Cook up a storm with a kitchen facelift

Whatever your budget, there are ways to upgrade your kitchen this summer. Kya deLongchamps gives us some seasoned tips to refresh your space
Cook up a storm with a kitchen facelift

WHERE there’s a will and even a squeak of a budget there are ways to refresh and reignite that kitchen.

Will anyone even guess it’s not a complete refit?

Install a new floor

What becomes of that tightly tailored cabinetry if you’re not ripping out and replacing? It’s perfectly possible to remove old flooring, running a new surface under or up to the kick-boards flush with the cabinetry, with very little disruption.

With the kick boards off, the accuracy of perfect cuts in a DIY laminate or tiling job will be less important as once the boards are back, the edges are out of view.

A competent tiler will ensure grout lines are discreetly integrated.

The added advantage of not taking the units out is that you don’t pay for metres of flooring material you are never going to see.

Choosing a depth of product similar to the original flooring (including any sub-floor) there won’t be any obvious change in going and difficulty with thresholds.

If you want wood and previously had vinyl, considered an engineered board over a solid wood board that might swallow a millimetre of two from the base of the cabinets, creating an obvious discrepancy.

Floating floors should not sit under the full weight of cabinetry if possible, as they require an expansion gap to move a fraction.

Leave the floor installation until after any painting work or new appliances arrive to spare that surface.

Budget: Reach for the durability of porcelain in a larger scale tile.

Wood effect porcelain in rectangular tiling, rectified and reading as fossilised wood boards.

Balau Blanco, 23X120cm, €24.99 each,

Fabulous: Luxury vinyl flooring can really surprise and be laid over existing flooring.

Karndean Designflooring app for iPads and iPhones lets you see how any Karndean floor would look like in your own space.

Art Select Parquet in Black Oak, €95sq m, Caseys.

Cabinet meeting

If runs of cabinets and the plumbing positions are not moving refacing18mm thick carcasses can be a huge money saver.

A full face-lift starts around €600-€700 for supply of nine units, 13 doors, and all side panels, plinths, pelmets and cornicing. (The Panelling Centre).

Start adding worktops and pulls and a new sink and tap and you can add around €400.

Does the styling of the door and the function of each unit still suit you? Are wood doors free or warping? Are melamine or PVC fronts undamaged? Look at the base of end panels for signs of lifting PVC and any water ingress, difficult to disguise if the chipboard interior has swollen.

For timber, Ronseal One Coat Cupboard paint doesn’t require a primer for every surface and will protect wood and melamine from spills, whacks and damage.

€28.50 for 750ml (Cobalt Grey Gloss is wildly popular).

Choose any water based wood product and you must give that flat colour a coat of clear all surface enamel.

Remove any hardware from the doors before starting and consider updating pulls and handles.

New soft close hinges can also be put in place.

For a larger kitchen, do yourself a favour and pay a carpenter to do the work.

Budget: Full pull out interior units and drawers (seeing right to the back) are irresistible new must-haves that can be added to existing carcasses.

Showrooms regularly update their displays and offer full kitchens that can be sliced and diced by a good cabinet-maker.

Try DoneDeal or ask for upcoming clear-outs at independent retailers.

Fabulous: Uninstalling cabinetry to create a new layout can create a lot of damage to standard MDF units.

Weight up a full replacement and the fruits of the Home Renovation Incentive Scheme for a 2 year tax rebate.

Catherine Fulvio’s Avalon collection for Cash & Carry Kitchens starts at €3,895.

Flight of the appliances?

 The latest system kitchen installations pull the hob, sink and surrounds together and can float on an island or peninsula. Here Franke Frames components in stainless steel are recessed to slab large base units and includes retractable a 794mm counter-mounted downdraft hood (from €1,775),
The latest system kitchen installations pull the hob, sink and surrounds together and can float on an island or peninsula. Here Franke Frames components in stainless steel are recessed to slab large base units and includes retractable a 794mm counter-mounted downdraft hood (from €1,775),

Are your large appliances doing the job, and still in your culinary and domestic favour? Keep the cabinets, and size wise you will have to replace like with like or reconfigure the base units on at least one terrace.

