home Forums Kitchen Chit-Chat Kitchen renovation. Any advice or recommendations

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    I am starting a thread on this in kitchen chit chat.

    Probably only interesting to me but one lives in hope of advice.

    Small galley kitchen which I plan to gut and replace appliances etc.

    Any advice on the appliances, large or small you most appreciate, maximizing storage, ease of use etc. I want it to look lovely but don’t care if the appliances match. Functionality, convenience and maximum storage are more important to me. Price is an object, but am prepared to bite the bullet as long as it doesn’t bankrupt me.



    Definitely go for drawers over cupboards. You lose a little to the mechanism, but it is more than made up for in usable space. I have a flat (Aussie speak for what I think you guys call a condo) where I gutted and rebuilt the kitchen before renting it out. In the end, I went with an IKEA kitchen as they seemed to be incredible value for money as long as the dimensions suit. I didn’t use IKEA appliances though as they just seemed to be rebadged local brands. And not good ones. The other problem with IKEA is that they use non waterproof chip board so you need to be careful of water management. Perhaps put an overflow into the sink. Probably a good idea in any case. My uncle has flooded his kitchen twice in the last few years by turning on the sink tap and then going to watch TV while it filled. The results were predictable. and expensive. I like a 1 + 1/2 sink. But then we don’t have or want a dishwasher.

    Get a quality QUIET exhaust fan. If you are in a flat you will need one that recirculates through a filter. But even they are better than none at all.

    Pay attention to the work triangle (sink-stove-fridge), and keep it as small as you can. I am definitely a fan of separating oven and cooktop. And I like the oven at eye level – above the bench not floor level. Though my daughter disagrees vehemently. Personal choice thing I guess.

    You need room for your PC and SV of course. I wonder if you could get an insulated sink that could be used with the SV.

    A stick mixer of course. Mine is a 40+ year old Bamix. Bought in the day when it was the only one in the market. And still going strong.

    I have the usual collection of stand mixer, food processor, blender, microwave but frankly I wouldn’t miss them. I use the food processor now and again but the washing up makes it not worth the effort most of the time. A microplane or knife is almost as fast and much more convenient. Pam uses the stand mixer, but she is just as likely to mix by hand with a spoon or balloon whisk. We do have a mincer attachment for it that I use now and again. I can’t remember the last time we used the blender. And while the microwave gets occasional use, I can’t say it justifies the bench space.

    We do use a pop up toaster regularly. And a dedicated bread maker that gets used at least twice a week, but that lives in the laundry next to the ice cream maker which almost never gets used. The toaster needs big wide slots so it will cope with more than just supermarket bread.

    So where are the floor plans?


    hmmm… I do have a floor plan somewhere on one of my computers I think. An Ikea one that does 3D that I did a few years back.

    My biggest problem is myself. I tend to get carried away and bite off more than I can chew get confused annoyed and overwhelmed and back off. Twice I have planned this and been thwarted by the condo roof collapsing, then major plumbing replacement and balcony replacements in the building at about $5000 each. In a way it was a relief.

    Before I was just going to do the kitchen, but I helped a former roommate and his wife (much younger and from Romania) shop for a condo this spring and saw what a difference it made to the ones that were renovated for sale throughout. Several were in my building even.

    I want but of course don’t need a dishwasher. I have had one when in the south for ages and used it extensively at one time. Living in a cabin without running water makes me long for it on occasion, but I actually don’t use it that much. Food for thought.

    I plan to start in the non kitchen areas with flooring , wall and ceiling updates. Not sure who or what type of contractor(s) to hire although I have placed tentative adds. I do not have the energy to attempt to do it myself although I know it can be done.

    I am going home soon so will take a picture of my tiny kitchen. It is the most common type of apartment/condo kitchen here. Basically just a work triangle with stove separated from fridge by a small counter and sink in middle opposite.
    Cupboards seem to low for my liking over the counters but are pretty standard I think.

    I have been looking at these kinds of things which I cannot afford and would fill up my condo, never mind my kitchen, but for the ideas. makes me drool.
    And pull out boards, pop up appliance stands etc. Trying to determine how practical they are.

    Right now I am big into kitchen use but there are long periods when I am not. Worth the effort though I am sure, but I obviously cannot have perfection so am trying to decide what my priorities should be.


    One thing I would not be without is my induction cook top. Another item I love is the Breville Smart oven. I hardly ever use my reular oven as it can take a quarter size sheet pan which makes it very useful. There are just the two of us and it is perfect for us. Note that this is not a toaster oven,it is a complete mini oven.


