Everything you need to know when revamping your kitchen

I am a firm believer that a kitchen sells a home. So if you are considering some renovations that will increase the value of your property, or you just want to revamp your kitchen for you – here are some great tips to get you started!

Layout

Practical is key

Nothing is as frustrating as a kitchen that is poorly planned. Those deep, dark corner cupboards you can never fully use, the space above the cupboards that you cannot reach without a step ladder, brooms standing in a corner behind a door…

The very first thing to look at when revamping your kitchen, is the layout. Does it work for you? Is it practical? What do you miss? What would you take out or change? What wouldn’t you change?

Make a list of the things you really love and hate about your kitchen. Then start doing some research on how to solve the problem areas and how to make the things you like, work even better!

It is important to have your three main work areas, namely, your stove, fridge and sink arranged in a triangle. 

This is called an efficient work triangle or golden triangle. 

No leg of the triangle should be less than 1.2m or more than 2.7m long. 

This is a tried and tested professional tip for a kitchen that is well laid out and practical as it optimises traffic flow. 

Budget

What is important to you?

Not to be the proverbial buzz kill, but your budget is important. It will determine the type and quality of finishes you will have in your renovated kitchen.

Spend money on the items that are important to you. If you want to import a stove from Germany that can do everything but make you a cup of tea, but it will take up half of your budget, you might have to sacrifice in other areas.

Another element that has a big influence on your budget, is kitchen tops. 

Granite is the more affordable option when it comes to stone tops, but it is limited in terms of look and design.

Quartz tops come in the most beautiful designs and colours, but are mostly imported, so it comes at a price. 

Post-form (Formica) tops are by far the most cost effective option. It comes in designs that mimic quartz, marble, granite and wood. Many people are dead set against post-form tops, but if it is installed correctly and used according to the manufacturer’s specifications, it can last very long in your kitchen.  

If the current layout of your kitchen works well for you, consider keeping the carcass of the cupboards and only changing the doors and drawer fronts. 

Small changes

A little goes a long way

If you are really strapped for cash, but would love to renovate your kitchen, why not paint the cabinets?

There are various paint products available that you can use to give old steel or melamine cupboards a new look. What I love about the paint option, is that you are not limited to one colour only. Two-tone kitchens can easily be achieved with paint. 

Add some new handles with the paint, and your kitchen will look brand new!

Another tip is to add a splashback tile or feature to your kitchen. It is a small expense and something you can do yourself that will make a big difference, as it is one of the main features in your kitchen. 

If you are going to take up the task of painting your cupboards, here are a few tips to consider:

  • Paint a test strip to make sure you are happy with the colour you chose
  • Take the doors off the hinges and put it on a flat surface. Do not try to paint the doors and drawers while they are still attached to the carcass
  • Use the correct primer and finishing coats for the paint or product you are using to paint the cupboards
  • Use a spray gun to get an even finish. If you don’t have a spray gun, you can use sponge rollers.

Floors & walls

To tile or not to tile

A major revamp of your kitchen will probably include ripping up the existing tiles or floor finish to replace it with something new and contemporary. 

Make sure that the floor finish you select, compliments the style and colour of the cupboards.

Tiles are still a great choice for kitchen floors. It is easy to clean, hygienic and relatively cheap. 

Other options you can consider is luxury vinyl planks or tiles. It is durable, affordable, easy to install and clean and handles traffic very well.

Polished concrete flooring is also a popular choice for kitchens. Just be warned that these floors do show wear in high traffic areas and requires regular maintenance such as resealing. 

If you do have visible walls in your kitchen, be sure to paint it in a colour that does not compete with the colour of the cupboards, but rather blends in.

Fully tiled walls work wonderful in a kitchen, especially behind the stove and sink areas. Tiles are easy to clean of grease and protects your walls against water and steam.

Islands

No man is one, but everyone can use one!

Adding an island in your kitchen can have many benefits. Mostly, it gives you extra storage space and also extra counter top space to work on. 

When deciding on an island, consider breaking it up in different levels. One level can be at counter height and another at dining table or bar counter height.

The latter enables you to add some seating in your kitchen, creating a breakfast nook or a place where you friends and family can sit while you are busy in the kitchen. 

A dining table can be moved against an island to create a space where you can have dinner.

You can move the stove to the kitchen island if you require more counter top space around the stove. 

Also consider adding a prep bowl to the island. That way your preparation work and cooking, can take place close to each other. 

Storage

You can never have enough!

There are certain things in a kitchen layout that is not negotiable. 

The first of thes, is a broom cupboard.  Make sure to add a cupboard specifically for your broom, mop, buckets and cleaning liquids. 

If you can fit your ironing board in there as well, that’s an added bonus!

Add a bin drawer. If you have the space, add two! One in the kitchen area close to where you do all your preparation work and one in the scullery close to the sink or dishwasher. 

This way you avoid having unsightly bins standing around the kitchen.

Vegetable drawers that are integrated into your cupboards are also a great add on. Ask your installer to add this.

Spice drawers free up valuable cupboard or drawers space and keeps your spices neat and organised.

A dedicated space for your microwave in the cupboards above the counter gives you more counter top space to work on. 

Similarly, a small coffee station avoids having your kettle or coffee machine taking up space on the work surfaces. 

So much more

There is so much you can do when renovating your kitchen.  Other things you can consider changing if budget allows, is:

  • New taps. Pull out taps with a flexible hose, works really well when your are doing the dishes or rinsing the dishes to put in the dishwasher
  • Lighting. Consider adding some task lighting in the form of under-cupboard LED strip lights. It provides extra light on the work surface and adds a great feature to your kitchen. 
    You can also add some pendant lights or a small chandelier over the kitchen island.
  • New appliances. Often just changing the appliances, will already give your kitchen the face-lift it needs. If you are going to buy all new, don’t mismatch brands. Stick with one brand. This way you achieve consistency in your kitchen. 
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