• Deb Reardon

Get the Designer kitchen look for Less

Updated: Apr 6

Woman cooking in her Designer kitchen

Whether you’re embarking upon a kitchen renovation journey or looking to implement a new kitchen in your new home plans, you’ll likely be working closely with your kitchen designers to make your vision a reality.

Before you get your project started, there are a few things we want you to know – to make the process as efficient and rewarding for you as possible.

There are ways to achieve the look for less

Just because a certain material or fitting is the most expensive, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best value for money.

When it comes to things like your Kitchen cabinetry or benchtop material, there’s often ways to achieve your aesthetic vision without completely disregarding your budget.

If you like the look of granite or marble, an engineered stone surface can give a similar look but with the durability and low maintenance of a more traditional surface and at a better price point.

Similarly, opting for a laminate (Melteca or Bestwood) finish to your cabinetry, provides a more durable and resistant surface than natural timber or lacquer or vacuum wrap doors and are more likely to retain its colour & finish over time.

There is a huge colour range and finishes to choose from within for laminate ranges to get the tone & look your after.

Trends come and go, but style is forever

The rise of visual-dominated apps like Pinterest and Instagram has given us more kitchen inspiration than we sometimes know what to do with! But for every kitchen you pin or ‘like,’ it’s important to realistically assess whether such a kitchen would suit your home – and personal style.

While you can certainly incorporate elements of designs that are currently trending, picking a more timeless base will ensure your kitchen will age with grace.

Collect a range of pins to show your Designer the features and looks that appeal to you & you'd like to try and implement in your new kitchen. But be guided by your designer what features may or may not work in your kitchen space.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t play with elements like colour and texture, however – a timeless kitchen shouldn’t mean it is a space devoid of personality, but rather it should bring you joy to spend time there.

Flatpack kitchens aren’t as cost effective as you’d think

Sure, the list price may be cheaper – but when you factor in the time spent assembling your flat pack kitchen, and the labor costs in having it installed – your cheap alternative can end up a lot costlier than its original price tag on the shelf.

Flatpack kitchens have gone a long way towards empowering homeowners to make changes in a kitchen they’re unhappy with – but, without proper installation, these kitchens can have a relatively short lifespan – and with proper installation, the costs only end up marginally cheaper than using a professional from the get-go.

A good joinery provider will work within your budget and suggest lower-cost alternatives to deliver a high-quality product, without the high price tag.

Let your lifestyle dictate your Kitchen layout

This goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) – just like kitchen style is an element unique to each home owner, so too is kitchen layout.

How you like to spend time in a kitchen should reflect the layout – which has a flow on effect to almost every decision you’ll need to make.

If you like to take your time when cooking, you’ll want to invest your space in a full-size pantry and generous bench space, with special pullouts close to the hob for easy access to oils, spices and herbs.

Entertainers will want easy flow into living or outdoor areas, with preparation and clean-up areas perhaps serviced by a scullery. Place your fridge at the perimeter of the design for easy access for guests or incorporate a wine/beer fridge under the breakfast bar, to keep the guests happy, while you prepare dinner.

Families may want a breakoff space for homework or a breakfast bar to get the kids fed and out the door. If choosing a breakfast bar with younger children place the sink down one end, away from eating & homework areas to prevent water splash onto the seating area.

Older people like easy access and less bending , so oven towers and dish drawers will better suit, with smooth generous handles to protect hands. Fill the kitchen with as many drawer packs to make finding items clear.

Be honest about your budget

A good kitchen designer will be well trained and have the experience to work alongside you to get the best look, for your new kitchen, within your budget.

Whether your budget is modest or generous, be honest with your designer from the start, this way they can guide you towards the products that will give you the look you desire, without wasting your time or theirs, quoting a kitchen that's outside the budget.

Design your kitchen around your lifestyle

Rather than picking a layout you think you’ll like and working around it, here’s your chance to craft a layout around your lifestyle.

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