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How to Find the Right Kitchen Solution 

January 22, 2018
How to Find the Right Kitchen Solution

When it comes to the kitchen, functionality and durability is key above all else.

The kitchen acts as the heart beat of the home and is recognised for it's role as the most used and most hard working room of the house. As such, it is essential that this space works well for the needs of both yourself and your family. It must also be heard wearing and durable enough to take on wear and tear over time.

There are so many ways to improve a kitchen to make it much easier to utilise the list can be endless. For example;

  • Updating the layout of the space to create a better flow and ease of access to appliances
  • The addition of extra storage
  • The type of appliances, sinks or tapware specified
  • Cabinetry details such as self closing doors and drawers or the type of hinges or storage inserts used.

When you speak to a kitchen designer you soon realises just how many options there are for a successful kitchen design and what is and what isn't possible to achieve.

One company that are skilled in custom solutions for kitchen refurbishments is Select Kitchens. They are experts in Kitchen design and fit-out and offer a wealth of knowledge, (along with many years experience) to their kitchen renovating clients. We spoke to Olivia Watson at Select Kitchens to learn about some of the challenges their customers face and what ensure successful outcome of a project.

Olivia took the time to talk to us about one of their many success stories - a project located in Melbourne for a client named Gail Ryan. The case study below provides interesting insights into the process of undertaking a kitchen renovation and the benefits of working with a kitchen design company.


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The story of a kitchen renovation

The Design Brief

What was the Homeowners vision?

It started with the wish for a new bench top, then after chatting with Gail and reviewing the functionality of the existing layout, we realised what she really wanted (and needed) was a better functioning layout for her kitchen.

Gail really wanted to remove the formal dining room to create more space and allow us to better utilise the footprint to create a much better well designed kitchen. As such the decision was made to re-do the whole kitchen.

What existing design issues was Gail hoping to overcome?

Gail and her husband felt trapped in the space when entertaining. The kitchen was small in size and as the case with many kitchens, didn't have enough storage. They felt the kitchen was overcrowded when entertaining and wanted to resolve this.

Design Objective

What was Select Kitchens vision for the project?

To create the best design outcome possible for the new open plan space, ensuring that would allow for Gail to be able to entertain with ease.

What were your main requirements and design objectives for the new kitchen?

For Gail specifically it revolved around the open plan and the ability to entertain. We always aim to improve the functionality of every kitchen we design, making sure to have the right size drawers and space for a drink station. This included space to house mugs, glasses, tea, coffee and spoons, (placed next to the fridge for easy access to cool drinks), along with the addition of a hot/chilled/sparkling water tap in this location away from the main sink for ease of use. This enabled someone be able to prepare drinks easily if the main sink is occupied.

Why the two separate sinks were important and the problem did they solve?

When entertaining a lot of things can be going on at once. Getting to the sink for a glass of water or to fill the kettle while someone else is preparing the meal can be a hassle. Having a seperate instant boiled and chilled water tap not only provides another place to make drinks, it's also a quick fix for whatever you need, without making more noise or taking up more bench space as is the case with a kettle. It creates simple living at its finest.

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Design & Layout

Could you provide some information on the design and layout of Gail's kitchen and how it improved the overall functionality as a working kitchen?

One of the main important parts of the design layout was to create space around everything. When entertaining the kitchen can become a crowded space, but with the right amount of spacing for access it can still feel spacious. Gail’s kitchen particularly allows the space to walk around the kitchen and allow for extra people to be in the kitchen at once.

Design Details

What specific design details were implemented into the kitchen?

To create the ease of flow for large groups of people. The open plan living was a big part specific to the Ryan's project. Repositioning the kitchen crated the space for Gail to cook while keeping an eye the grand kids. The bulk head lighting brings an sense of elegance to the kitchen that Gail specifically wanted.

Every part of the kitchen is set up with stations as well. For example the drinks station is set up as an all-in-one spot of the kitchen. Negating the need to do three laps across the Kitchen to get to the various things you need to make a hot drink anymore.

What’s your favourite design element or kitchen feature?

The bench top and splashback are all in one. Corrian to be specific. A product very similar to stone but completely shapable. In Gail's kitchen the Corian goes right from the top of the splashback down across the bench in 1 seamless piece. For Gail this means cleaning with ease. No grout lines to worry about at all.

Existing Style & New Style

What was the original style & layout of the kitchen?

The Kitchen was originally in the middle on the room were the dining table now stands. It was an enclosed space with minimal storage and minimal access to the room. It was truly separate from the other rooms in the house. Certainly not the best layout for entertaining.

And how would you describe it now?

It has now moved towards the front end of the house where you can openly see across the dining area and the living area just past it. It only separates from the front room which is a formal living area that the clients desired the ability to create some privacy. The location has specifically improved the functionality of the kitchen as well. It is now very spacious with plenty of storage options.

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Materials & Finishes

What materials and finishes palette was chosen?

Gail's kitchen is high quality Albador vinyl. It is a luxurious satin classic white Vinyl, which is nice warm white to create a homely appearance. The bulk head lighting detail was created to bring a warm light and luxurious style to the white kitchen and provide a more homely touch.


Get the Look

Design Constraints

Did you encounter any challenges completing the fit-out?

Gail’s Kitchen became quite an extensive job fast. Many wall removals and the relocation of the kitchen required a lot of work, along with the relocation of gas, water and electrics and a lot of measuring. While you can prepare as much as possible for all the changes, sometimes a things can arise during the reno process which couldn't previously be unaccounted for. We encountered the issue of having a little less space than for cabinetry than previously accounted for.

How did you tackle them?

There's always a solution to every design challenge and resolving these quickly onsite is a big part of the process. We resolved this issue shortening one of the cabinets to make the perfect fit in the space.

Construction Period

How long did it take to complete the project?

A normal kitchen renovation takes approximately 10-13 weeks from the time the settles on the design. Of that time we usually spend 3 weeks on site. With Gail's kitchen we had to look at preparing the space before installing the kitchen. This was the longest part of the process as wall removals and relocations needed be done. This took more planning and more on site time, still the project was completed in 12 weeks. A small amount of time considering the drastic changes.

If you would like to hear about this project from Gail the client and learn about her experience, view the video below.


We would like to thank Olivia from Select Kitchens for sharing this interesting case study with us.

We hope you found this article helpful. If you are ready to start building your wish list of products, then be sure to check out our Kitchen Renovation Category.


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Image Credits: selectkitchens.com.au