Kitchen ideas: 10-plus questions to ask before the kitchen renovations start

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Kitchen ideas: 10-plus questions to ask before the kitchen renovations start

Before kitchen renovations begin, it’s worth thinking about the good and bad points of your old kitchen. And, of course, what you want your new space to entail. The easiest way to do this and gather all your kitchen ideas is by asking yourself (and any other cooks in the house) a whole lot of questions. 

1. Why are you renovating? What do you want to create? A more modern kitchen, more storage, the same style but updated, a complete kitchen overhaul? Write down a list of kitchen ideas leading to your ultimate goal.
2. What works about your old space? For example, good benchspace, good light, layout of cabinetry? Are these kitchen ideas you want to feature in the new design?
3. What doesn’t work? For example, not enough bench space, appliances are outdated, cabinetry/splashback needs to be replaced, outdated style and colour scheme?

4. Who does the cooking? Are you the sole cook or does the whole family take turns in the kitchen? How many people do you cook for? Do you entertain regularly? These answers may affect the appliances you choose for your kitchen (are an oversized oven and stovetop needed?) and also impact on how much space to move around you allow for in the kitchen.
5. How do you use your kitchen? Just for cooking? Is it a gathering place you entertain from? Do you sit at the bench to eat breakfast? They way you use your space will give you kitchen ideas for must-have elements.

6. How much kitchen storage do you need? Is a walk-in pantry a must? How could extra storage space be included? If you have plenty of kitchen gadgets, then an accessible place to store them might be high on your agenda. Consider kitchen ideas to up your storage space without crowding or overpowering the kitchen design, such as overhead cabinetry, including more deep drawers than cupboards.
7. What size appliances do you need? If you cook often, entertain or have a large family, then an oversized oven and stovetop might be essential to you.
8. Where will you position all the elements in your kitchen? To work this out, consider all the potential cabinetry layouts and where you could fit in big appliances (oven, stovetop, fridge), being mindful of existing electrical wiring and plumbing (not moving this will save you time and money), and creating a practical accessible space too.

9. Do you have your heart set on a certain style of kitchen? What appeals to you most – a classic combination of earthy tones and modern appliances, a country-style timber kitchen, a modern mix of high-gloss cabinetry and stone benchtops? Note down all the kitchen ideas and elements you love about that chosen style. You can also download 101 Free Kitchen & Bathroom Design Ideas
10. What colours do you want to feature? If it’s modern and timeless you’re after, various shades of white and off-white might be your pick, but if it’s bold and standout then a dash of red or pop of bright blue, pink or lime green might give your space the pizzazz you’re after. If you’re stuck for colours, gather colourful kitchen ideas and inspiration by looking at the colours you are naturally drawn to, plus the hues that already feature in your home. See more on kitchen colour ideas. 

+ For kitchen and home renovation advice, Melbourne clients can phone The Makeover Group on 1300 768 464 or see

Richard Armstrong is a director of Melbourne firm The Makeover Group. He has more than a decade of home-renovation experience, including kitchen design and build. Richard has helped hundreds of Melbourne clients create modern kitchens that suit their tastes and lifestyle.