Both of these can be addressed relatively easily and, more importantly, cost effectively.
Firstly, let’s address question one. At Dream Doors we see a lot of kitchens which have dated very badly, be they new or old kitchens. The biggest culprit is colour choice of door and drawer fronts and, of course, the bench top.
In the late 90s and early 2000s there was a trend in the industry to use rather a lot of dark blues, pinks, greys and greens. Unfortunately (or fortunately) trends and tastes change and we meet customers daily who want to bring a lighter, cleaner, more neutral, open look and feel to the kitchen, which has really become an extension of the entertainment and living area.
More than 80 percent of facelift and new kitchens that we fit these days are white or a shade or two either side.
This leaves more flexibility in bench top choice too, with compatible colours from designer white to absolute black, and everything in between.
The classic white doors and dark top is timeless and can be brightened up with a myriad of accessories with striking results. Or add a bold and personal colour statement with a painted glass splashback, which can be cheaply replaced should one tire of the colour.
I always remind my customers to consider resale value of their house. A more neutral or timeless colour combination in the kitchen is far more appealing to potential buyers than perhaps a very personal and potentially polarising colour choice, which can put potential buyers off.
For the second question, about making better use of the space people have – I have only met a handfull of customers who have said that their kitchen was too big and had too much storage.
For the rest of us, space is a premium and so making the best out of what we have is essential.
The most common thing we get asked for is to replace cupboards with drawers. Aside from better utilising the actual volume of a cabinet, drawers make things far more easily accessible. Pot drawers, plate/cup drawers and Tupperware drawers are the most requested.
There are also thousands of clever systems which can be added to drawers, cupboards and pantries, to make better use of space and make everything more accessible. Things like a “lazy suzan” for corner cupboards and pull out pantries are frequently fitted and very good value for money.
And finally a real hot tip – get rid of the raised breakfast bar leaners; they are just a magnet for junk, cell phone chargers, broken toys and electricity bills. Opt for a single level flat bench, you will be amazed at how much more open and modern your kitchen will look and feel.
Adrian Kay is the managing director of Dream Doors Christchurch