How a kitchen can add value to a home

Since the kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, quality kitchen appliances can dramatically increase the appeal, and value, of a property.

The kitchen is often considered to be the heart of the home. It’s not just a place where meals are created; the kitchen is the centre of family life. As one of the most used rooms in a house, a kitchen’s design, and the quality of the appliances in it, can increase the market value of a property.

With this in mind, interior designer and ASKO ambassador, Shaynna Blaze, shares some useful tips on kitchen design.

The first step is deciding how the kitchen will be used.

“The configuration and space required depends on the different types of functions in the kitchen,” said Blaze.

“Other than cooking, will it include a seating area at the bench, a place for the kids to do their homework, will it be part of the open-plan living space?”

Another important aspect of the kitchen is functionality and practicality. This is one of the most crucial aspects of any kitchen, according to Blaze. “Allow for the most commonly used appliances – fridge, oven, and sink – to be placed in the ‘work triangle’ so that moving between them all is only a couple of steps away,” she advised.

The location of major appliances is also vital to a good working kitchen. James Vogdanos from ASKO Appliances, a specialist in high quality kitchen appliances, advises to ensure that power points and gas and water outlets are located where they need to be.

“Certain appliances like fridges and ovens need to be properly vented to ensure that enough air is circulating around them, so check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the gaps to leave around each appliance,” he said.

“Also ensure that you have accounted for enough space around fridges and ovens so the doors can open fully.”

Blaze also suggests making sure that there is enough space for storing kitchen utensils and crockery. “One of the biggest mistakes you can make when designing a new kitchen is not planning for enough storage space,” she says.

“Install deep drawers for easy access to pots, pans and bowls, and slimmer drawers for cutlery, cups and plates, leaving the larger cupboard doors for pantry needs.”

Natural lighting adds to the illusion of space, making the kitchen appear larger and it also works well with modern, open-plan living designs. Opt for skylights if there are no windows and maximise natural lighting by keeping window coverings to a minimum and leaving blinds and shutters open. “If privacy is an issue, opt for a translucent window shade that still allows light in,” advised Blaze.

Modern homes call for modern living. If there are plans to install an island or bench, opt for enough overhang to allow for comfortable seating and add power to turn the area into an instant work station hub. Also plan for a recycling bin if there’s space to make managing rubbish more efficient. Blaze says, “A pull-out bin that’s hidden in the cabinetry keeps the kitchen design sleek and keeps the mess out of sight.”

Another tip to keep mess out of sight is the style of the kitchen sink. “Look at styles that have accessories like chopping boards, drainage trays and stainless covers,” says Shaynna. “These help create extra bench space in small areas and the covers let you hide the mess when you are entertaining.”

Finally, updating appliances can instantly add value to a home. Old appliances can contribute to the kitchen looking out-dated. “Old appliances in a modern kitchen will turn heads for the wrong reasons,” says Blaze. “Sticking with simple design and neutral colours can provide a timeless look that will last.”

Vogdanos explains that appliances with dark, earthy, neutral tones, like those found in the Elements by ASKO range, not only look great in the kitchen, the state-of-the-art technology makes cooking easier and enjoyable.

“Kitchen appliance technology has come a long way and having an oven that is programmed to not only cook perfect meals but to also give step-by-step instructions along the way, adds superior quality and value to a kitchen.

“Real estate listings often provide a checklist of the quality appliances to demonstrate the home’s value and justify the asking price.”