“Of all the spaces you renovate, the kitchen can be the most challenging. It’s usually the heart of the home and whether you’re a master chef or reluctant one, it’s a major feature of your space, so you want it to look good,” says Three Birds Renovations’ Bonnie Hindmarsh, who explains that designing a kitchen is a high-stakes enterprise.
“There are ways to renovate a kitchen on a budget, but it is still usually one of the most expensive rooms in a home, so you need to be happy with the end result. And if all that wasn’t pressure enough, we know that kitchens sell houses, so this is a real reno moment where you can add some serious value,” says Bonnie who, along with her business partners Erin Cayless and Lana Taylor, abides by six golden rules when it comes to designing a kitchen.
“There are two places you can start – how it works or how it looks. Truth be told, it doesn’t really matter which of the two options you start with because both intersect pretty quickly as you move through the design process. You’ll need to toggle between these two things constantly,” says Bonnie who is a big proponent of using a vision board to formulate her ideas.
“We like to bring to life the overall vision for the home in the kitchen, referring back to our vision board for finishes, cabinetry style plus the colour, thickness and profiles of the bench top and splash back.”
“Design your kitchen for you, not others. How will you, as the owner, live in the space? How do you like to cook every day or entertain? Everyone is different so meet your needs,” says Bonnie.
“A builder is only as good as their tools and the same can be said for the appliances in your kitchen. Choose appliances that look good, fit into your layout and offer the functions you need,” says Bonnie who specified an Electrolux integrated dishwasher in this kitchen so as not to break up the lovely green cabinetry of the island bench.
The Three Birds Renovations team also selected an Electrolux induction cooktop, steam and pyrolytic oven, a built-in microwave oven and French door fridge for this kitchen.
“The best kitchens will meet our outdoor connector test. All kitchens should be connected to, or very close to the outdoors, even if it’s only a courtyard,” says Bonnie who likes to be able to pass food from the kitchen to the outdoors with ease. “It doesn’t matter if it’s through a window or a door – you just need to have that access. That’s the test. An indoor/outdoor servery is a great solution for this and suits our Australian lifestyle perfectly,” says Bonnie.
“We are skylight obsessed. They’re great practical additions that bring in another layer of light and no room in the house benefits from this more than the kitchen, which requires both ambient and task lighting. We can’t tell you how much a skylight changes the absolute look and feel of any room,” says Bonnie.
“A place for everything and everything in its place is our rule. In other words, don’t let your lovely new kitchen become a dumping ground for paperwork and overflowing fruit bowls, and fruit flies! A great kitchen has a place for everything – even your mail pile, bills included,” says Bonnie