Features, fuel type and performance aside, a coloured cooker may be driving you mad, and not in keeping with a new scheme.

Larger free-standing ranges remain the Mercedes Benz of many kitchens, but changes in built-in hobs and eye-level cookers are providing eye-watering comprehensive collections that will be hard for many foodies armed with a crisp credit card to resist.

Franke’s Frames range which marries the hob, oven, hood, sink and tap in streamlined style recessed to slab large base units is typical of these new design,

Committing to one tall larder area, a free-standing double oven and a separate in-set hob is worth sliding around your CAD plans.

Budget for a registered gas installer with Bord Gáis and a RECI-qualified electrician along with your kitchen maker.

The fridge being on 24/7, 365 days a year is really the only kitchen appliance making a significant impact on your electricity bill, so its energy efficiency does count, chilling as much as 7% of your total electricity spend pa.

If the condenser coils are over-heating or making a banging noise, the interior or the freezer is contently icing up or you notice that even using the thermostat your food is going off, it’s time to give the unit the big chill and


Budget: Cooke & Lewis 5 burner gas hob with chunky cast iron pan supports, €320, B&Q.

Depeche Solo (similar to Tom Dixon) pendants €44.95,

Shiro four spot bar, €39.99.

Samsung 60cm 310l fridge/freezer in matt black, RB31FERNDBC, €759.90, Harvey Norman.

Fabulous: Stanley’s stunning Brandon Condensing range cooker offers the heat/cook performance we love with a new energy efficiency, €7115,

Haier 685l HB25FSSAAA American Fridge Freezer with two drawers, €2,999,

Counter measures

There are a few new moves in counters surfacing since last year and continuing in the two- to three-ear cycle of design favourites we are familiar with in the world of interiors.

Before reaching for the cheapest solution, kick up the quality and invest in professional template services.

Choose a kitchen maker with a thorough understanding of materials if you want something odd like formica topped birch ply.

Laminate to composites: The new standard in a great kitchen is a cool, touch and with the development of wider ranges in coloured composites, this doesn’t just mean the weight and expensive of stone.

If you long for a natural look, consider quartz mixes as an entry point.

Six linear metres with a polished sink and hob cut out from €1,495, 30mm depth (fitted),

Into the woods: Wood worktops are naturally antiseptic, take repair and sanding, and once maintained will authenticate grand Victorian built-ins.

Easy to work with, cutouts can take a curve and accommodate strange spaces.

Four linear metres from €995 installed, For value, the Karlby walnut laminate under toughening oil from IKEA is a winner in dark woods, €140 for 2.46m, IKEA.

Square edge chunky profiles: A popular choice for contemporary kitchens, and delivered in a quality laminate with a furniture grade fibre core are tough as nails for busy kitchens.

Vouch for a 40mm thickness to anchor the look.

Sizes generally from 3.6m to 4.1m lengths, at €60per metre supplied.

Fancy a shaped counter to match your ideas? Topshape by Topform known for their laminates, also supply a great square-edged Topwood counter and a new Raven marble.

New life on the range

Miele is one of a clutch of top names in cooking, cooling and cleaning all over the house, and later this year, they are adding something new to their collection bound to cause an excited simmer for anyone building, renovating or simply updating their kitchen arsenal.

The range cooker collection from Miele has already previewed to the industry and will launch to market in September in the shape of two glittering stainless steel beauties.

The HR1936 (92cm wide) has seven burners, wok ring and griddle, a 85l oven with a 43l combination microwave with a food probe for the nights you’re short of time.

Moisture Plus technology delivers succulent roasts and a rotisserie and a useful warming drawer invites adventures diner party adventures.

The HR1956 rises to 150l, and adds an intensive bake function, four grill options and a five burner hob worthy of a commercial kitchen.

M touch controls and the motorised fascia panel (introduced in 2010) will be familiar to anyone who has seen, handled or owned their Miele’s generation 6000 appliances.

Prices are to be announced, so lever out two 60cm base cabinets and get ready!

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