ARTICLE Stephanie Matheson PHOTOGRAPHY Caroline Ducobu
Create your perfect kitchen with all the ingredients the professionals use. A top end kitchen renovation in Australia is likely to cost in the region of $50,000 - $100,000. Read on to find out what you can get for your money, or view our basic and mid-range kitchen renovation estimates if you are looking to spend less.
Where do I get started?
Apart from luxury countertops, professional appliances and custom-cabinetry, what sets a professional kitchen apart from the rest are its thoughtful layout and design. When renovating older kitchens, in most cases the position of plumbing points and electrical sockets need to be changed to achieve a really great working kitchen that optimises workspace and areas. To achieve this, you should plan on a budget starting from $50,000.
Some key points to get you started include positioning the fridge near the sink so you can take out fruit and vegetables and wash them close by. The workbench should be next to the sink, with your stove and oven either next to that or opposite. You could consider deeper than usual workbenches and extra large sinks. While waste disposal is not a glamourous topic, it’s essential to a good, working kitchen. Select a handy location near your sink and workbench and opt for an integrated solution that is large enough to deal with all your household waste.
As the heart of our homes, the kitchen is also often the place where families spend time together and guests are entertained. It helps to think about your entertaining requirements at the outset of your renovation project. You might consider planning in seating for guests so they can sit and watch while you prepare a meal. A centre island might be the ideal space for this. It can double as a breakfast bar or homework space for your children. If you prefer to do your entertaining in the dining room, the island might be able to house your sink and workbench allowing you to face out to the dining area while working.
Your architectural designer will help you work out the best layout for your kitchen depending on its size, location and design. Concept drawings of your makeover can help you visualise how the finished surfaces will look and work together.
What can I do about kitchen storage?
Good storage is a must. It will help you keep things looking neat and tidy and keep all your cooking ingredients close by. Cupboards that go all the way to the ceiling are not only super practical but also create a stylish, sleek look. Soft-close drawers with clever inserts and storage aids will get your cabinets organised.
The absolute winner when it comes to kitchen storage is a walk-in pantry with open shelves, cabinets, drawers and enough bench space to store some of your appliances. You could even consider installing a separate small fridge to keep prepared foods ready for entertaining.
What kitchen appliances do I need?
The stovetop and oven are the stars in the kitchen. Be it a five or six hob gas stovetop or an extra large induction cooktop, the choice is yours when it comes to form and functionality. Add a luxury range hood to the mix to set the design tone for the rest of your kitchen. A set of built-in wall ovens is ideal to complement your cooking ensemble. They add visual appeal to your kitchen (and some come with side-opening doors) and let you cook up a storm.
Finally, a double-door stainless steel fridge with integrated or a separate wine fridge will keep your food and drinks chilled while a set of double-drawer dishwashers can take care of the dirty work.
All these ‘delicious’ appliances are a feast for the eyes too, but you can also choose to hide them behind custom-made doors for a sleek, clean look. Although stovetops and ovens are most often left to show, you can get full sliding doors, stacking doors or upward-folding panels made that cover the complete kitchen counter.
What type of cabinetry and doors suit my budget?
High end, custom-made cabinetry is the way forward when it comes to creating a professional kitchen that maximises the use of available space. Your choice of materials can turn your kitchen into an ultra practical areas and it’s also reflective of your personality and style. Think French country style, rustic or ultra modern – you can create your very own look with custom cabinetry and additional details such as splashbacks, taps, flooring, lighting and additional furniture. Some cabinet drawers can be completely flush with no handles at all. You simply touch the drawers and they open fully automatically.
What countertop options do I have?
Benchtops often are the centerpiece of your kitchen, especially if you have a central kitchen island. Natural stone is a popular choice, particularly granite and marble. With its variations in tone and pattern, stone adds a bit of drama and natural beauty to your kitchen. Glass surfaces can create a real centerpiece as they can be fully personalised with different designs, finishes and textures. You can select different colours and can even have images or text transferred to the glass.
For a modern look, concrete is one of the most stylish and versatile countertop materials. Concrete benchtops are usually cast to your specific requirements and design choices. You can add aggregates such as stones, glass or shells, add different colours and select a grind or polished finish – creating your own very unique and personalised countertop. Prices start from around $1,000 per square metre, so for a complete concrete countertop you should plan in anywhere between $4,000 and $20,000 depending on the size and finish.
What kind of lighting should my kitchen have?
The working kitchen requires suitable task lighting as well as ambience lighting for entertaining. These days, LED lights are often the products of choice. They work well as downlights to illuminate the whole kitchen and can also be installed underneath cabinets to light your workspace. LED strips can be placed above and under cabinets as well as under benchtops to provide an indirect glow that will set the mood. Pendant lights are a great way of adding your personal touch – from bamboo designer right through to crystal chandeliers. A professional lighting plan will bring it all together and ensure all necessary electrical wiring is in place. You could also consider adding a gas fireplace or integrated entertainment and home automation system to your kitchen.
Natural light plays a major role for well-being, and the kitchen is no exception. Adding extra windows and sliding doors where you can will let light flood in and create better indoor-outdoor flow. Consider a set of windows that slide open to reveal an outdoor breakfast bar or choose stacking doors to connect your kitchen to an outdoor entertaining area. You could even extend your kitchen workbenches to the outdoor space and integrate a BBQ or pizza oven.
If you have a smaller budget to work with, why not read basic kitchen renovations and mid-range kitchen renovations.
If you would like to discuss options and ideas for your kitchen renovation project, please use the enquiry form on this page to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.
*Costs are rough estimates and are subject to change. For a fixed-quote accurate to your specific project, please consult your local Refresh Renovations specialist. All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.