As autumn’s freshness encourages us to migrate indoors, many home owners and investors are now looking at adding value by updating their kitchens.
With this year’s series of “The Block” coming to a close, inspiration can be drawn from the amazing kitchen creations we have witnessed unfolding.
For those who lack the vision of the talented “Block” contestants, outlined below are five simple tips to ensure your new kitchen is functional, appealing and beautiful.
1. Install a dishwasher
Let’s be honest. Nobody really wants to wash dishes by hand any more do they? If you are considering selling your home any time soon, omitting the dishwasher will turn buyers off.
If you have an older style kitchen and are sticking to a tight budget, consider sacrificing an under bench cupboard to accommodate a new dishwasher. 450mm wide varieties are readily available and your modern kitchen just won’t be complete without one.
2. Include plenty of storage
Do you have overhead cupboards? If not, why not?
Modern Australian homes require storage, storage and more storage! If you have empty walls above your benches or hotplates, installing overhead cupboards is a necessity. There is an abundance of off-the-shelf choices available from Bunnings, Masters and Ikea so make sure to include overhead storage in your budget.
And don’t forget that little area above your fridge!
3. Stone bench tops
There is plenty of debate amongst renovators comparing cost vs value when it comes to including stone bench tops in your kitchen renovation.
The rule of thumb is this. For houses valued at under $700,000, investment dollars spent installing stone bench tops will not be recouped.
I’m just putting it out there now but – aren’t rules meant to be broken?
If your house is in the median price range and you really want stone bench tops, consider these cost effective solutions:-
Second hand or wholesale
If you have the time to search, it is possible to pick up entire second hand kitchens with stone bench tops from online sites such as ebay, gumtree, quokka, or even from liquidators auctions.
We can take inspiration from Perth’s self-professed “Queen of the Quokka”, Margaret Fort, who has built up an impressive property portfolio due to her frugal renovation spending. She regularly transforms kitchens at a fraction of retail price by scouring salvage yards, garage sales and online sites.
Why go to the inconvenience and expense of installing new stone or granite benchtops when you can achieve the same effect by placing a layer of stone over your existing bench?
There are a number of companies who will custom make your new stone bench cover and fit it into place by epoxying directly on top of your old bench tops. There’s no need to remove the old bench top so the limited demolition involved saves you time and money.
A word of caution:
When buying second hand or wholesale stone benches and installing them yourself, always remember that you are trying to achieve a luxury look. If your trade skills leave a lot to be desired, please consider employing a qualified tradesperson for the job. The last thing you want when creating your dream kitchen is to be disappointed with the end result.
4. Keep the design open plan
Most Australian houses built over the past thirty years have open plan kitchens that fit beautifully with our sociable laid back lifestyle.
If you have an older home or a kitchen that is a segregated room, you will add massive value to your home by removing a wall and opening up the space.
Obviously you will need to be aware of load bearing walls so make sure you receive an engineer’s report before picking up a sledge hammer. Even if you have to install a steel beam where a wall was removed, the creation of space will really pay dividends, both in the way you use your new area and with your final sale price.
Include an island bench in your new kitchen design. This allows a clear delineation between kitchen, dining and family rooms and provides additional bench and cupboard space.
5. Stick to neutral colours
Colour sets the mood of the room. Remember that your personality is not necessarily everyone’s personality – it may not even be your personality in a year or two! – so you need to be selective when choosing your kitchen colours.
Whether or not you are planning your kitchen renovation with an end sale in mind, it is wise to consider neutral colours that won’t date too quickly. Add your personality by introducing pops of your favourite colour in appliances, accessories and the odd coloured wall.
Autumn is a great time for renovating. So make the most of the upcoming public holidays and transform your kitchen ready for warm winter cook ups. You’ll be so glad you did!
Please comment below if you have any questions about your kitchen renovation and we will be happy to offer free cost-effective advice.
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