Cook Up a New Kitchen

It is not surprising that the most popular renovation in most homes is the kitchen.  In a lot of homes, the kitchen is not just a place to prepare meals, it’s also a space where the family eats, where homework and crosswords are done, and other general living activities take place.

Whether the stove wears out, the sink explodes or you decide you just can’t live with those cupboards any more, sooner or later you will be thinking of renovating the kitchen. The changes you make will depend on what needs replacing, how substantial your budget is, and what style (if any) currently exists that needs to be worked with or replaced completely.

If your kitchen has weathered with time and just isn’t up to scratch anymore, here are a few things to consider:

  • Will you be doing it yourself, or calling in the professionals? Think carefully about this one – do you really have the time and patience to re-wire the kitchen? Laying tiles at 9:30 pm after a hard day’s work may not be what you envisaged when you decided you’d like to make some changes around the house! How much angst will it cause if the sink is sitting on the floor for two weeks while you attend to a crisis at work? On the other hand, contractors will take over your space and life for as long as the job takes – and the sink may still end up in the middle of the floor for two weeks!
  • How much change do you want to make, or are you prepared to make at this stage?  Does the kitchen need to be gutted and overhauled completely, or will a paint job, a new splashback and some bright shiny appliances make all the difference?
  • If the kitchen doesn’t work for you, have a look at how it’s designed.  Does it follow the
    classic kitchen triangle, of sink, stove/oven, and refrigerator?  In planning a kitchen, the cook should be able to move unimpeded between the three points, and the distances between those points should not be far.
  • Storage rules.  If you have open walls, consider building shelves to give yourself more storage space.  Install the microwave on them to remove it permanently from the benchtop, and use them to store appliances such as blenders or toasters or display your favourite crockery or antique dishes.
  • Laminate, tiles and tile paints can be an inexpensive way to change your kitchen surfaces. Beware, however, that paint can chip or mark easily, so may not be the best choice for high use areas such as kitchen benches.  Then again, it may be better to simply replace the entire bench.  The size, style and material used will help define a style within your kitchen, and will also dictate how much the process will cost.
  • Replacing existing cabinetry can account for more than half the cost of a kitchen renovation. If you decide the cupboards need replacing, have a good look at the skeleton before ripping them out entirely.  So long as they work well in the space, consider simply taking off the doors and replacing them with new ones.

Most importantly, take into account how much time you can afford to spend without your kitchen.  If a complete overhaul is necessary, make sure you have organised an alternative that will work for you and your family – even if it means you have to rent a serviced apartment, go live with your mother or spend a lot of money on eating out.

Tags: ,