If you’ve ever watched the Block, you’d know a lot can go wrong with a kitchen renovation. Lack of budget. Poor use of space. Overly dim lighting.
As the most important room in the house, the last thing you want is a kitchen catastrophe worthy of Scotty Cam’s criticism. So, to avoid the common pitfalls that inevitably present themselves, here’s a list of renovation regrets you’ll want to consider for your next renovation.
Reno regret #1 – Lack of planning for space or budget
If there’s anything you remember from this blog post, let it be these two things: Work out the budget you want to spend and plan your kitchen space accordingly.
The last thing you want is a fridge door that opens into your cabinetry or lighting that hangs below your head. It might sound surprising but these blunders do happen. Consider factors such as: size and direction of doors, available space, height of ceilings, size of cabinetry, fridges and other appliances. It always pays to consider the work triangle. A theory that ensures you have the right amount of space between the sink, refrigerator and stove.
Almost worse is designing a beautiful kitchen layout but not having the budget to make any of it happen. That’s why it helps to have some numbers in your head – kind of like Russell Crow in Beautiful Mind.
Kitchen renovations range from $10,000 to upwards of $45,000+. Your standard renovation being somewhere in the middle.
Reno regret #2 – Not consulting with kitchen and tradespeople
DIY jobs workout okay when you’re building cubby houses or billy carts, but when it comes to the most important room in the house, leave it to the professionals.
Not consulting a professional can end up creating more work and more expenses in the long run. A project manager for example, understands exactly what’s expected, who to bring on board to get the job done right, and how to do it efficiently and within budget. This is particularly important when it comes to the juggling act of working out what needs to happen first.
Reno regret #3 – Poor use of space/lack of storage
Another scenario where the wheels fall off the wagon is poor use of space and storage.
The only thing worse than food wastage is the amount of space wasted in countless Aussie kitchens. Proper planning is required to ensure the kitchen flows naturally. You don’t want dead space but you don’t want a vast vista of kitchen flooring either. Find a happy medium where you can move comfortably whilst also having easy access to your stove, fridge and dishwasher.
Lack of storage is another brain ache. The worst thing you can do is come up with storage space ideas while your renovation is underway. Be proactive. Plan in advance. You’ll be thankful you did! Consider using cabinetry on double-sided islands, building ceiling mounted shelving and measuring up appliances so you’re confident your kitchen space won’t be cramped by them.
Reno regret #4 – Ignoring the work triangle
If Yoda was a tradie, he’d say something like –“You must not ignore the kitchen work triangle, young renovator.” And he would be right.
The work triangle truly is the golden principle of kitchen layouts; a 90-year old concept that dictates the placement of your cooktop refrigerator and sink. Ignoring this principle could spell disastrous results for your renovation.
Not only could you end up wasting space … aisles become too tight, the kitchen ends up feeling cramped, your kitchen ends up looking messy and cluttered and there becomes little room to entertain friends and family.
No,no,no,no,no. Keep tradie Yoda’s wise words top of mind. Consider L-shaped,U-shaped,G-shaped, single wall and galley layouts, and workout which one best suits your dream kitchen.
Reno regret #5 – Overwhelming small spaces
Islands make little sense in small kitchens. Neither do oversized appliances. If you’re dealing with a small space you have to treat it like one. Consider a small peninsula instead of an island, buy smaller appliances, especially fridges and dishwashers, and look at hanging mugs on hooks and displaying wine glasses on wall-mounted racking, rather than creating unnecessary shelf space.
Reno regret #6 – Not thinking about lighting
To avoid dim-witted lighting decisions, (pun intended) there’s a few things you need to consider.
A common mistake many rookie renovators make is having lights in the wrong places. In particular, not placing lights above benchtops. Unless you’re some kind of extreme daredevil, chopping food in the shadows is not recommended.
Also, consider choosing warm-toned lighting instead of cold-toned. This is another common mistake which can make a room of warmth feel unfriendly.
Reno regret #7 – Making material decisions on impulse
And finally, don’t jump the gun on your kitchen materials. There is no replacement for doing some well-considered research. It’s not the 100m Olympic track final, take your time.
Ask yourself what design and aesthetic you’re going for. Do you want traditional solid wood bench tops? Are they within your budget? Do you want more modern cabinetry with higher gloss? Questions like these are all worth asking before you rush into a decision.