There are a number of misconceptions that arise in the kitchen design that can significantly restrict your creativity and functionality if they are not addressed.
1. “It’s too hard and expensive to move the sink and cooktop”
In most cases, we can move the water or gas supply along the wall with minimal cost. Even moving water or electricity to a new island can be inexpensively done if there is access underneath the home. If you’re on a slab, the relatively modest additional cost to channel into the floor and then repair the floor timber or tiles is worth the improvements in functionality that you gain. Moving the location of appliances can be the most effective way to open up kitchen space.
2. “Refurbishing my kitchen will be much less expensive than a full renovation”
A very common belief that often doesn’t turn out to be true. If only doors are replaced and the panels can be easily removed, then a facelift can extend the life of an existing kitchen for a little while. It won’t, however, address the issue of old cabinets that can become musty due to age, or rusting drawer runners. If you’re updating appliances or the benchtop – even with just an engineered stone overlay or new laminate – then you need a plumber and electrician for the sink and cooktop. With the cost of new panels, bench, splashback, appliances and trades, the cost of installing new carcasses is fairly small in the overall scheme of things, and a full renovation should be considered.
“A beautiful Kitchen should have symmetry.”
– John Horvath, Degabriele Kitchens
3. “Engineered stones are much less expensive than natural marble or granite”
The new engineered stone designs are very similar in supply cost to most natural products. Your stonemason will still need to transport the slabs and polish the edges, regardless of the material, so the overall cost is often not significantly different. Choose an engineered stone only if you want something that is less prone to staining or scratching – but remember, whilst you can easily use natural stone as a splashback, you cannot use engineered stone behind a gas cooktop without significantly increasing the bench depth.
4. “Cabinets only come in standard heights and depths”
I’m often asked what the standard heights are for benches, or what widths can be used for doors. The answer is, there are none. A good bespoke kitchen and joinery manufacturer will custom-
build your kitchen to any requested size. With benchtops, choose a height that sits 10-15cm below your bent elbow, and a beautiful kitchen should have symmetry. Doors and drawers should be divided up so they’re all equal in width rather than working to a standard modular width with a filler at the end.