Planning a new kitchen? Knowing where to spend and where to save is one of the toughest parts of the process. To help make it easier, Houzz asked three kitchen-design experts to reveal their must-have inclusions and upgrades.
1. Bin Drawer
Keep waste under control by upgrading to a pull-out bin drawer. A bin drawer is ideally placed near the sink and typically has loose bins inside it for waste and recycling, but can also contain bins for soft plastics and compost too. A bin drawer can either be retrofitted to an existing kitchen (space permitting) or designed into new kitchens.The design options are greater in new kitchens and, as such, they tend to be more practical. For instance, a new kitchen can have a bin drawer fitted with a touch-to-open system so you can open the drawer with the bump of a knee, leaving your hands free to place items in the bin.
2. Water-Resistant Kickboards & Sink Cabinets
When it comes to insurance claims involving kitchens, water damage is the biggest cause. This can be due to flooding, accidents, storms, faulty plumbing or appliances. Kitchens are primarily made of panels with a substrate of MDF board and particle board, which when exposed to water repeatedly or over a length of time will expand and become damaged. Upgrading your new kitchen to include water-resistant board to at-risk panels, such as kickboards and sink cabinets, will save you a tonne of pain in the unlikely event you have one of the water issues listed above. Water-resistant board is not cheap – expect to pay many times the cost of regular substrates – but it’s well worth the expense.
3. Wine & Beverage Storage
Wine needs to be kept within a strict temperature range (depending on the variety) for best preservation, and you won’t achieve this by storing it in the pantry or in pigeon holes in the kitchen. A wine fridge is the next best thing to having your own private wine cellar. Wine fridges come as built-in, under-bench and tall units. Many feature dual-temperature zones, typically separating your reds and whites, but can also include provisions for beer and other cold drinks, giving them added utility.
4. Soft-Close Drawers & Full-Extension Runners
Soft-closing doors and drawers are extremely functional and well-worth installing. They close smoothly and softly without banging shut like standard doors and drawers do. If you’re interested in soft-closing doors and drawers, be sure to plan early; they need to be factored in at the costing stage to ensure you get the correct pricing. Full-extension runners are another worthwhile investment. The drawer pulls right out towards you so you can fit more into it and you don’t have to reach into the back to find items. Soft-closing drawers and full-extension runners used to be a costly luxury, but not anymore. You’ll find all sorts of options at different price points on the market.
5. Butler’s Pantry
Having a pantry is worth it because it gives you a dedicated area to make breakfast, tea and coffee. A walk-in butler’s pantry is the crème de la crème of pantries – it gives you maximum functionality and screams high-end kitchen. Position your butler’s pantry at the far end of the kitchen, ideally with a matching joinery door on a pivot system. Include bench space to house appliances so you can free up surface space in your kitchen. As with any pantry, you’ll need to incorporate a butler’s pantry at the design stage so you get the functionality correct.
6. Appliance Niche
If you don’t have the space for a separate butler’s pantry, consider installing an appliance pantry or niche – it’s not only practical, but great for adding wow factor to your kitchen. It looks like a normal pantry, but when you open it – either with bi-fold or pocket doors, depending on your budget – the inside is a dream space with internal drawers below, shelving above for glassware/mugs, and bench space for appliances, such as the toaster, kettle and juicer. An appliance niche is cheaper than a butler’s pantry, but upgrading it with internal drawers and pocket doors is still an expensive option compared with a standard pantry.
7. Integrated Appliances
Freestanding appliances, such as the fridge, need to stick out past the line of your joinery in order to open properly, which can create a cluttered look. Instead, consider integrating your fridge and dishwasher so you can create a flush, streamlined wall of joinery – ideal for an entertainer’s or open-plan kitchen. Look to position your integrated fridge at the end of the kitchen run for easy access and so it won’t interrupt the functionality of the kitchen when it’s in use. An integrated dishwasher should be positioned next to the sink. Be aware that these elements – as well as a wine fridge, if you wish to include one – need to be incorporated at the design phase since they affect your kitchen’s layout. Most integrated fridges on the market also require extra depth in the joinery, which will greatly impact the design of the space. Also be aware that integrated fridges can be much more expensive than standard freestanding styles as the joinery manufacture is very detailed and customised. They can also be quite hard to replace.
8. Power Points With USB Chargers
Today’s kitchens are used for more than just cooking – they’re where homework is done, emails are sent and families gather. Having sufficient power points with USB outlets makes practical sense. Position power points at the end of your kitchen island, on your splashback, or consider a style that pops up from the benchtop when required and sits flush with the surface when not in use, such as EVOline BackFlip.
9. Vertical Storage
Storing cutting boards, trays and baking trays vertically makes them far more accessible than storing them horizontally – you simply pull them out when required. Plus, they’re easy to put back. Vertical Storage comes at a minimal cost, but needs to be incorporated in the design phase.
It’s important to make all your ideas known to your builder at the start of the design stage, that way nothing will get missed our become to complicated later on. Whatever is important to you, Hurst Homes is here to help your create your dream home! Our custom Wagga House & Land Packages allow you to design a home that suits your lifestyle and budget! Just another reason why we are considered Waggas best builder. To get started on your dream home contact us today on 0438 692 962 or click here to look at our available turn-key house and land packages.
For more tips from the Houzz experts visit houzz.com.au