5 simple kitchen tips to inspire your next renovation
Kitchens are a special hub in the home. It’s where meals are savoured, memories are created and friends and family congregate. Today the space is as necessary for living as it is for cooking in.
The kitchen is one of the most popular rooms to renovate. Practical and modern kitchens in investment properties yield high returns, attract tenants, add significant value to your property and improve tax prospects.
But a full kitchen renovation can be expensive and time-consuming. To keep things simple, there are easy tips to update your kitchen without the heavy cost of a full renovation saving your time and budget.
1. Don’t underestimate the power of paint
Achieve a complete overhaul with paint, one of the simplest ways to add instant visual impact. Walls, cabinetry and even some floor types can all be repainted to give your kitchen a newer look, without stretching the budget.
When applied right, paint will cover dated tiles, panelling and discoloured sinks. Make sure you engage with a specialist, as DIY paint jobs can look cheap if not done properly.
Tip: A new backsplash can also be as powerful as paint. Use it to bring the kitchen colour palette together. For a low-maintenance option, consider rectified tiles as part of your backsplash. Their seamless finish makes for a clean, symmetrical look with no grout lines to maintain or re-grout, making them ideal for kitchens and bathrooms.
2. Cabinets and counters
The kitchen counter and cabinets make the kitchen’s first impression.
If cabinets are outdated but not damaged, resurfacing or painting can be more affordable than replacing. For a middle-of-the-budget option consider re-facing, which strips current cabinets to give them a completely new look. This works out more expensive than painting, but less than replacing.
Allow 10% of your budget for benchtops to increase the feel and functionality of your kitchen. Counters that are heat, scratch and stain resistant come with good warranty lengths and are better for investment properties with tenants for maintenance and durability.
Tip: Allow for plenty of power points in your backsplash or cupboards. To keep costs low, opt for less expensive finishes and materials. Choosing recyclable concrete, tile or stone over white granite countertops is a better, lower-cost alternative.
3. Add a chalkboard wall
Chalkboard walls make a practical feature wall idea. For a fun, versatile and stylish addition to your kitchen, paint a central wall or large panel with chalkboard paint.
Choose a space that has plenty of room in front for easy-access writing and is close to kitchen essentials. You don’t have to paint an entire wall. You can get creative and use other surfaces such as cabinets. Although it may not seem like useful decorating material for adult spaces, chalkboard walls make small kitchens feel bigger, add function to the space and create a family organiser.
4. Change the mood with lighting
Update lighting to improve the functionality and mood of your kitchen. Swap old fittings with pendant lights to tie the room together or make a bold accent feature.
Avoid shopping only on price when it comes to lighting. Think purpose. This can be broken down into two types– practical and effect. For practical lighting, determine what you want to see in the space. To change mood and functionality, consider secondary lighting and ask yourself what effect you want to achieve. For example; open plan kitchen-living zones benefit from floor or strip lighting along the kickboard. Kickboard lighting comes in handy when the lounge area is in use, but you still need to be able to see if you grab something from the kitchen.
Tip: Replacing old lights is a good chance to switch to eco-friendly lighting. LED lighting doesn’t emit as much heat as standard lights, lasts longer and is better for your wallet, power bills and environment. LEDs are now added to the inside of cabinets and drawers and above stove and cooking zones. Choose quality LEDS to bring out the colour and allow precise targeting for mood and task areas.
5. Replace window coverings
An undressed window is like stepping outside in your birthday suit.
Install new blinds, curtains, shutters or Roman shades. Weigh up privacy, natural light control, cleanability and decoration factors. Window treatments bring the pretty. But they’re also important for privacy needs and protecting your kitchen space from too much sun. Look for window coverings with a light-prohibiting layer and check protecting abilities. Many will disclose how much of the UV rays they screen while still allowing in some light.