Home' K and B : Kitchens and Bathrooms 2010 Contents 64 WA's Best Kitchens & Bathrooms 2010
"I would advise every client to start from
scratch," says Steve Johnson from Retreat
Design. "If you've got existing tiles or existing
plumbing, you end up having a compromise.
Sometimes you can get away with it, but 95
percent of jobs we do is a 'rip-out and start
again'. It only costs $35/sqm to rip out -- then
you get a blank canvas and you get a dream.
If you don't start from scratch, you end up with
a solution that nine times out of 10 doesn't work."
Sort your stuff Before kicking any serious goals
in the design process, there is information you
need to provide to your designer or builder, and
there are details you need to find out -- here are
the top five must-dos:
1. Work out a budget. It's the oldest tip in the
book for a good reason -- it will drive the design
process in many ways. You can spend almost
anything on a new kitchen or bathroom, so
set a limit and don't assume the designer will
know where you want to save and where you
are prepared to spend money (a $10,000 oven
might seem reasonable to a passionate cook,
but it might be outlandish -- and impractical --
to a person who eats out a lot).
"A list of 'must-haves' and 'nice-to-
haves' will give the kitchen designer a good
understanding on what to focus," says Henrik
Stollmann of leading kitchen design brand
Hettich. "And, if you need to stretch your
budget a bit to get what you want, see if you
can do it. In the end, the average kitchen is
being renovated every 15 years, so you have to
live with it for quite some time."
2. Give your designer the dimensions of your space.
is is something you can measure yourself,
but, be warned: "It is explicitly important that
you have the correct measurements," says
Steve of Retreat Design. " ere can be lots
of tears if you get it wrong." If you are at all
unsure of your tape measure skills, get your
designer to come measure up. It is also a good
idea to supply architect plans.
3. Know your materials. If you are working with
a home builder on a new build, the process
can be different. "One key point for the client
to know is the materials they are allowed to
use. Often the specification with the builder
or cabinetmaker will have a list of materials
and finishes that have been allowed for.
Knowing the restrictions will allow a designer
to successfully create a design within a budget
and the allowances of the builder," says
Corinne Morup of e Laminex Group.
4. Supply your designer with information about
how you will use the space, and what you want.
Consider which appliances you want (one oven,
two ovens, a steam oven, dishwasher, etc).
" ink about what does and doesn't work in
your kitchen at the moment," says Lincoln of
e Maker Designer Kitchens. is will give you
clarity on aspects that you want included (or
excluded) from your new design.
5. Trust your professional. "Listen to their expert
advice," says Julie Levin of Julie Levin Design.
"You also need to know that both renovating
and building can be quite frustrating and
stressful, and be prepared for that. However,
with the right designer or project manager, the
process should be made much smoother."
Upskill on style When it comes to the style of
your new space, going in with a rough idea
of what you are after will help the designer.
Get inspiration from magazines and go to
display homes and open homes. Take pictures
and rip out pages to create a moodboard (see
DIY moodboards, p65), then take this to
your designer. You may not find a common
thread through your selection, but it's almost
guaranteed that your designer will. Also,
read stories and talk to people to determine
"I would advise every client to start from scratch... then you get a blank
canvas and you get a dream. If you don't start from scratch, you end up
with a solution that nine times out of 10 doesn't work."
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