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Kitchen Renovation in Melbourne: A Step-by-Step Guide

So you've decided it's time for a new kitchen. Congratulations! A kitchen renovation is an exciting project that can completely transform your home. But where do you start? There are so many decisions to make, from choosing appliances and cabinetry to hiring contractors and sticking to a budget. If you don't have a plan, it could feel overwhelming. Don't worry, we've got you covered. This guide will walk you through the entire kitchen renovation process in Melbourne. We'll help you find inspiration, create a design, select materials, and hire the right kitchen designer and cabinet maker to bring your dream kitchen to life. By the end of this, you'll feel equipped with the knowledge and resources to take on your kitchen renovation with confidence. Let's get started!

Choosing a Style for Your New Kitchen: Modern, Traditional, or Transitional

When renovating your kitchen, choosing a style is one of the first and most important decisions. The three most popular options are modern, traditional, and transitional. Think about what fits your home’s architecture and what you’re personally drawn to.

Modern kitchens have a sleek, minimalist look with simple lines and a neutral color palette. Stainless steel appliances, stone countertops, and streamlined cabinetry are common features. If you want an uncluttered, contemporary space, modern may be for you.

Traditional kitchens evoke a classic, timeless feel with wooden cabinets, ceramic tile backsplashes, and vintage-inspired hardware and lighting fixtures. Warm, earthy tones and decorative moldings are used to create a cozy vibe. Traditional kitchens are ideal if you value longevity and want a style that will stand the test of time.

A transitional kitchen blends modern and traditional elements for a balanced look. You may combine Shaker-style cabinets with quartz countertops or pair stainless steel appliances with ceramic tile flooring. Transitional kitchens offer flexibility and the opportunity to incorporate pieces in your own signature style.

Once you determine the right style for your renovation, the rest will fall into place more easily. You’ll have a clearer vision to guide your choices of cabinets, countertops, flooring, lighting, and all the details that make a kitchen reflect your personal taste. With some smart planning upfront, you’ll end up with a kitchen you love for years to come.

Kitchen cabinets in Melbourne

custom kitchen cabinets

Choose Between a Kitchen Renovation or Full Rebuild

When renovating your kitchen, one of the biggest decisions you’ll make is whether to renovate your existing kitchen or do a complete rebuild. Both options have their pros and cons, so consider your needs, budget, and how long you plan to stay in your home.

A kitchen renovation typically involves keeping your existing layout and infrastructure, like plumbing and electrical wiring, and upgrading surface elements like cabinets, countertops, flooring, and appliances. This is often the more budget-friendly option, allowing you to revamp your space at a lower cost. However, you’re limited to your existing footprint and any structural limitations. If your layout isn’t functional or you want to reconfigure plumbing and wiring, a renovation may not meet your needs.

In contrast, a full kitchen rebuild involves gutting your existing space and starting from scratch. You can customize the layout, plumbing, wiring, and all surface elements. While rebuilds provide more flexibility and customization, they tend to be significantly more expensive and time-consuming. They often require permits and professional help to ensure proper plumbing and wiring.

If you plan to stay in your home long-term, a full rebuild may be worthwhile. For a shorter-term fix or budget update, a kitchen renovation is probably your best bet. Talk to a kitchen designer or cabinet maker in Melbourne to determine which option will suit your needs, budget, and timeline. They can help you navigate the pros and cons of a renovation versus a rebuild so you end up with a kitchen you’ll love for years to come.

Modern Kitchen cabinets

Finding the Best Kitchen Designer and Cabinet Maker in Melbourne

Finding a kitchen designer and cabinet maker you click with is key to a successful renovation. Start by checking out portfolios from companies like AWA Kitchens to get inspired by their previous work. Look for designers and cabinet makers in Melbourne that specialize in the style you want, whether that’s contemporary, traditional, or something in between.

Once you have a shortlist, schedule consultations. Come prepared with photos of kitchens you love, and talk through how they can achieve a similar look that suits your home and needs. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions about their experience, credentials, and the renovation process. You’re making an investment here, so you want to feel confident in whom you choose.

When deciding between top candidates, consider things like how well they listened to your input, if their pricing seems fair and transparent, how long they’ve been in business, and reviews from past clients. Go with the company you mesh with best.

After you sign a contract with your chosen designer and cabinet maker, you can start finalizing layouts, selecting materials and fixtures, and setting a timeline for demolition and construction.

AWA kitchens

Kitchen cabinets

Making a Realistic Kitchen Renovation Budget

Setting a realistic budget is key to any successful kitchen renovation. Take time to determine how much you can afford to spend before starting the design process.

Get at least three quotes from kitchen designers or cabinet makers in Melbourne like AWA Kitchens. Provide the same information to each so you can compare accurately. Ask about their design fees and if they're included in the final cost.

Factor in other expenses beyond cabinets and countertops. Things like new appliances, flooring, lighting, painting, and unforeseen issues can add 20-30% more. Don't forget the cost of any permits required for plumbing or electrical work.

