It’s so easy to walk around kitchen showrooms and go crazy with excitement at the possibilities. Their designers seem to have thought of everything – and you want it all!

There’s no doubt that a beautiful kitchen enhances the enjoyment of your home and adds tremendous value to the property when it’s time to sell.

But unless you are a dedicated gourmet cook or love nothing better than working at a stovetop to delight family and friends, then you can over-capitalise on this feature of your home.

What do I mean by that? You spend so much money on a state-of-the-art kitchen that no buyer will pay the premium required to give you a return on your investment when the time comes to sell.

Instead, create a new kitchen that is ideal for most families. That means good quality appliances, attractive cabinets, lots of storage and an easy-to-access eating area.

As an experienced local real estate agent, I talk to prospective buyers all the time about what they’re looking for in their ideal kitchen.

So, if you’re thinking of remodelling your kitchen and putting your property in the market in the short- to medium-term, I’d be happy to advise you on how you might approach the project to appeal to prospective buyers and maximise the value of your home.

In the meantime, here are a few ideas and observations that I hope will inspire you.

  1. Going gourmet? – Be honest about your needs. A commercial kitchen isn’t necessary and is very unlikely to pay you back when the time comes to sell. Do you really need two whole ovens? Constrain your purchase of appliances to those suitable for the average family.
  2. Create space – The kitchen is where the family tends to gather. It’s a wonderful idea to extend the area to include a table and chairs where everyone can eat informally. Open floor plans remain very popular, so see if you can remove any walls to create more space.
  3. Paradise island – An island bench is a favourite for medium-size and large kitchens. It extends your food preparation area and adds to your storage. If you include an overhanging countertop and you add stools, you’ve got even more seating for eating.
  4. Mix beauty and utility – If your budget allows, invest in a good quality countertop of quartz, granite or Caesarstone. Complement this with quality flooring. The choice is vast and will fit any budget. The most popular for kitchens are tile, stone, laminate and vinyl plus engineered and waterproof timbers, such as bamboo.
  5. Soft-close drawers – These are so practical and help preserve the integrity of the kitchen by stopping anyone thoughtlessly slamming drawers shut (and catching little fingers! Ouch!)
  6. Walk into your pantry – The whole feeling of a kitchen can change with a walk-in pantry. You won’t have to store packets and tins in various cupboards that no one can find, and you’ll have additional storage for appliances that might be used only a few times a month.
  7. Let in the light – Kitchens benefit from an abundance of natural light. If your remodelling allows, then increase the size of the existing windows or install a skylight. You’ll be amazed at the improvement. Make sure you have good electrical lighting over the food preparation areas. Hidden lights under cabinets are another lovely touch.
  8. Two is better than one – At least, this is true when it comes to sinks. A double-sink has become an expected feature in a modern kitchen. If the budget allows, check out two-drawer dishwashers that can wash at different temperatures simultaneously: dishes and cutlery on one shelf, pots and pans on the other.
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