    I am going to try this again. I have no idea what happened to my first post. The one kitchen item I am happiest with is my induction cooktop.

    Laura Pazzaglia

    Welcome Elsie!

    The first post of new members is always moderated (you wouldn’t believe how much SPAM we get). Until I’ve had a chance to review the first post, even later posts are held for moderation. Now that I see that you’re a real person, your posts will no longer be moderated.


    L ; )


    I have a dishwasher. Her name is Pam ):>

    Seriously that is one appliance that is severely over-rated. Unless you are entertaining every other night, washing up is not that big a chore. We spend about 10 minutes a day on it. Maybe less.

    If you are in a multistory block, be wary of solid flooring. It looks great but is VERY noisy for the downstairs neighbour. In the block my unit is in, it causes more acrimony than washing on balconies. There was even a case where the owner had to tear up brand new parquet flooring and replace it with carpet.

    I am all for easy operate taps. I like lever action like you see in hospitals. Not sure of electronic taps though. A dripping tap is a minor inconvenience. One that doesn’t work at all because of an electronic glitch could be life threatening.

    Some of the other ideas in that link looked pretty good though. I am not sure about the drop down cupboards. It doesn’t hurt to have some out of the way places for those once in a blue moon items. and it looks like the mechanism takes up a lot of real estate. But that pantry with shelves on the doors. Now that gives me ideas.

    For reference here is a before/mostly after shot of my flat. I added a light fitting and range hood after the last was taken.Before the bench was 350mm deep. After it was 620mm A huge difference.

    I had replaced the original oven only a couple of years earlier so that stayed. Everything else was changed. Even the power points.


    You are lucky I don’t know Pam or I would tell her you said that although many actually enjoy washing dishes.

    I don’t mind washing dishes but am not the greatest dishwasher and often have to do them twice even in my Anova dishwashing machine/bucket:)
    Without a dishwasher I would have one more cupboard but would be sacrificing one counter to a drying rack. Currently when I manually wash dishes at home I put them in the dishwasher rack as I go. And my ancient dishwasher does a really good job when I cook for company or am in full baking mode. So thinking it over I will probably get one as it is definitely an asset when selling or attracting a roommate but time will tell.

    Pretty well decided on laminate flooring. Probably middle price range. An probably very good underlay if that is the term. Much of the building has converted from carpet to laminate and no problems I am aware of but I may be unaware.

    I first saw this type of pantry as a DIY project in the 90’s. They have become available since but I think I would hire someone to build one to my specifications unless I saw a readily available I really liked. like you say about the pull downs the readily available tales up a fair amount of space that could be better utilized and pricey.

    I have metal sliding drawers in my existing cabinetry which I like but resent the space taken up by the hardware and existing shelf spacing. Still I just pull out the drawer and don’t have to remove items to find anything. But regular very sturdy drawers are infinitely better I think.

    I have seen the pull downs in action though and pulled one up and down and did not think the mounting hardware took up as much space as my drawers. Less than 2 inches depth wise and vertical. I attend the Home Show about twice a year with a P. Eng. I used to work for when I am in town and we were both peering at it. The one we saw had adjustable shelves and for a price you could mount shelf drawers in it so you could pull it down and then pull out a drawer. They had a spice drawer and a cutlery drawer (for the good silver:) like I got any of that). Everything operated smoothly. So yeah I want a few but would start with one basic one and see how it went.

    I also want pop up stands for heavier appliances but again that takes pretty well a whole cupboard.

    Thanks for the pics. My kitchen is not half that size but could be close if I extend it a bit more fully into the dining area and still hopefully leave room to dine.

    I like Ikea products too as they are reasonably priced, nice looking and probably reasonable quality. Not the best, but not the worst. Unfortunately it is a night mare to shop in. Very unfocused sales staff even when you are there looking to buy
    a complete kitchen credit card in hand and part numbers written down.


    I use my small convection oven far more than my regular oven. I use my range burners more though than my induction cooktop. I don’t have the counter space to leave the cooktop up. Too many appliances and not enough space.


    So I am setting things in motion.
    Have interviewed four contractors and have sort of settled on one.
    This is for foundation work, installing better lighting, power redistribution, wallpaper removal and painting, carpet removal and laminate installation.
    I am considering a new fridge as my first appliance purchase. French door-in-door with pull out freezer drawer.

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