The modern age has redefined the kitchen in New Zealand homes. It's no longer just a place where people cook food; it's a social space, an artistic place, a zone in which people interact over more than just chopping vegetables.
However, it's also a space that is important for selling or renting out your property. The state of your kitchen could make or break a tenancy or sale, so it pays dividends to ensure that this heart of the home doesn't just have a great look, but is appealing to as wide an audience as possible. Here's how you can get started:
Let's start with the aesthetics. Modern New Zealanders are looking for three things, according to Peter Hay Kitchens Technical Director Karl O'Hanlon: white, island and clean.
"Most design briefs I see for kitchens are for a contemporary style using a back-wall-and-island layout in white (or sometimes grey) tones," he explains to Houzz New Zealand.
"Customers want non-objectionable designs so they can maximise their capital gain at sale time."
However, that isn't to say that minimalism is the be-all and end-all of modern kitchen design. A cold, surgical kitchen could be just as bad as an overly flamboyant one. Instead, O'Hanlon recommends focusing on the details. Handle-less cupboards and drawers, timber accents and a central island with seating around the island; any or all of these could make your kitchen appealing to the clean, but inviting, aesthetic that modern New Zealand is looking for.
Did you know that the right kitchen renovation can pay you back $1.50 for every dollar you spend? According to Gary Caulfield, quantity surveyor and general manager of Construction Cost Consultants, they can be one of the most significant value-adding rooms for your home.
However, you have to know what people want to maximise value, and it appears that the current trend is towards clean, green, energy-efficient machines. According to one survey conducted by Homestar in 2012, almost nine in 10 Kiwis considered there was the potential for a higher price tag for a home that was energy, water and heating efficient.
What does that mean for your kitchen? It isn't always about looks; the right appliances, good insulation and other eco-friendly features could be just as important for attracting the best tenants or making the best sale.
Are you ready to upstyle your kitchen? Get in touch with the team here at Squirrel to find out how we can help you refinance your current mortgage and unlock the capital you need to make it happen. You never know, you might even find you get a better interest rate along the way.