Whether you are looking to create a kitchen for a MasterChef or an area that sees more entertaining than cooking, no matter the size or main uses of the kitchen space, a successful kitchen renovation is generally the result of careful planning and execution – before, during and after!

For those in the market for a kitchen upgrade, our team at Harrington Kitchens have put together this easy-to-follow guide to help plan and prepare for a successful kitchen renovation of your own.

Before Your Renovation

Set yourself up for a successful kitchen renovation well before booking anything in with the professionals by planning, planning and planning.

#1 Create a Wish List

With access to so much intellect and resources online, in printed brochures and in glossy magazines, the first step for any successful renovation project is to create a wish list. Gather kitchen design ideas from sources that will cover all of your wants, your needs and those nice-to-haves too.

You could create physical mood boards and pin them to a wall, glue them in a scrapbook, or save your finds in an online folder to ponder through (Pinterest is a great online reference tool for this).

Once you have collected plenty of design ideas, pick through them all and categorise into a ‘want’, a ‘need’ or a ‘nice-to-have’. This will help with budgeting as well as the design aspect of your renovation.

Kitchen Wants

When it comes to defining your kitchen wants, you might consider:

  • Flexible space – for a growing family or entertaining guests? Consider multi-functional bench space such as tiered level benches and rollaway butchers’ blocks.
  • Kitchen cabinets and storage – butler’s pantry, drawers or cupboards, overhead cupboards, open shelving, appliance garage.
  • Do you favour gas or electric cooking appliances?
  • Cabinet finishes – matt or glossy, soft close drawers, ornate handle or handle-free cabinets.

Kitchen Needs

Most new kitchens will need to tick off these essential items:

  • Appliances – which appliances do you need in the space and where will they be positioned? One oven or two? Large or small stovetop? Refrigerator? Microwave, air fryer, coffee machine?
  • Sink – double or single? Will there be lots of washing up and stacking of plates or is this area rarely used? An additional sink in the butler’s pantry?
  • Bench space – are you catering for a home cook, home entertainer, or empty nester? What do they need? Not need?
  • Lighting – consider the three levels of lighting; ambience, task and accent. Can you utilise any natural light sources?

* Tip: read more about the levels of lighting in our article handy hints for an amazing kitchen renovation

  • Storage space – how much do you really need? You might opt to add a little extra to avoid renovator’s regret, but be realistic. Would some of that space be better used for a breakfast nook, more bench space, more room for a double door fridge or some other benefit?
  • Work zones and floor plan – carefully consider your work zones (once referred to as a “work triangle”). How will you functionally use your kitchen? What do you need where, to make it efficient? Read more about kitchen layouts and work zones.

* Tip: for great storage tips and tricks, see how to make the most out of any kitchen pantry or these great alternatives to a butler’s pantry (if space is limited).

Kitchen Nice-to-Haves

These are the “added extras” that you’d love to treat yourself with if the budget allows.

  • Gadgets – a large faucet with a flexible arm or voice-controlled tap, under bench pull-out chopping board, caterers warming drawer or a rotational storage system for example. All those savvy gadgets that could make working in your kitchen easier.
  • Smart wiring – kitchen lights and entertainment systems controlled via apps and Wi-Fi, a charging station for phones and computers; remote operated window blinds.
  • Fixtures and fittings – wine storage rack; bar fridge; barista coffee machine.

Remember, at the end of the day, it needs to be a practical and functional kitchen space. Once you have the needs and function components locked away, you can take things to the next level with your wants and nice-to-haves.

#2 Budget

With all the above ideas compiled and categorised, it’s time to nail down your budget. How much do you have to spend or how much were you hoping to complete your kitchen project for?

The figure you come to, along with your wants and needs list, will help determine the type of finishes and inclusions that will best suit your budget and lifestyle (or that of your targeted demographic if you are working on an investment property). Your budget will also determine just how many of those items on your wants and nice-to-have list will be achievable and where you might need to seek some alternatives or compromises.

* Tip: our professional kitchen designers at Harrington Kitchens can help take some of the pressure off when deciding on priorities for your successful kitchen renovation as we have a wealth of experience and tips for achieving the most from your dollar without comprising on quality.

During the Renovation

Initial planning might be done and dusted, but a successful kitchen renovation demands attention from start to finish. This is even more important if the kitchen that you are renovating is currently in use.

Successful kitchen renovations should take into account what is required during the renovation or installation too. Following are a few tips to help keep you on top of the task.

#1 Trade Access

Any renovation or construction project involves trades. To ensure a successful kitchen renovation, it’s vital to streamline access for those various trades. Plumbers, gas fitters, electricians, tilers, painters, cabinet makers, and plasterers are some of the trades that you can expect during a kitchen project. Access needs to be planned ahead of time and must fit into their individual schedules and the overall build plan.

#2 Meal Planning 

Considering that some parts of your kitchen will be out of service during the renovation, ensure you tackle the task of meal planning ahead of time. Sure, it sounds simple enough to rely on takeout for meals and snacks, but this can easily get out of control and out of budget, especially if you have more than yourself to cater for.

Think about some simple meals that can be pre-made and stored ahead of time with easy options for heating and serving. Will you need a makeshift area to store pantry food or to act as a preparation and serving station during the renovation period? Is there an alternative location for your fridge to keep it out of the way?

#3 Progress Tracking

Quite possibly one of the most demanding jobs for a successful kitchen project is to keep on track of the progress, process and all those tradespeople involved. Who do you have in place to caretake the responsibility? Do you need a project manager to control the job at hand or do you have the time to ensure all the pieces are in the right place to carry out a successful renovation?

This is where engaging a professional kitchen company to facilitate the process for you can really pay dividends. Not all kitchen companies will co-ordinate all the moving pieces of the puzzle. Do yourself a favour and seek out a reputable full service kitchen company, like Harrington Kitchens. The team designs, manufactures and installs custom kitchens as well as managing trades and other aspects of the project too.

Finalising a Successful Kitchen Renovation

Your brand new kitchen is finally installed. Yay!! But the job is not quite done just yet. Following are our final two tips to make sure that your kitchen project finishes just as successfully as it began.

#1 The Fine-Tooth Comb

With all the pieces now in place and your renovated kitchen looking amazing, one of the final tasks is to check that everything is delivered as per the agreed project details and is in proper working order. If you find that something is not in place, is damaged or is faulty, bring it to the attention of the professionals involved as soon  as you notice it. Ensure that any issues are resolved before giving your final sign off on the project.

#2 Styling

When all the trades have left and your new kitchen is complete, add the final touches with gorgeous styling.

It can be very tempting to get carried away in a new kitchen, but we recommend the ‘KISS philosophy’ of keeping it simple. After all, you want the stunning new kitchen itself to be the feature, not to hide it behind too many décor pieces and styling items. Once you have ‘lived’ in the kitchen for a while, if you find that it still needs a little more injection of style, it’s easy to add a few more pieces later, rather than wasting cash by overdoing it in the beginning.

To make certain of a successful kitchen renovation, and to make the process as streamlined as possible, we always recommend that you engage the services of experienced kitchen designers and renovators. This is one of the main keys to any successful kitchen project. Not only does it ensure a quality kitchen that you can be proud of, but the whole process will be memorable for all the right reasons

Contact our wonderful team of designers and kitchen experts at Harrington Kitchens to discuss your dream kitchen renovation project! Call us 1300 662 112, submit an online enquiry or visit us at our Narellan or Bowral showrooms.