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elements that can't be an afterthought in your kitchen renovation!

A kitchen renovation can be the most exciting part of your renovation; after all, it is a space we get the most use out of so it doesn’t hurt putting extra time and money into it. There are so many significant factors when it comes to kitchen renovation, there's the layout, design, benchtop material and so much more… But I’m sure you know these things, they’re the first search results when you google ‘How to kitchen renovation’.

I don’t really want to state the obvious to you so these aren't the things I want to talk to you about. I’m going to talk about the things that you may not be thinking about and no one is informing you of them... so. let’s get into it.

Take notes

There is a reason you are investing so much money to change your kitchen... something just isn’t working. Before you sit down and burden yourself with a never-ending Pinterest on different kitchen designs, take notes of your current kitchen!

Make a list of what’s not working, what you hate, what is inconvenient, or what seems to be a silly design error… take a critical look in the space you’re in and make a list of everything.

When you do this you focus on the elements that need to be prioritised in the design stage. Of course, a great layout is essential to your kitchen but what use is a great layout if it isn’t functional to your day to day.

When you have your list then start looking at possible designs, have your groundwork on what you want this kitchen to achieve so now you can start brainstorming on how it’s going to look.


Ergonomics has to be an area you highly consider when designing your kitchen, it will ensure productivity, functionality, and comfort when you go about your day-to-day in your kitchen.

Your designer should always be considering the ergonomics in your kitchen when they design it around your brief, but you have the final look so keep an eye for the following;

Are there any obstructed paths?
When looking at the design of your kitchen, analyse and determine the path you will be using most (it is commonly between the fridge, stove, and sink, but it can depend on how you use your space).

Once you have determined it you can identify if there are any obstructions, it is in your best interest to keep this path clear and if you see anything that may be deemed as one point it out to your designer.

Cabinet Measurements
The measurements of your cabinets can make a significant difference to the functionality of your kitchen, it may not be something you notice in the initial design but it is something to consider.

The measurements of cabinets don’t affect the look of the kitchen but it does affect your use of it, consider bench heights for someone who is long-legged or has serious back pain, or if the cook of your house is short; these are all elements to be considered in the ergonomics of a kitchen.

Install clever cabinet inserts and organisers
There really is nothing like a kitchen where every detail is thought off, cabinet inserts and organizers can save you from that awkward far reach into the back of the cabinet or the mess that you see every time you open your tupperware drawer. These additions can add to the cost but it also significantly adds to the functionality, eliminates wasted space in your cabinets, and is definitely worth it.
Wall mounted appliances
Wall mounted appliances are all the rave right now, they are a clean and sophisticated way of incorporating the necessities of an oven, microwave and range hood in your kitchen but be wearing of height.

You don’t want a wall mounted oven where you still have to bend over to use it, a microwave that is too high, or to hit your head when using a range hood.

Again these are design factors that a good designer should be considering and eliminating, but it will do you no harm to check over the measurements just to be sure.

Positioning of appliances
The positioning of appliances is a smart way of ensuring the ergonomics of a kitchen. Every appliance has a position where it is the most functional, your dishwasher by your sink, the hideaway bin in the cooking zone, stove and over near each other, and so on.

Don’t priorities style over functionality

Of course you want your newly renovated kitchen to look good, if it’s your forever home you want it to be your dream… but never, I repeat, never sacrifice functionality for style. It doesn’t matter how great it looks or how it is all the rave, it will be a big regret of yours.

Optimal lighting, ventilation, storage, bench space durability are all incredibly important considerations to make the most of your kitchen.

Love an all-black kitchen but have little ones? Fingerprints will be your worst nightmare.

Mirror splashbacks are amazing for small kitchens to enhance them, but if you have a big kitchen and have a mirror splashback... by the time you cleaned one end you have to start the other.

Sometimes we have to make sacrifices to achieve the best possible design that suits your lifestyle, evaluate these things. Not only does it future proof your home but you always have a kitchen you love.


There are two reasons lighting is significant in your kitchen 1. Functionality and 2. Design.

Your busiest zones need the most optimal lighting. After you have determined the work zones and ergonomics, determine the areas that need the best light. You have to maximise lighting in your working areas, it helps illuminate benchtops for food preparation, entertaining, cleaning, and so on. Consider the lighting in other hidden places too, such as under unit or cabinet lighting to assist in the darker spots of your kitchen.

As for design, lighting is radiant in a kitchen. A mixture of downlights, natural lights, and pendant lights are commonly used. It highlights the attractive features of your kitchen and becomes a focal point of the space. Also, if space is used a lot of entertaining the lighting of the space can affect the mood of the room.

Don’t let lighting to be an afterthought, make sure it is considered in the early stages of design.

Ask the big questions

In a renovation you should also be learning and gaining knowledge, so don’t be afraid to ask questions! The following are some questions to be asking both your designer and builder...

1. How will the designer layout improve the functionality of the kitchen?

2. What are the best options for my cabinet choice?

3. How long will I be unable to use the kitchen?

4. Where should we be compromising the most?

5. What details work best with this kitchen design?

6. What can go wrong with this particular kitchen renovation?