Ready to renovate your kitchen?
Is your kitchen looking tired and dated? Do you get a feeling of frustration when you try to prepare meals today? Embarrassed when you have friends & family over for meals, and you find yourself constantly making excuses for the state of your kitchen?
Or have you simply outgrown your existing kitchen space, due to your family’s changing needs?
There are many “final straws” which lead Sydney residents to choose a kitchen upgrade. Regardless of your reason, when you’re ready to embark on your own kitchen renovation, you’ll want to ensure you’ve done your homework long before you start making phone calls to kitchen companies for quotes.
Before starting your kitchen renovation in Sydney
Before the real fun and excitement of a kitchen renovation begins (such as removing tiles, ripping up floors, taking out cabinetry and knocking out walls), there’s several practical questions and considerations that need to be addressed. This preliminary work ensures your kitchen designer is able to create a space that perfectly suits your household’s needs.
Kitchen renovations aren’t a simple case of one-size-fits-all. Chances are, you’ll be needing a custom kitchen design which reflects your family’s unique situation, needs and styling preferences.
While it may seem tedious and time-consuming, your future self with be grateful for the efforts you make to properly plan your kitchen renovation. In this article, we’ll cover some of the most helpful questions you’ll want to answer, before you get too far into your kitchen remodeling project.
Kitchen renovation question #1: Who are we?
Giving your kitchen designer a clear picture of how you and your family live is an effective way to ensure that your renovation will work for you – not only now, but over time. For example, as your household grows in numbers, you move into those fun teenage years and / or progress to the empty-nester stage. You may even need to consider the demands of taking-on aging parents or relatives.
Your kitchen designer needs to get to know you and your family so that they can design a space that works to suit you and your requirements. So be prepared to be upfront and honest!
Prepare a summary to advise your kitchen designer of how many people live in the home and their ages; how you live, work and entertain; any lifestyle requirements and if you regularly have visitors. Obviously, a single person or a family of two will have different kitchen needs to a family of eight, and your kitchen designer will take this into consideration in their plans.
Perhaps you’re a busy single professional who won’t be at home that often to cook lavish meals. You may be part of a couple, who is hoping to grow your family, but in the meantime, loves to host dinner parties for friends. Others may have a tribe of teenage children who frequently have their school friends around who need to be fed, while other households may need to adapt to multiple generations living in the home, if ageing parents are moving in.
Kitchen renovation question #2: How do we live?
Questions you may be asked include do you regularly entertain, and if so, do you employ caterers, who may need access to a butler’s pantry? Do you love entertaining outdoors, so need easy access to outside areas?
Do you cook specific cuisines? Are there specialist styles of cooking you particularly like to do? Do you have particular needs relating to religious beliefs or cultural requirements? For example, a Kosher kitchen for Jewish families needs separate areas for dairy and meat, and separate sinks and dishwashers, among other requirements. Meanwhile, some Asian families will ask their kitchen designer to adhere to feng shui design principles, and incorporate multiple woks.
Do you have many items to store and access? Do you buy food in bulk? If so, a butler’s pantry or spacious walk-in pantry will most likely be high on your list of must-haves. A kitchen within a kitchen, a butler’s pantry is the perfect area to prepare meals and then hide dirty dishes and saucepans, as well as a microwave, coffee machine, dishwasher, toaster and kettle.
Kitchen renovation question #3: How much space do we need?
Where do you and your household like to eat your meals? Perhaps you prefer to eat breakfast or lunch at a kitchen island or breakfast bar with bar stools. The kitchen island/breakfast bar is ideal for busy mornings for a quick breakfast before dashing out the door and is also where children can draw or play while parents cook.
Integrated seating such as a padded banquette nook is another relaxed option and saves space in smaller kitchens. Speak to your kitchen designer about if this option is right for your needs and will suit your space and layout.
Kitchen renovation question #4: What features do we need?
If your family has young children, as parents you’ll need to be able to keep an eye on them while meal preparation is underway. Fortunately, today’s kitchen layouts easily allow this. Having a nook or corner in the kitchen where children can do homework as adults prepare meals is very helpful, as supervision is close by, and ensures that children are safe (particularly while online).
If a homework nook is on your agenda, your kitchen designer will need to incorporate ample power points and charging stations for multiple mobile phones, tablets and laptops.
Even if there aren’t children in the home, these computer nooks are also the perfect area for quickly checking online recipes, streaming music while cooking or paying bills.
Storage & Waste
You’ll also want to consider your kitchen storage requirements. For everything in your kitchen, from toothpicks to large pans, you’ll want to consider efficient and effective storage early in your planning process! Modern kitchen designs provide plenty of storage options, from custom cabinets, wide and deep drawers, to dividers which help you separate your draw contents, and more.
Many new kitchens also include enclosed garbage and recycling bins, reducing wasted floor space and minimising bad odours through the kitchen. These can be contained within the kitchen island or the main cabinetry, depending on space and personal preference.
Another common feature with Sydney kitchen renovations is the inclusion of extensive lighting, beyond just ceiling lights. These lights are installed around and even inside the kitchen cabinets, to illuminate the entire kitchen area.
A growing number of high-end kitchen renovations now include smart kitchen lighting – changing the brightness and colour (manually or on a timer), to suit the time of day and the desired mood within the home… while also reducing energy costs.
Kitchen renovation question #5: What’s our budget?
Of course, most people would say that they’d love a “million-dollar kitchen”, but not many of us have the luxury to turn this into a reality! So when considering the scope of your kitchen remodel, you can’t avoid the topic of bathroom renovation costs. With average Sydney kitchen renovations costing between $22,000 and $40,000, it’s important to know where you stand based on your own financial situation.
The cost of your kitchen renovation will vary on many factors, including:
- The quality of your selected fixtures, appliances & features (including oven, rangehood, tapware, sink, lighting, automation etc)
- The size and layout of your kitchen
- The style of kitchen you’re wanting
- Quantity, style and features of your chosen cabinetry
- How soon you need the project to be completed (i.e. urgent projects often attract a surcharge with renovators)
- Any complexities with gas & power connectivity
Once you know your “upper limit” for your kitchen investment, you can then work with a kitchen renovations company in Sydney to determine how you can make the most of your available budget – identifying where you can save a few dollars, and where you should avoid compromise. Having a clear picture of what you can & can’t achieve within your kitchen renovation budget will help set your expectations up front, and ensure you’re on the same page with your builder from the start of the project.
While budget kitchen renovations can be achieved for $10,000 or $20,000, it’s important to understand what will be excluded at this price point, to avoid disappointment later on. For most mid-range kitchen makeovers, you’ll need to allocate $20,000 to $45,000, and more if you’re looking for premium or luxury kitchen renovations with high-end appliances.
Ready to take the first step on your kitchen renovation journey?
When you’re in a position to get started on renovating your own kitchen, you may want to consider contacting the experienced kitchen designers at Art of Kitchens. Our team will be happy to answer any questions you may have about your renovation plans.