With a realistic figure in hand, you can start designing your dream kitchen. Focus on priorities and must-haves, saving or eliminating any extras that don't fit the budget. Compromise when needed but don't settle for less than you can be happy with long-term.

Selecting the Right Cabinets, Countertops, and Appliances

When it comes to your kitchen renovation, selecting high-quality cabinets, countertops, and appliances is crucial. These choices will determine how functional and stylish your new kitchen will be for years to come.

Cabinets: Cabinets provide essential storage in a kitchen. Consider semi-custom or custom cabinets for the best fit. Maple, oak, and thermo foil are popular, durable options. Look for soft-close doors and drawers, pull-out trays, and built-in organizers to maximize space. For a sleek, contemporary look, opt for handleless cabinets with touch-latch doors.

Countertops: Countertops are a focal point of any kitchen. Granite, quartz, marble, and engineered stone are classic, low-maintenance choices. For a natural stone look on a budget, consider recycled glass or concrete. If eco-friendly is a priority, bamboo, wood, or recycled paper countertops may appeal. Your countertop material should complement your cabinetry and kitchen style.

Appliances: High-efficiency appliances improve function and sustainability. Look for the Energy Star rating to save on utility bills. Stainless steel is a popular, durable finish for stoves, ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers, and microwaves. For an industrial flair, consider slate or black stainless steel. If cooking and entertaining are priorities, invest in a dual-fuel range, warming drawer, and wine fridge.

With some smart choices in cabinets, countertops, and appliances, you'll have a kitchen that is both stylish and perfectly tailored to your needs. An expert kitchen designer can guide you through the options to create your ideal space. Focus on high quality, eco-friendly, and energy-efficient selections for a kitchen that will stand the test of time.

modern cabinets for kitchen

kitchen designs

Scheduling Your Kitchen Renovation and the Installation

Once you have your plans finalized and permits approved, it’s time to schedule your kitchen renovation. This involves booking tradespeople, ordering materials, and preparing for some disruption.

Tradespeople: Line up your cabinet maker, countertop installer, plumber, electrician, and any other specialists needed for your specific redesign. Get multiple quotes from each to compare. Check reviews from previous clients to determine who will do quality work on schedule and within budget. Book them in for the work as soon as you have the go-ahead.

Materials: Work with your kitchen designer or cabinet maker to order all cabinets, countertops, appliances, fixtures, and finishes. This can take 6 to 8 weeks or longer for delivery. Make sure everything is on hand before demolition starts. Store materials in another area of the home or garage to keep them safe and out of the way.

Logistics: Prepare for some upheaval during the renovation. Set up a temporary kitchen in another room or area like the garage. Pack up everything in your existing kitchen and move or cover furniture in adjacent spaces. Be ready for noise, dust, and tradespeople coming and going.

The key to minimizing hassle is meticulous planning and organization. Create a realistic schedule, book quality tradespeople in advance, and have everything prepped and ready to go for a smooth kitchen renovation with minimal disruption. With good planning, you’ll be whipping up meals in your dream kitchen before you know it!

benchtops for kitchen cabinets

kitchen cabinet materials

FAQs: Common Questions about Kitchen Renovations in Melbourne

Will my kitchen renovation require council approval?

For minor renovations like replacing cabinets or countertops, council approval is typically not needed. However, if you’re making structural changes like knocking down walls, adding windows, or changing the floor plan, you will likely need council approval and permits. It’s best to check with your local council to determine exactly what is required for your specific renovation project.

How long will my kitchen renovation take?

The timeline for a kitchen renovation can vary significantly depending on the scale of your project. A minor renovation with new cabinets and countertops can take 3 to 6 weeks. A full-scale remodel that includes layout changes, new fixtures, flooring, appliances, and more can take 3 months or longer. The busiest times of year for kitchen renovations are spring and summer, so planning your renovation in the off-season can help reduce delays.

What’s the typical cost range for a kitchen renovation in Melbourne?

Kitchen renovation costs in Melbourne can range from $10,000 to $60,000 or more for high-end luxury kitchens. The specific cost will depend on the size of your kitchen, the materials you choose, current layout, and any structural changes needed. You can expect to pay for new mid-range cabinets and countertops, new stainless steel appliances, new tile or vinyl flooring, and fixtures like a stainless steel sink, faucet, lighting, etc. Additional costs may include demolition and disposal of existing elements, painting, electrical or plumbing work, and design fees if using a kitchen designer. Get multiple quotes from kitchen designers and renovation companies to determine an estimate tailored to your specific project.


Your kitchen renovation in Melbourne is incomplete without the perfect kitchen cabinets. It's not just about finding a reputable cabinet maker; it's also about exploring design ideas in a kitchen showroom and collaborating with a skilled kitchen designer. Each step holds significance in creating the kitchen of your dreams. At AWA Kitchens, we understand the importance of these details, and we are fully committed to transforming your kitchen into a space that seamlessly combines functionality, style, and your unique vision. Don't hesitate to reach out to AWA Kitchens today to begin your journey towards a stunning and functional kitchen space. Happy renovating!



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