It’s easy to get caught up in the undeniable excitement of starting a new renovation, but just like anything in life, slow and steady wins the race. Here are a few of our favourite hints, tips, dos and don’ts to take into consideration before you start down the wonderful road towards a kitchen or bathroom renovation.
Do ensure a reasonable timeframe
Too often, homeowners need a new kitchen in time for big events, such as Christmas, or before the arrival of a new baby or guests. These timeframes add stress to not only the designer, but also to tradespeople and homeowners. If you do have a definite timeframe in mind, be sure to start the process as early as possible, as it only takes one minor delay to throw the whole schedule into disarray.
Tip: Factories and benchtop manufacturers are super busy in the second half of the year – your project will likely be one of many in a long queue.
Don’t have an unrealistic budget
We can’t stress enough how imperative it is to be clear and upfront regarding your renovation budget from the start. Present a budget to your designer at the start of the process, so that they can work to it and select materials that meet these budget requirements. Your designer also has the know-how to make clever suggestions about where and how to make savings. Remember, a new kitchen is an investment in your home so take some time to consider which elements are most important to you, and this is where you should invest your money.
Tip: Don’t forget to add in a “buffer” when planning your budget, in case of unexpected issues that may arise.
Do your research to enlist a professional kitchen and bathroom designer
There are many kitchen renovation and building companies to choose from, so carefully undertake your research before booking an appointment. Ask for referrals from friends and family, search online company reviews and check relevant licences. Also find out if the companies are members of relevant industry associations as this indicates a level of professionalism and investment in ongoing professional development.
Tip: Obtain at least three quotes, and remember that the cheapest quote may not be the best option.
Hint: Always check the credentials of the company providing the quote – do the kitchen designers have specialist design qualifications or are they just salespeople?
Do create a look-book of what you like
Here’s the fun part – compiling a visual reference, such as a look-book, with ideas gathered from a range of sources, such as Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, websites, catalogues, magazines and TV shows. This can incorporate your favourite material choices, colour palettes, design ideas, finishes and appliances. Locking these choices in comes later, but as a starting point for your designer, a look-book can be a fabulous overall visual tool.
Do give your designer as much information as possible about who lives in the home
Provide your designer with a clear picture of how you and your family live to ensure that your renovation will work for you now and years down the track. Your designer needs to get to know you and your family so that they can design a space that works to suit you and your requirements, so be upfront and honest.
Tip: Your summary should include how many people live in the home and their ages; how you live, work and entertain; any lifestyle requirements and if you regularly have visitors.
Don’t confuse your must-haves with your wish list
Be realistic about those items you feel you must have in your kitchen or bathroom and those you could live without, and the areas of your renovation where you are prepared to compromise, and where you simply aren’t.
Don’t pick a kitchen or bathroom style that doesn’t tie in with the rest of the home
Consider the potential style of the kitchen or bathroom, to ensure it ties in with the rest of the home. For example, a Hamptons-style kitchen will most likely not work in an overly contemporary home. Likewise, a sleek modern kitchen with all the latest integrated appliances may not flow well with a country-style homestead.
Tip: Once you decide on the style that you love, this style will then dictate the various items, materials and appliances in that space.
When you’re ready to get moving on your home renovation journey, speak to our expert designers.