Inspiration for Your Next Renovation Project | Balnei & Colina

8 essential Ingredients for your next kitchen renovation

8 essential Ingredients for your next kitchen renovation

Whatever the size of your home, the kitchen is the hub of family activity - everything from preparing meals to socialising and kids’ homework is carried out in the ‘heart of home’ - the kitchen.

Undertaking a kitchen renovation is a substantial investment so you want to get it right the first time. With this in mind, it’s important to understand the key elements that make up the best kitchen designs today to help you create a kitchen design that is both functional and beautiful.

When planning a new kitchen whether you’re going for a modern or traditional design theme the underlying steps to ensure you make the most of your kitchen renovation are the same. While there is no one recipe to kitchen renovation success, the following 8 essential design ingredients, combined with your sense of style - will ensure a beautiful, functional kitchen that is sure to stand the test of time. 

In this article we lift the lid on the secrets to smart kitchen design. We hope it will provide you with insight into the basic principles behind creating the ideal kitchen for any space.

Robert Fonti, Director Balnei & Colina

Image credit: Balnei & Colina

1. Integrated home layout

The best kitchen designs blend well with not only with your existing home layout but style as well. It is important to think about maintaining a cohesive home look particularly when it comes to renovating your kitchen.

Consider your kitchen in relation to your remaining home. This means thinking not only about where your kitchen sits in your home but how it relates to any adjoining rooms like living, dining or outdoor areas. 

The ideal kitchen will easily transition from both indoor and outdoor dining areas.

Design tip: At this point it’s important to consider whether your kitchen renovation will require any structural changes in order to better integrate with adjacent living areas for eg knocking down a wall and whether you ceilings and floors may be impacted as a result of renovating.

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Photo by: Nick Ciliak

Image credit: Fantasy Property



Image credit: Ewert Leaf

2. Clearly defined ‘look’

Get inspired by collecting images from magazines and the web that provide an example of what you’d like your final project to look like. Establish your style and clearly define an overall look for your kitchen. Keeping your finishes consistent with your style throughout will ensure a renovated kitchen that perfectly suits your taste and style.

With the kitchen being an integral part of the home, particularly in today’s modern open plan houses, it’s crucial your kitchen form part of the bigger picture. To help create a cohesive look for your home incorporate your home style in your kitchen design. Continue finishes and colours in cabinetry, countertops and kitchen decor.

Design Tip: When selecting finishes, look to the rest of your home for direction. If you have a modern home with clean lines a more contemporary kitchen with flush doors may be an appropriate option. Alternatively, if your home is a Victorian Terrace with ornate ceilings, perhaps a more traditional kitchen might suit.

Image credit: E&S Interiors



Image credit: Ewert Leaf

3. The perfect ‘work triangle’

One of the key factors in creating the best kitchen design with any kitchen renovation is how it performs when your working in it, that is when you are carrying out daily activities like cooking.  Combine this, with a kitchen’s visual impact on your overall home, especially in open plan homes, and you can see why devising an efficient layout is vital to a successful kitchen renovation.

The kitchen ‘work triangle’ is one of the most fundamental rules of kitchen design and an important ingredient to a functional kitchen. It is formed by the placement of the kitchen’s key elements: the sink, cooktop and fridge. Each point of the ‘work triangle’ should be easily accessed, with nothing interrupting the flow. This makes for a more practical layout with less foot traffic for the most effective and efficient use of space. 

An alternative method to the kitchen triangle, used when your kitchen layout is outside the norm, is to divide your kitchen into zones instead. There are four essentials zones to consider: 

  1. Storage - Consumables (storage of food) and Non-consumables (storage of dishes, platters, small appliances etc) 
  2. Cleaning - sink & dishwasher 
  3. Food Preparation - where you prepare your food eg chopping and serving 
  4. Cooking - oven and stove

Allowing for the kitchen ‘work triangle’ or ‘zoning’ ensures your kitchen remains organised, items are easily accessible but more importantly it encourages efficient workflow throughout your kitchen.

Design Tip: Kitchens have a lot of doors - fridge door, oven door, microwave door, cupboard doors not to mention drawers). Make sure these don’t overlap or compete with each other for space.

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Image credit: De Rossa Sa

4. Open Space

Where possible incorporate the following dimensions into your design to streamline your kitchen’s functionality and create free flowing space. This will ensure that your kitchen is practical and that it visually appears spacious and open. 

1m = The minimum amount of space to include between parallel benches (ideally 1.2-5m), when more than one person is in the kitchen. 

600mm  = (Ideally 900mm) A comfortable length of bench space on either side of your oven or sink to allow for food preparation and cleaning.

600mm - Standard depth for a kitchen benchtop. If you want to include stools allow an extra 200-300mm.

Image credit: Oliver Davis Design


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5. The right appliances

How do you prepare meals? If you love entertaining then perhaps a larger oven would suit you best. Do you enjoy baking or do you only cook twice a week? Do you use a slow cooker? All of these questions will help in assisting you choose appliances that are best suited not only to your style of cooking but the way in which you cook. It will ensure that you invest in and select the right appliances so that you have more of your budget to spend in other areas of your renovation.

Design Tip: Make sure you give any small appliances you use frequently their own bench space and powerpoint if needed.

Image credit: Carlisle Homes
Photo by: Nikole Ramsey


Image credit: Suzanne Lawson Design

6. Maximum storage & bench space

It’s always better to have more storage than less and storage is very important in a kitchen. Good storage space is always a worthwhile investment and can make even the smallest kitchen a dream to cook in. This is your chance to dedicate a spot for every item in your kitchen. There is food, crockery, pots and pans and small electrical appliances right down to loose items like glad wrap and plastic bags. So take stock of all your kitchen items and how much room they are likely to take up in your new kitchen and plan storage for your new kitchen design accordingly.

Having smart storage solutions that allow for easy access of kitchen items means you will be able to keep your benchtop free of clutter freeing up space on your kitchen countertops for activities like serving meals or food preparation. For difficult corners, there are some amazing pull-out and slide-out options, and tall slide-out panties work well for narrow spaces.

Design tip: Allocate easy-to-reach places for items you use regularly, for example, a dedicated drawer for olive oil, salt and spices next to your cooktop. Drawers are easy to open and save you getting down on your hands and knees to retrieve items at the back of the cupboard. 

Image credit: Hindley & Co Albert Park


Image credit: E&S Interiors

7. A place to gather

The real party is always in the kitchen. As anyone who has had a party knows the kitchen is where people naturally gravitate to. If possible, your kitchen will also allow space for people not working in it. This might include a breakfast counter to sit at or an island where family and friends can gather even when the kitchen is not in use. 

Image credit: LW Projects


Image credit: Zan Wimberely

8. Smart lighting

Lighting is an essential element in home decor and it is just as crucial in kitchen design. Selecting the right lighting for your kitchen is important in creating a both a functional and aesthetically pleasing space. You’ll need task lighting for activities like food preparation, and washing up and dining as well as mood lighting to create ambience for your kitchen. Lighting can also help inject personality into a kitchen design as well as support your kitchen’s overall look.

Image credit: Marble Ceramic Corp

Designing the perfect kitchen can seem overwhelming and is best left to the experts. For more information about our kitchen design and renovation service or to book a design consultation, call 1300 450 320 or send us an email.

If you’re looking for further inspiration and ideas for your next renovation, signup to our newsletter or connect with us on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date with the latest design trends. 



Photo by: Nikole Ramsey


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