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green kitchen
Are you struggling with one of these common kitchen dilemmas? Here’s how to tackle them.

Cook zone conundrums

The kitchen is one of the most used areas in the home, and with that comes a range of problems – not enough storage, lingering odours and a lack of power sources, for example. “The most common dilemmas usually stem from planning,” says Monique Parker of Kaboodle Kitchen.

We’re sharing suggestions for solving a few of the most common kitchen conundrums.

Problem: Cramping your style

Many older homes have small, gloomy kitchens, but there are many small steps you can take to make the space feel larger and brighter. “First, use light-coloured cabinetry to help open up the space,” suggests interior designer Sarah Comerford (homebybelle.com.au). In addition, “avoid patterns in splashback tiles or bench accessories,” advises interior designer Amanda Wyeth (amandawyeth.com). “Patterns can make smaller spaces appear unnecessarily cluttered.”

white kitchen 

Problem: Storage shortage

Clever storage is a key component of a well-functioning space, and it requires good planning. “Start by utilising drawers over door cabinets where possible,” says Monique Parker. Drawers tend to be easier to organise and access, and pull-out shelves can revive a pantry. “Wireware is also a must,” she adds. Try narrow pull-out baskets in gaps between appliances or cabinets; these can be used to hold things like spices and slim bottles (olive oil, vinegar, etc.).

Tip: Using both sides of an island bench can significantly boost your kitchen’s storage capacity.


Problem: Lack of lighting

“If you’re often preparing food in your own shadow or finding it hard to read package instructions and recipe books, it’s a sign of bad lighting,” says Amanda. Task lighting is needed for reading and food prep; good lighting also reduces hazards. Try LED strips under wall-mounted cabinetry to light the bench, and downlights, track lights or pendants (that cast a downward glow) over an island.

Blue kitchen with white countertop  

Problem: Appliance overload

“There is so much choice for appliances, but not all kitchens have the space or layout to facilitate them all,” says Sarah. “Think about how you live and find the right balance on what gadgets to include.” Amanda advocates for multitasking appliances, such as a compact combination microwave oven that can also bake and roast.

Problem: Rubbish underfoot

Getting your bin placement wrong can lead to a messy (and smelly) trip hazard. “Integrated bins not only clear up precious floor space, but they conceal odours and can be placed next to your sink for convenience,” says Monique. There’s an option for just about every size space, including door mount, under-sink swing bins and in-drawer styles.


Problem: Odour outrage

From fried garlic to burnt toast, some smells fill the entire home. “Do not underestimate the importance of a good-quality (and low noise-emitting) rangehood,” says Amanda. “Positioning your stovetop to ensure your rangehood can be externally vented ensures cooking smells and fine oil particles are fully extracted and don’t gather and linger.” Consult your builder or kitchen installer about ducting and venting. This is an area to buy the best you can afford, because it does make a significant difference.

butter kitchen

Keep in mind

Always engage licensed tradies to carry out plumbing and hardwired electrical work.

Planning a kitchen reno?

Nail the design and create your dream kitchen with a little help from our in-store or in-home kitchen consultation service.


Some products are not available at all Bunnings stores, but may be ordered.

Photo Credit: Alejandro Sosa 3D, Jody D’Arcy, Kaboodle Kitchen, Paul Johnstone

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More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.