Bathroom & Kitchen Guide

Your complete guide to remodeling, design and new products.


Ask the Expert

Andrew Hamilton has been working with kitchen cabinets for the last 20 years and knows a thing or two about putting together a kitchen renovation. We asked Andrew for some of his top tips on renovating kitchen cabinets for the home.

Q: So what's the most important tip to keep in mind when you're designing a kitchen cabinet?

A: You want to make sure that you get your spacing right, especially if you're using banks of cabinets above your workspaces. If you get it wrong, then you can easily crowd yourself out of the space you need for preparation. At a minimum you need to allow 50cm, but don't make them too high or anyone in your family who's not very tall might have trouble reaching it.

Q: Are there any clever ideas that people should keep in mind?

A: Too often people waste the space in corner cupboards and these days there's no excuse for it. There are so many products on the market now that make that otherwise wasted space possible to access. You've got lazy-Susan type products that spin around, cascading shelves, drawers. This is especially important if you've only got a small space and every centimetre counts.

Q: What's your recommendation for people on a budget?

A: There are a few things that you can do. If your cabinets aren't damaged or crumbling or anything, you can keep the current carcass and just change the doors and hinges. Or you can even keep your doors, sand them back and give them a new lick of paint to give the place an easy refresh. If there's no option except to do the whole lot, modular cabinets that are available from hardware stores and places like Ikea are an easy option.

Q: What's better: a glass door or a solid door?

A: Well, of course the answer to that depends on the person and the type of kitchen. Glass doors have definitely got a few advantages. If your kitchen is small, they'll help open up the place and create an impression of space. Also, if you're the houseproud type, I guess you can have your nicely arranged dishes on display for when people come around. But I'm more of a shove-it-in-randomly kind of guy, so I prefer solid doors, which keep my mess out of sight and out of mind.

Q: Anything else you want to add?

A: Utility drawers have become very popular these days and I can see why. They're a really useful feature and a great place to store items that you need to access on a daily basis, like pots and pans.


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