The cult of the kitchen
It's time to be aware of what you’re doing with your kitchen, because everyone else is. Toby Johnstone reports.PT1M58S http://www.dailylife.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-20q5k 620 349 June 21, 2012
The rise of reality renovation shows, the soaring popularity of cooking shows and the era of the celebrity chef are all leading to the big trend in property renovation - the kitchen isn't just the hearth of the family home, it's the celebrity in the house.
So if you're planning on selling your property, you may want to rethink your orange laminated kitchen from the 1970s, or get rid of your '80s timber-top bench or that '90s limewash kitchen. Because there is a good chance that your next buyer will be a Miele MasterChef who is as smug as Smeg when it comes to kitchens.
Banking on your kitchen space
The 2012 HIA kitchen of the year winner.
Gail Florence sold her designer home recently to an avid cook and discovered the financial benefits of modernising the kitchen. She took her two-bedroom terrace in Alexandria to auction in May and it sold for $1.35 million through BresicWhitney. Not only was the result $100,000 above the asking price, the sale also set a price record for a two-bedroom terrace in Alexandria.
However, according to Florence, it takes a lot of work to get the design of a kitchen right.
''I did five Miele cooking classes to know which combination of appliances I wanted,'' she says.
Mike and Andrew's kitchen from The Block.
''Every one has different ways of cooking and there is so much product out there so it's important to do your research.''
In a terrace house where you have to be clever with small spaces, the compact kitchen is designed to be functional for cooking and entertaining. There is space on one side of the CaesarStone island bench for three chairs and there is a spot next to the hidden dishwasher on the other side for the host. The kitchen seamlessly connects the indoor area to the outdoor dining space where you'll find the barbecue area, a spot for a wok and an automatic awning in case of rain. The kitchen cost about $50,000, including the outdoor space.
Selling agent Walter Burfitt-Williams says the kitchen is no longer just a spot to prepare food.
The 2011 winner.
''The kitchen is very much the social hub … it's where you display things and entertain, so smart kitchens will be multipurpose,'' he says.
However, to those looking to sell, Burfitt-Williams warns of the dangers of overcapitalising.
''Instead of spending $60,000 on a kitchen, it can make sense to do some selective updates for $5000-$8000 because not everyone will pay a premium for someone else's taste,'' he says.
A recent survey of NSW residents commissioned by G.J. Gardner Homes illustrates that kitchens are at the forefront of the minds of home owners. Among the NSW residents interviewed, 58 per cent ranked the kitchen as the most important room in the house.
The survey also found 42 per cent would choose the kitchen as the room they would like to renovate first. If the large following of this year's season of Channel Nine's The Block is any indication, kitchen renovation fervour is here to stay. Last Sunday the contestants showed off their renovated kitchens, with Sydney-based brothers Mike and Andrew coming out on top (with some bonus points) and winning the kitchen challenge. They put forward a bold galley-style kitchen that opens out to an outdoor dining space. The wood ceiling inverts the norm and gives the house a designer feel. The Sunday night Room Reveal episode averages an audience of 1.62 million.
How the experts do it
If you're planning to renovate your kitchen and The Block is too amateur hour for you, the Housing Industry Association's annual awards are always a good point of reference. The title of Australian kitchen of the year has just been won by Queensland-based Sublime Cabinet Design for its designer kitchen at Chapel Hill in Brisbane. Picked in accordance with specific criteria, which ranges from quality of workmanship to design, appearance and innovation, the winning kitchen wasn't exactly light on the pocket. Coming in at $140,000, the kitchen has been meticulously designed to complement the culinary and entertaining needs of the owners. Of particular note is the custom-designed graphic featured on the glass splashback, which was used to bring the bush flowers that surround the home into the kitchen.
The winner last year was David Bartlett of Art of Kitchens for a kitchen he designed in Mosman. The owners of the property, which had an asking price of more than $5 million, sold the residence last month for an undisclosed price.
2012 HIA Kitchen of the Year
Design fees $5000
Benchtops (marble, Essastone and stainless-steel sink) $16,800
Cabinet work $41,000
Laminated ceilings $7000
Kitchen hardware (lift mechanism in pantry, Blum drawers-doors) $17,200
Installation (cabinet work, plumbing, electrical-lighting) $13,000
Appliances (Liebherr fridges, Vintec wine fridge, Smeg appliances, sinks and taps) $27,700
Project management $5000