The kitchen is the heart and soul of any home. It’s where we come together each night to talk about our day, cook a meal for the family and be the centerpiece of entertaining friends, so it's no surprise that a kitchen is the most renovated space in Australia.
In most cases, your kitchen and bathrooms will be the most expensive part of a new build or renovation process. Kitchens can start from as little as $15,000 and go upwards from there. I remember when I built my first home in Indooroopilly and I nearly fell off my chair when the kitchen quote came in at $20,000, I’ve realised over the years of developing property that’s actually a reasonable price.
Done right and well, an updating kitchen can add value to your home when it comes time to sell. If you have champagne taste but a beer income, I’m here to give you some tips on how to update your kitchen without it coming off looking cheap and nasty.
For those of you though who don’t have a spare $20k laying around and don’t want to take out a second mortgage to renovate your kitchen, there are now ways to get what you want for less.
Tip 1 – THE TRIANGLE
While we are wanting a kitchen that looks AMAZING, we can’t compromise on functionality. The “triangle” is still fundamental in any redesigned kitchen plan. What is a “Triangle”? It’s the area in your kitchen where you should be able to draw a triangle between the kitchen sink, the stove/oven, and the refrigerator.
Tip 2 – RESTORE/REJUVENATE/RECYCLE
With a big emphasis on sustainability and protecting mother earth and what we “dump” and how long that item will remain in our earth until it breaks down, I like to use what I have and if possible, repurpose it. If you like your kitchen just the way it is, but it just needs refreshing, why not look at products like Dulux’s Renovation Range. Refreshing your kitchen space has never been easier as it requires no primer on most surfaces and is easy to apply. Use the power of paint for cupboards, benches, tiles, and flooring.
If you are like “nope, I need a new kitchen” that’s ok too, but look at places like Facebook MarketPlace as often you can find a great kitchen for a 3rd of the price of a new one.
Other great places to look are brick and brack shops, you might be thinking huh? Honestly, people would rather just ring up a “junkyard” to come and collect their old kitchens rather than paying for the cost to remove and dump them. You know what they say, another man’s trash is another’s treasure.
The simplest one of all is to ask a friend or family member if they know of anyone renovating and removing kitchens, again, you could score a kitchen for next to nothing.
By restoring or recycling, you are doing your bit to stop wastage and scrap being bulldozed into landfills.
TIP 3 – KEEP IT SIMPLE
You will be very surprised the difference a new paint scheme can make to a space but more importantly, you’ll be amazed how much of a difference changing minor things like power-point covers, light switches, handles, and tapware. Mix that with new lights and you have just transferred your kitchen space for under $1,000. While it’s inexpensive, doing these little changes will modernise a property and lift it to the next level.
TIP 4 – FLATPACK
There I said it, the “F” word most of us hate and what leads to a copious amount of anxiety, stress, and arguments between partners – FLAT PACK!
If you don’t mind some good old fashioned elbow grease and instruction reading, then buying your kitchen online from places like IKEA, Bunnings who have the Kaboodle range or another favourite of mine, DIY.com.au could save you some serious coin. All I would suggest is to know your measurements and the layout of your kitchen. If you get some graphite paper, draw your kitchen out first. Usually, in designing, 1 m equates to 1cm when drawing. Some companies will offer free design apps when visiting in-store, taking advantage of their knowledge too. Once you know your design and measurements, then order away and await those boxes to arrive…. wine may help the building process, just saying LOL.
TIP 5 – BUDGET
This should really be tip 1 as it is THE most important tip of all! Creating a budget is an essential part of your remodel. Before you start the kitchen remodel or replacement, you have to determine how much you are willing to spend for your kitchen. Keep in mind that kitchen cabinets usually take up about one-third of the typical remodel budget. Never start a renovation with an open-ended budget, you’ll end up blowing out and will lead to unnecessary expenses. Once you have a budget, allow also for a contingency allowance as no doubt through the process you may want to change and tweak a few items or you could come across some unexpected structural issues. Water damage, termites, or rotten timber say hello once you start to remove old kitchens, walls, and sheeting. If you have little backup funds, this won’t be so gut-wrenching when you have to spend more money than expected.
So all that’s left to do now is get creating your new or revamped kitchen spaces.