With the kitchen becoming the hub of family activity, modern kitchen design and renovations with plenty of natural light, pleasant outlooks through feature windows into the garden and fashion statement accessories have all become part of the recipe for a great renovation – or so the T.V. home reno. shows say.

Far from being a utilitarian service area, the kitchen has become part of the living and entertaining area with guests all getting a view of their meal being prepared, highlighting the increased interest in food and cooking generated by television programs like Better Homes & Gardens, or cult based personalities Nigella and Jamie Oliver.

Fully renovating a conventional kitchen can cost between $25,000 and $50,000, so it is important to think through a kitchen renovation carefully. Many people are unaware of the importance of their ‘kitchen plan’ in relation to an overall renovation … or its cost! Without a good early plan, a kitchen can be dysfunctional and can fail to capitalise on its potential to greatly enhance the value of the home.

The key to good kitchen design is to create a good relationship between the kitchen, living, meals and outdoor entertaining areas, but it’s vital to assess costs and the feasibility of any structural alterations necessary to create an open-planned environment.

Storage and convenience have become premium design elements in kitchens with one of the major design trends being the use of drawers for storage of crockery, cooking utensils and saucepans. Open-planned layouts, clean appearances, concealed appliances and large island benches are popular too and if space allows, a walk-in pantry can be a real winner! The increasing cost of energy is also focusing renovators on utilising natural light and energy efficient appliances.

Anyone considering a kitchen renovation should consider it in the context of the whole home and get some early architectural advice for the best outcome. Don’t get bulldozed into a fine kitchen in a marginal location by a “kitchen renovator”. Archicentre Australia architects can set you straight.