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HuntCO Hacks to Kitchen Design + Installation

Over the past 7+ months we have been installing our new say its been a long drawn process would be an understatement and while I was as organised and decisive as I could be, 7 months later we are still waiting on a few elements to be completed.

As kitchens tend to be the heart of most peoples homes, it's understandable our clients want to be completely confident in their design.

As always we take the approach of 'done once, done well' and while working with all styles, budgets and locations its important to make sure the whole space is curatored to suit the clients home and family, but we have five key tips and tricks to help you prepare for your kitchen build.

ONE: Research + Refine

While it is great fun researching inspiration for your new kitchen one of the biggest pitfalls I see are clients that are trying to incorporate too many differing styles into the space, they are oblivious to the costs of varying elements or are trying to create something that just doesn't suit their home (or budget)

Before you start planing your kitchen design, go through all your images and consider what is both common features you love but also what is practical for your build and work towards creating something that is realistic. Don't be afraid to be brave or stick to your initial style, just be conscious of where to spend and where to save to achieve your dream design.

TWO: Understand your costs

I am as guilty as anyone of seeing a beautiful space and wanting to replicate it in my home,

but its important to understand the varying costs involved in creating those spaces + being aware that a lot of designers can afford to have bespoke, high end finishes and fittings beca

use they are either getting gifted products or taking advantage of their trade discounts, so while

it all looks magnificent in your Instagram feed it might just be well beyond your budget.

AS AN EXAMPLE somethings to consider are the style of cabinetry from, the painted finish to the profile there are HUGE variations in the pricing depending on what style you go with. Basic would be a thermolated through companies like Laminex and Polytec, moving into laminate, two pack painted finish and finally your veneers, hand cut or hand painted cabinets with your prices varying on a surface level from low $100's/unit for the basic to high $100 for the bespoke. To further break that down;

- THERMOLATED you have limited colour options and profiles but the costs are relative

- LAMINATE thousands of options in colours or finishes but you are restricted to flat profiles as you cant wrap the laminate around a rail

- TWO PACK, any colour or profile you desire and your cabinetmaker may cut the cabinets themselves or have the option to order the raw units from the bigger manufactures named above.

- HAND CUT AND VENEERS, you can have any detail, profile, colour and finish you desire (think the bevelling in Rosedale Farm image above) but the costs are reflective

OTHER areas to consider are the lighting, tapware, hardware (I recently got the Rosedale farm hardware quoted, each piece was over $100!) benchtops and biggest takeaway would be invest where its important or going to last and be frugal where it's not, work towards your budget, shop around for the fittings and be really comfortable with your choices

THREE: Redefine You Design

Once you have settled on the look and feel of your kitchen really sit with the design and layout and make sure you are not just happy with visually how it will look but

most importantly the flow and function. So many people make the mistake of designing an aesthetically beautiful kitchen and then get to the actual use of it and find;

- there isn't enough storage

- drawers aren't deep or wide enough for your specific cookware

- the soft touch, recessed handle or push release system means your gorgeous matte finish marks or leaves finger prints (yes even if they say its 'fingerprint proof)

- the general layout doesn't work and your flow and function is affected

You would have heard of 'the cooking triangle' making sure your bench, oven and food are all easily accessible. While this is very important also making sure you have flow and function generally right.

Dont get caught up in the look that you overlook things like 'Can I access those high shelves?' or 'Where do i put all the Tupperware?'

Go though all your wants and needs and make sure the things that are important to your family and living style are well considered.

FOUR: Sampling + Visualising

Not everyone has the ability to fly blind when it comes to design and often a material or finish looks perfect in a lifestyle image or digital medium but in reality falls flat.

Once you have worked out what your layout its really important to get your samples together and make sure

the look you have landed on is going to work. From your tapware finish to the hardware, flooring, cabinetry colour(s) and benchtops, try and get as many samples together as possible and lay them down to see if the overall style works, if the colours and finishes complement each other as well as seeing if the finishes/colours are as you envisaged when researching and digitally designing your space. As mentioned previously, not everything looks great in reality but also your space, light and design may just not be suitable for certain elements, so best way to build confidence in your kitchen selections is to see them altogether.

FIVE: Ordering + Organising

I would say in terms of your schedule or in the instance where you are ripping out an old kitchen and replacing it, this would have to be the most important part of the process in ensuring minimal

disruption or delays. Too often clients get complacent and think that you lock in the design and everything will not only be available for your install but that you hand over to the cabinetmakers and there is no further organisation required.

In truth there are lots of moving parts to your kitchen installation so as soon as you have settled on the design and all your fittings and fixtures I would not only start ordering, I would work through a timeline with the cabinet maker to line up all your other trades to complete the job. Particularly now in our post covid world lead times and delays not to mention price increases are a common occurrence so it pays to be prepared!

As a basic guide;

- Order tapware, sinks, lighting, flooring, tiles (if using as a splash back) and hardware. due to a number of factors there are delays of anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 month, so make sure you get onto this as soon as you can

- Discuss with the cabinet maker their timeline to understand realistic ETA for your install. Note they will have to consider external trades like painters so this will only be indicative but will give you idea of when to line up all your required trades

- Contact all your trades; noting you'll need different trades before, during and after install so make sure you dont leave anyone off the list!

Again as a guide you'll need carpenters, plasters, electricians, plumbers, potentially a builder, potentially a tiler, glazier if you are putting new windows or doors in and painter (if that person isn't you!)

- Order all your appliances, generally these will all be stocked or with short lead times and best to put the list together to get a package or deal from one supplier...we all love a bargain!

Understandably designing your dream kitchen is equal parts exciting and daunting. It's a huge investment and something you don't want to rush, make poor choices on or regret.

Be bold, be realistic and be prepare, but if the whole process is completely overwhelming we might just know a few people who can take the stress and anxiety out of the process. Happy designing xx


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