May 21, 2022 - 4 min read
So, you’re finally ripping out that old kitchen and installing the latest cooking and dishwasher appliances? How exciting! But before you get too starry-eyed picturing all those lazy Sunday mornings around that shiny new breakfast bar, there are some important practical matters to consider – to save you time, money (and tears) in the long run.
“When it comes to a new kitchen, you really do have to think function before form, and then bring it all together at the end,” says Lauren Pearse of Rylo Co. Interiors, Brisbane.
To help you create a kitchen that will be your pride and joy for years to come, we’ve identified the top reno blunders to avoid.
Not making your new appliances top of the queue? Probably the biggest kitchen reno fail of them all. Take it from us, choosing cabinets and countertops to fit your new fridge or dishwasher is much easier than the other way around. “There is no point in designing a new kitchen if you don’t know what appliances you are using,” stresses Lauren. “If you design the space first, then try to find the products to fit, you will be compromising on your new appliances.”
“When it’s time to start shopping for those new appliances that will be the centrepiece of your kitchen redesign, the goal should be ‘buy once, buy well’,” says Peter Simic, The Good Guys Buyer – Refrigerators. “Don’t make the mistake of cutting corners and buying appliances that you’ll soon outgrow as your household expands, or as technology advances, outdating your existing model. It’s a false economy.”
The Miele AutoDos Semi Integrated Dishwasher has the latest auto dosing technology to calculate precisely how much detergent is needed for each load, plus Wi-Fi capability to start a wash from anywhere.
The Fisher & Paykel 690L Quad Door Refrigerator’s variable temperature zones let you switch between fridge and freezer to maximise the freshness of your weekly shop.
Some call it the “work triangle”. It’s that sacred pocket of the kitchen where you spend the most time – prepping, cooking, serving and cleaning up. “Park your stove too far from the fridge in your remodel, or the fridge too far from the sink, and you’ll seriously hinder your kitchen flow and be constantly pacing the floor. Where plumbing allows, follow best kitchen design practice and keep your cooktop, fridge and sink within easy reach of each other,” says Lauren Pearse.
Elevate your home entertaining with the sleek Smeg 90cm Linea Induction Cooktop: magnetic field-based heating delivers super-speedy and energy-efficient cooking.
The ultra-savvy Samsung 810L Family Hub Refrigerator connects to your smartphone and can suggest recipes (or even read them out!) based on your fridge’s contents.
They might seem like add-ons. But fail to factor in enough storage solutions like deep drawers, pull-out cabinets or butler’s pantries – and you’ll end up with a cluttered kitchen (and nowhere to stash all those off-duty blenders and other small kitchen appliances).
“A massive pet peeve of mine is not taking kitchen cabinetry right to the ceiling or at least adding a bulkhead above,” admits Lauren. “Leaving a gap above your cabinetry not only makes the space look unfinished and your ceiling feel lower, but you should see the dust up there after a few years!”
A badly lit kitchen is zero fun to work in. Kitchens need excellent lighting for cooking, cleaning – and atmosphere! “Kitchen lighting is not only practical, it adds character to a space without huge costs to change it out,” says Lauren. “A single statement pendant over an island bench makes a beautiful addition. And track lights are great for brightening workbenches without overwhelming the room.”
“It’s all well and good to want a large island. But a lot of renovations don’t allow for it,” says Lauren. “People aspire to this look without acknowledging the space they actually have. They end up with a design that looks amazing, but just doesn’t function the way it needs to for their family.”
No matter how DIY-capable you are, consult a kitchen design expert before starting your project. An expert can help finetune your plan, prevent any costly setbacks (hello, plumbing disaster), and might even recommend something you hadn't thought of.