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3 ways to avoid budget blow outs in kitchen renovations


You’ve heard it before: the kitchen is the heart of the home. It really is. When guests come over I struggle to get them out of my kitchen and over to my lovingly decorated outdoor patio

You’ve also heard that kitchens sell houses. This is also true, so it makes sense why this is a space you should invest in.

However, there are ways to elevate the look and functionality of your kitchen without breaking the bank. Here are my tips.

1. Swap timber for laminate

It’s hard not to like the look of timber kitchen cabinets, whether it’s a veneer or solid board. It’s timeless and suits any style of home.

It also adds instant warmth to any interior, but it’s also a quick way to blow the kitchen renovation budget.

Not very long ago, a timber grain laminate would have looked like just that, laminate. It would not have provided a very convincing alternative to timber, but that’s not strictly the case anymore.

Advancements in the product means you can find a timber grain laminate with an organic-looking grain rather than that streaked look that can kill the overall look.

Laminate suppliers are also now offering their product with a shaker-style profile so you’re not restricted to a flat door front.

I suggest shopping around at the showrooms to make sure you’ve covered all your bases rather than relying on your cabinet maker to bring you samples. Not all cabinet makers carry samples of the most recent products.

2. Woe up on your overhead cabinets

Kitchen storage is a big cost, so omit overhead cabinets in favour of other storage solutions instead. Picture: Note Design Studio

Let’s face it, our interior spaces are becoming larger by the second and our need and want for a large kitchen is part of the reason why.

In the design process, question what you really need. You may decide you want more bench space, but do you really need more storage above all that bench space?

The more cabinets you design into the space, the more you’ll have to spend – and there are alternatives. There is the option to:

a) Decrease the number of overhead cabinets;

b) Omit all overhead cabinets;

c) Use open shelving instead of overheads.

I suggest quoting up all options. You might be surprised at what you can save.

3. Swap natural stone for composite

Composite stone has a modern look that is more durable than some natural stone and is easier to maintain. Picture: Caesarstone

Gosh, I love the look and feel of natural stone. Each slab is unique and provides instant luxury but it also comes at a price.

Given we’re all building larger kitchens it’s worth weighing up whether the cost of using natural stone benchtops (marble or granite for example) to cover the span of your kitchen cabinets is worth it.

If you don’t want to blow the budget I suggest working with a composite stone instead, which is considerably less expensive but can sometimes mimic the look of natural stone.

The bonus of composite stone, too, is that it’s more durable than some natural stone and is easier to maintain.

If your heart is set on the natural option I suggest using it on the island and a composite or timber on your backbenches and let your island be the hero.

This article was originally published as 3 ways to avoid budget blow outs in kitchen renovations by and written by Carlene Duffy

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