Kitchen Upgrade Ideas
The kitchen has become one of the most important room in the house, yet many are not living up to their full potential. Renato Lopes, director of Gomes Design, a turn-key renovation specialist, clues us in to the inspiration behind the kitchen transformation that they orchestrated in our April 2016 issue, as well as how you can achieve a similar bland-to-brilliant overhaul. What inspired this kitchen makeover? The clients are a young couple who see their home as a sanctuary away from a busy work life. They also love to bake and entertain family and friends but struggled in their old, small and outdated kitchen (see a before picture below). What were some of the biggest changes you made? We modernised the look with a more contemporary, open-plan design to suit the owners' style of living. A wall between the kitchen and the living area was removed, all existing cabinetry and appliances were replaced, and a kitchen island was added. In our design, we incorporated the use of Blum’s Dynamic Space to optimise the ergonomics and maximise available space. We also opted to use taller carcasses and slightly lower kick plates (this is commonly done in Europe, as their kitchens are typically smaller than here in South Africa, to make room for an additional set of shallow drawers, which are prefect for utensils). Why did you decide to knock out the adjoining lounge/kitchen wall? A kitchen is the heart of the home. By knocking down the existing wall between the living areas, the kitchen became an integral part of the living and entertaining space. Why did you opt for the simple colour palette and the busier, patterned tile floors? The client chose a wonderful patterned floor tile, which adds interest and texture. We therefore opted to have a neutral colour palette in the rest of the design. This not only ties in with the contemporary look, but further allows the client to add their own personal touches, in terms of colour, to the accessories, which can be easily and inexpensively changed if necessary. Wood tones were used in the island and kitchen to add warmth and texture. And what was the thinking behind the island? An island was placed in the kitchen to add more functionality and workspace. The island forms an important part of the kitchen triangle, aiding in the process of baking, prepping food and cooking. By adding seating at the island, the kitchen becomes a more sociable space for eating and entertaining. Is it important to invest in high quality doors, countertops and handles? It is essential to invest in good quality hardware and cabinetry when renovating or updating a kitchen. The choice of fittings should not only be made in terms of the look it brings to your kitchen, but functionality and ease of use all play an important role. Good quality fittings are more expensive but will last longer and function better than cheaper options on the market. The same can be said for countertops, which is why we have a great relationship with both Caesarstone and Eclipse, and strongly recommend their product range. What advice do you have for homeowners looking to renovate their kitchen? A kitchen is one of the most important investments that can be made in the home. Not only will a well-designed kitchen add value to your property, it also enhances functionality and ease of use. Seek professional advice to assist in the design and implementation of your ideas. And do your homework! Choose a company with a good track record in the industry to assist you throughout the process. Why is it important to update your kitchen from time to time? Kitchens and bathrooms have become very important spaces in modern lifestyle and homes. They can add tremendous value to properties if updated, modern and well designed, so keep new with modern trends and technologies.