Design Help’s Kitchen Renovation Top Ten Tips For Success
Designing a kitchen renovation either with a kitchen company or not is a challenge. It addresses all the elements of design and without either professional help or experience you can easily make mistakes.
Here are our TOP TEN TIPS for a kitchen renovation, of which some will be quite new and unique and will definitely put your design and project management ahead of the norm.
1. THE ALTERNATIVE KITCHEN ISLAND
The Kitchen Island is very popular, however most kitchens do not have the room to accommodate one and small islands do not have sufficient space for seating or a sink or hob.
In your kitchen renovation, you can use an extended peninsular instead.
This is an L shape of your kitchen run that extends from the wall and the work top in one height can be as wide and long as you like (dependant on work top choice), contain storage units below and seating. This saves a walkway space either side of an island and gives it back to your kitchen.
2. HEIGHTS OF WORKTOPS
Looking at most brochures and showrooms you would think we are all the same height! We are not, so when planning your kitchen renovation, design the height most suitable to you. The adjustment can generally be taken up or down at the bottom legs or kick-plate area which is essential for the toes, but a few cms can make all the difference to heavy pans and rolling out the pasty with ease. You can also use two different heights when zoning out your space eg preparation area, cooking area.
3. DEPTH OF STORAGE FOR THE CHINA
The storage of china and items for the table are lost in a below counter deep 600 mms deep unit designed for taking appliances.
Wall units can be the answer but consider a tall wall unit floor to ceiling about 1 mtr wide and 30 cms deep and you will be able to house everything.
With lots and lots of adjustable shelves inside two doors that open in one you can immediately see everything easily and ergonomically at great use of space. If using a flat-pack kitchen just stack wall units on top of each other. It gives floor space where you might most need it and position it near the table and for easy stacking from the dishwasher.
No more searching on your knees at the back of a deep unit for that casserole dish.
4. RIGHT HEIGHT FOR YOUR DISHWASHER
The Dishwasher needs a 600mms deep unit but it does not need to be sited on the floor like a fridge. It’s not very heavy and to save your back bending down (and also consider safety with small children) mount it within a tall unit about 40 – 50 cms from the floor.
This makes it easy to use and integrates it with other appliances or storage above and below. A real back saver!
5. THE COFFEE SPOT
The Tea, coffee and drinking water needs a station of its own in large family kitchens to avoid frustration and congestion at busy times.
Take a leaf out of the office and design a special area with access to the side of the main prep and cooking space with an extra small sink, a hot water boiling and cooler water tap if money is available, or a kettle and coffee maker at the ready next to wall or a pull up sockets. Store mugs, glasses and tea pots within the same unit and make it feature that is easy to use and access.
6. THE DRINKS FRIDGE
The Beer Fridge is another simple and even cheap option to filling up the main fridge for food, with drinks.
If you have teenagers or you like to cook and entertain add an extra larder fridge with or without ice, so this is always at the ready and accessible separately from the main cooking space. Ideally the other side of a peninsula or island.
7. OVERSIZED STORAGE
Storage of the large items like bumper packs of cereal, dog food or salt is not well accommodated in most kitchen sizes.
To keep a great looking kitchen, especially if open plan, loose 2mtrs in depth and the width of your kitchen (or as much as you can spare) and create a simple stud partition wall with a door one end and 400 depth shelves either side and a meter walking space.
Add top rate Led Lighting and even the freezer can sit at the end to cater for nearly all your needs including the over-sized roasting tins for the Turkey, the BBQ stuff and the essential wine store. Then your kitchen can be brochure perfect and have saved a lot of money as this is a cheap way to provide super storage out of sight.
8. THE ORIGINAL LARDERS
The American Fridge Freezer is a great idea in some ways but if you want the fully integrated look they stick out like a sore thumb. No matter how clever the finish is or the unit surrounding it – it looks like an American Freezer trying to be streamlined but not quite making the grade.
If you have the space and the layout can take it as a ‘stand-alone’ feature item its perfect. An alternative solution which is much cheaper is a super tall larder fridge and matching freezer with a cool water tap combined with a boiling water facility.
The storage is better in cubic metres and you definitely don’t need to plumb it in.
9. THE BEST HYGIENIC WORK SURFACES
If you have elderly relatives living with you or small children and hygiene is more important, opt for quiet quality acrylic work tops with seamless joints for upstands and backsplashes, integrate large bowl sinks and drainers and a totally impervious work top.
Other work tops are still great but nothing beats the total lack of porosity which can hide in joints and if not a quality seal to the finish will encourage bacteria to linger. This is why it’s used in hospitals!
10. THE NEON FUSED SPUR
For most integrated appliances like the ovens, dishwashers, fridges etc, a fused spur is now required, which the electrician will hardwire the appliance to. However, you’ll often find an ordinary socket behind the actual unit which, in order to be turned off, you need to pull out the unit first.
Building regulations dictate that now it must be a fused spur on display in your backsplash or panel, which is not attractive.
When designing your kitchen renovation, design your fused spurs in a place where they can be accessible and easy to see, but not ruin your kitchen design. Have all your fused spurs in one place close to all your appliances so that in an emergency you can shut down the whole kitchen really quickly.
Label each spur with the appliance name and use one preferably with a neon light. Every appliance must be fitted with the normal length of supply cable behind the unit for access if needed. Keep an extra fire blanket and fire hydrant in the kitchen as well if possible. Keep safety in mind at all times.
For more information on kitchen renovations, checkout our 4 blog series
- Kitchen Renovation Part 1 – Designing a New Kitchen
- Kitchen Renovation Part 2 – Kitchen Design and Layout Essentials
- Kitchen Renovation Part 3 – Designing a new kitchen: Appliances and their features and requirements
- Kitchen Renovation Part 4 – Designing a New Kitchen: Building Your Kitchen & Project Management