Image courtesy of Cantilever Interiors.

With the average outlay for a kitchen renovation anywhere between $10,000 and $60,000, depending on the size, quality and magnitude of the job, it’s not something you want to be doing every couple of years.

Trends can be fleeting and buyers fickle, so the safe bet is to choose timeless features that will still hold up in 10 years’ time or more. Even then, sensible planning now will ensure you can do simple updates down the track that will keep your kitchen right on trend.

Here are five tips for a future-proof kitchen:

1. Make it white

On-trend colours for cabinetry will come and go, but the colour that’s always stood the test of time is white, in its various shades. Your cabinets will generally be the most expensive component of your kitchen, so choosing a neutral shade in a plain profile means you can then add colour and personality with things like your splashback, paint and accessories. Let’s face it, retiling a splashback in 10 years’ time is going to be a lot less costly than pulling out your lime green cabinets and replacing them.

2. Go open-plan

It’s safe to say we’ve embraced open plan and it’s here to stay. Taking down walls to turn poky rooms into open plan kitchen/living – where practical – is a no-brainer. If you have the space for an island bench or even a breakfast bar, better still.

3. Clever storage

The days of tripping over kitchen rubbish bins and navigating benchtops cluttered with every small appliance imaginable are long gone. Dedicated appliance cupboards, enclosed bins, even integrated fridges and dishwashers – it’s about creating clutter-free, streamlined kitchens that effortlessly blend with the rest of the living space. And forget base cabinets with shelves. Go for deep drawers wherever possible so you can reach everything easily.

4. Natural finishes

It’s not within everyone’s budget, but natural stone or marble benchtops, or one of the many composite stone options now available, will never date. CaesarStone is very reasonably priced now, even for budget kitchens. The world’s museums are full of century old figures carved from stone, so a stunning Carrara marble benchtop in a luxury kitchen stands a good chance of outlasting you!

5. Practical lighting

No one needs to be wearing a miner’s torch to chop their veggies or be reading the newspaper under candlelight. The kitchen today is the engine room of most homes, serving both a social and practical purpose. And the lighting needs to reflect this. Think energy-efficient LED lights for under-cabinet lighting for your work benches and some elegant pendant lights, preferably on dimmers, for over the island bench.

Cherie Barber is the director of Renovating for Profit, a company that teaches everyday people how to buy and renovate properties for a profit. 

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