

12. Fill it up

Tired of lugging water-filled pots from the sink to the cooktop? A swing-out tap -- also called a pot-filler -- installed near the cooktop fills pots near where you heat them. Or you can install an extra-long hose attachment on your main faucet to fill pots on the cooktop.

13. Think Short

Place your childs favourite dishes and snack foods on shelves they can reach. This will keep them happy and will stop them asking for food all the time.

14. Plug it in

Install multiple outlets along the backsplash and on the island so you'll have electricity wherever you need it.

15. Cut Cleaning Time

Careful design decisions make cleaning easier. Glass refrigerator shelves catch spills that wire shelves let through. Flush-set or undermount sinks don't have a crumb-catching rim to worry about. Matte finishes don't show dirt as much as glossy ones do.

16. Break up cabinetry blocks

Avoid boring, heavy blocks of doors and drawers by adding interesting details such as glass doors and display shelving. Or try wine storage or windows.

17. Use light colours in a small kitchen

Dark colour schemes shrink an already small space and make it less inviting. Use soft shades on kitchen cabinets and natural light to visually expand a small room.

18. Find a focal point

Splashy tile, fancy floors, sizable range hoods, bright kitchen cabinets, and busy bench top patterns give the eye too much to look at. Pick one focal point in your kitchen design and complement that area with a few other quieter, eye-catching details.

19. Make Room for Storage

The biggest mistake people make at the planning stage is not allowing for enough storage. Use every nook and cranny. Put overhead cabinets right up to the ceiling, rather than leaving a gap on top that collects dust. Consider deep drawers for easier access to pots and pans, and include enough storage for appliances that otherwise would clutter up benchtop.

20. Trash Talk

Don't forget to plan for garbage and recycling bins. We would suggest to built-in bins cleverly disguised behind a cabinet door.