The kitchen is the heart of the home, and a renovation can have an enormous impact on your family life – not to mention the value of your property. We spoke to kitchen designer Karon Read to get her top four tips on what to think about when re-doing yours.

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Don’t just think about the look – think about the quality

‘When you’re about to embark on a kitchen renovation, it’s so easy to get caught up in the aesthetics,’ says Karon Read, a kitchen designer at Neptune.

‘Although they’re crucial, what’s actually more important is making sure you’re investing in what’s going on behind closed doors. Redoing your kitchen is a big undertaking and it’s something you want to last the course.

‘One of my biggest bits of advice is to thoroughly investigate the quality of the cabinetry and the materials that are being used to be sure you’re choosing something that won’t let you down in a few years’ time.

Get your planning right from the start

Almost all kitchen design companies will offer you the chance to sit down with a designer to plan things out – and it’s an opportunity you need to make the most of.

‘There’s an awful lot to consider before you commit to a new kitchen,’ says Karon. ‘Our customers have ample opportunity and time with us to discuss all the options and all the things that might not have otherwise been considered.

‘There’s a lot to get right, but, when you do, it’s just incredible. You’ll be surprised how much joy you can get from a beautiful hinge or a layout that gives a room a new lease of life. Good design really does make a home a happier place. It makes such a difference.’

Think about what you might to do in the future

Don’t just think in terms of strength and performance, think about versatility – tulipwood, for example, can be painted several years down the line should you want to refresh the look. ‘It gives you an opportunity to reimagine your kitchen in a big way,’ explains Karon.

It’s not a cooking space – it’s a living space

It’s easy to fixate on the essentials of food preparation when planning your kitchen – and work surfaces, cupboards and sinks are all important to get right. But keep in the forefront of your mind that the kitchen is also the centre of family life.

‘Your kitchen is a living space,’ says Karon.

‘Think about it as so much more than a place to cook, but a space for entertaining, for eating, for retreating to, for reading the paper, for doing homework – it has the potential to be a secondary living room.’