Project Description



Over the past few years one of the most common requests we have had from our clients is to create a multi-use space when renovating or installing a new kitchen. This new space is where clients can cook, eat, open the post, entertain and help with the children’s homework.

We know that renovating your kitchen can be a daunting exercise. There are things that you can do to make sure you make the right choices and achieve the best possible outcome.

The team at Style Plus | Renovations Auckland review areas of a kitchen renovation that include:

  • Planning your kitchen.
  • Electrical & lighting design.
  • Waterproofing.
  • Kitchen cabinetry.
  • Splashbacks.
  • Painting.
  • And the most important part – project budgeting!

You may also be interested in the following articles from the Style Plus team:

Kitchen Design 101a


Kitchen Design 101b


From the outset of the renovation you need to have a feel for what works for the shape and size of your kitchen. At the basic level, the layout addresses the placement of the cabinets, counters, appliances and sink. Also take into consideration the windows and furniture such as the kitchen or dining table.

A simple way to do this is to draw up a scaled grid of your kitchen floor, marking the position of windows and doors. Arrange cardboard cut-outs (sized to scale) of cabinets, sink and appliances, on the grid. Take the following points into account, moving the cut-outs around until you have the best, most workable layout.


The kitchen work triangle is a basic principle for designing ergonomic, functional kitchens. The idea is that a line drawn to the refrigerator, sink, and range should create a relatively even-sided triangle within which the major kitchen activities take place.

Each leg of the kitchen work triangle should measure between 1200mm and 2700mm in length. The total length of all 3 legs should be between 3600mm and 8100mm.

Ideally no foot traffic should pass through the kitchen work triangle. Nothing is more irritating than having people crash into you when you’re trying to prepaire a meal. Also, there may be times when people not directly involved in cooking often need access to the kitchen, in particularly the refrigerator.

Of the three components of the kitchen work triangle, the refrigerator should be located at the triangle’s outer corner for easy access. And the cooking surface at the most remote point of the kitchen work triangle.

  • Kitchen Design 101 01b
  • Kitchen Design 101 02b
  • Kitchen Design 101 03
  • Kitchen Design 101 04


  • Consider placement of pipes, vents, electricity outlets and switches.
  • Allow at least 300mm clearance either side of your cooktop and sink.
  • Standard floor units are 720mm high plus 150mm (for the kickboard), and 580mm deep. Wall units are 720mm high and 350mm deep (not including handles). Benchtop height, from floor to top of bench, is 900mm and depth is 600mm.
  • The splashback over an electric cooktop should be a minimum of 450mm high if it’s under a wall unit. If the splashback is under a rangehood or a sink with wall unit above it, the splashback should be a minimum of 600mm high. Minimum height of a rangehood above a gas hob is 650-750mm, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation.
  • Include as much working space as possible.
  • Consider a walk-in pantry. This would maximise storage for a small kitchen.


I often get asked what is the ideal kitchen layout and design. Over the years kitchen design has gone through several phases from being a closed confined space to what is now an open floor plan that gathers family and friends.

One of my real estate friends mentioned that a kitchen is what sells a house in most cases. The following are four common kitchen layouts:

Kitchen Design 101c
  • Kitchen Design 101 05
  • Kitchen Design 101 06
  • Kitchen Design 101 07
  • Kitchen Design 101 08


Gallery kitchens normally adhere to a simple and efficient design with the sink, prep area and range stand in a single line, with the prep area equidistant from both cooking and cleaning spaces. However, there is a renovation trend for gallery kitchens to be more flexible for modern lifestyles by adding a kitchen table, taking out walls and adding seating.


The U-shaped kitchen consists of work space on three adjoining walls, two parallel walls perpendicular to a third. There are no traffic lanes flowing through the work area. The U-shaped kitchen keeps everything within easy reach.

If you decide you add an island to a U shape kitchen it’s important to keep the kitchen triangle on one side of the kitchen to avoid the kitchen island getting in the way when you’re using the kitchen.


The L shaped kitchen with an island added is perhaps one of the most common layouts for today’s multipurpose kitchens. Although this layout works best with plenty of space, its variations makes it an easy fit for almost any style.


Every kitchen renovation electrical design has unique requirements, depending on the scope of the kitchen renovation. The kitchen renovation scope is primarily determined by the client’s requirements.

For example, if the renovation requires new electrical components/wiring or lighting for the renovation, then the electrical designer works to incorporate all the new electrical components/wiring or lighting into the existing system.

The electrical designer will evaluate the existing electrical system to ensure that existing electrical configuration can accommodate new additional electrical loads that will be imposed on them.

To kick-off the electrical design/plan at Style Plus we often ask the clients to consider the following;

  • Where would you ideally like to locate appliances that remain on the counter top such as the kettle or toaster?
  • How many portable kitchen appliances do you use when you prepare a meal?
  • How many double power points will you require? Where should they be located?
  • Do you require a phone connection in the kitchen?
  • Do you require a power points with an integral USB charger?
  • What type of lighting would you like?
Kitchen Design 101d
Kitchen Design 101e
Kitchen Design 101f


If your kitchen’s only source of lighting is say, from recessed halogens, then when you undertake your kitchen renovation consider changing them for LED lighting. Position the new lights to serve as aesthetic and functional focal points in the room over the casual eating area or the island.

Modern LED fixtures provide terrific lighting option with low power consumption and very low heat emission.

LED strip lighting offers a great lighting option when renovating. The LED strip lights are flexible in their use and can be featured in your kitchen to add ambiance. As with the LED fixtures, LED strip lighting is safe to use as feature lighting as they do not heat up and offer a long life lighting solution.

LED strip lighting is great for use in a range of locations including:

  • Behind splashback lighting.
  • Under benchtop lighting.
  • Breakfast bar lighting.
  • Under cabinet lighting or at kickboard height.

Consider Lighting over the dining table. A decorative pendant will provide sufficient task lighting while also adding a touch of style and personality to your space. Mount pendant fixtures approximately 750mm above the table top.

If your table is round, the fixture should ideally be 300mm narrower than the diameter of the table. For square and rectangular tables, choose a fixture that is 300mm narrower than the smallest side.

Also, a must-have update for your kitchen renovation is the installation of dimmers for all of the lighting. The greatest benefit of installing dimmers in an existing kitchen is that the quality of the resulting light will inevitably appear much more comfortable and flexible than what you had before.

You should always check with a building professional such as Style Plus | Renovations, and seek their advice before deciding whether building work is exempt. The Building Act is quite clear that it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that they obtain a building consent when one is required.

Book your consultation today and kick start your renovation project!

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Whilst all information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information. The information may change without notice and Style Plus is not in any way liable for the accuracy of any information printed and stored or in any way interpreted and used by a user.