No one could have ever predicted that 2020 would pan out quite like this. And for those homeowners in Melbourne, stuck at home in lockdown, life is harder than ever, with their homes now also being makeshift classrooms and workplaces. But although it is easy to feel lost, disheartened and, at times, trapped, it’s important to see the bright side of lockdown, and the advantages that it has brought.
For some, it could mean more time in the kitchen baking cupcakes, slices and biscuits or exploring new recipes (we’ll worry about those iso kilos later!). Others may be reliving their childhood with puzzles and colouring books, or revisiting hobbies that they haven’t had time to enjoy for years, such as knitting or crocheting. For some, getting outside in the garden for a much-needed dose of Vitamin D and fresh air is their lifeline, or for families it could be walking or riding bikes around the neighbourhood with their children.
If you’re considering a kitchen or bathroom renovation (or both) now is the time to start planning to kick the renovation into gear, so that when restrictions lift, your renovation can move full steam ahead. Design appointments will be limited and are sure to fill up quickly so don’t delay and secure your spot today.
Although showrooms may not be open at the moment, you can still get those creative juices flowing at home, and use this time to gather ideas from resources such as Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, websites, magazines and TV shows.
Step 1 – Budget
First things first – as uncomfortable as it can be, let’s talk about locking in a budget.
It’s imperative to be clear and upfront regarding your renovation budget from the start, and the areas of your renovation where you are prepared to compromise, and where you aren’t. It’s easier to 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, rather than have to make significant design sacrifices partway throughout, once work is well underway.
Your designer will also be able to make clever suggestions about where and how to make savings on certain aspects of the renovation.
Also, don’t forget to add in a “buffer” when setting your budget, in case of unforeseen issues, which may possibly arise.
Step 2 – Materials
Ever heard the phrase “champagne tastes on a beer budget”? It’s a problem for many of us when renovating! The materials that you choose for your kitchen and bathroom renovation should relate closely to your budget – if funds are tight, chances are, the highest-quality European kitchen appliances and granite benchtops will be out of the question, and more affordable options will have to be considered.
Perhaps beautiful custom-built timber cabinetry is high on your wish list, or you might have been dreaming of marble benchtops, a statement-making bathtub or luxurious European tapware.
Make a list and look book of the particular materials and items that appeal to you and your family, the must-have kitchen and bathroom inclusions that you just won’t compromise on, and those that you are willing to reconsider if required.
Step 3 – Colours
Are you colour confident and a fan of a bright and bold palette? Or is neutral more your scene? Choosing colours is one of the most fun parts of the renovation process – be prepared to spend hours pondering paint charts, splashback colours and tile samples! Compiling a look book of favourite colour palettes, design ideas and colour charts will provide a helpful visual tool for both you and your designer.
If you think all whites and creams are the same – think again! In fact, many paint brands have an abundance of shades to choose from, such as warm whites or cool whites, proving that all creams and whites aren’t the same.
Step 4 – Style
A crucial step in the planning phase is to decide on the style that you love – there’s so many to consider – and this style will then dictate the various items, materials and appliances in that space. A traditional country-style kitchen, for example, could feature an AGA cooker or SMEG stove, timber cabinetry, tiled splashbacks, period-style pendant lighting over a timber island and timber flooring.
The popular Hamptons look, inspired by the exclusive coastal hotspot favoured in summer by New York holidaymakers, is all about the use of crisp whites and cool greys throughout for a casual, elegant and calm aesthetic.
If you’re all about keeping it modern, the latest high-tech integrated appliances will most probably be a priority, as will flush-fitting cabinetry, soft-close drawers and LED under-cabinetry lights.
The style of your new kitchen or bathroom should also tie in with the rest of the home, for consistency and seamless flow.
Step 5 – Layout
Ultimately, the layout of a bathroom and kitchen depends on the space and budget that you have to work with. One of the key elements when it comes to layout is design that maximises the use of space and flow of movement.
When lockdown ends and restrictions lift, renovation companies will be able to visit homeowners in person to measure their space accurately, so that their designers know how much space they have to work with, and the best layouts to suit the space.
Once restrictions lift, kitchen and bathroom design companies will be very busy with projects, so if you are planning a renovation, now is the time to contact us to ensure you don’t miss out. Book now for a one-on-one appointment at any of the five Mint Kitchen Group showrooms across Melbourne. These appointments can take place once restrictions lift.
Online design consultations are, however, available now to start the planning process, so what are you waiting for? If you are looking for some inspiration for your renovation, visit our gallery of beautiful and functional kitchen and bathrooms.