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Tips For Living In Your Home During a Kitchen Renovation

Regardless of how often you cook or entertain, the kitchen is one of the most used rooms in any home. This makes it one of the most stressful rooms to renovate, especially when still living within the property. The reality of any kitchen renovation is that even when everything goes to plan, there is no way to avoid at least some inconveniences. Dust sheets and protective coverings over everything? No sink or dishwasher to clean up? No cooker or place to prep food? Whatever the issue, don’t despair, this blog will demonstrate that you can overcome these temporary issues with some smart preparation.

In this blog, our design team and our clients have provided their tried and tested tips for living in your home during a kitchen renovation.

Pack Up Everything You Don’t Need

At some point in your renovation, you will be without your usual storage space making it essential that you pack up everything you don’t need. Planning your storage will help you reduce clutter and make room for your new kitchen and the various deliveries of construction materials required. When packing, it’s crucial to think about your weekly routine, what you use for daily meal prep and what you will be eating during the renovation. Pack away any items that you don’t use daily, focusing on the pure basics. Remember it’s only temporary, you will be unpacking your cherished items in your lovely new kitchen soon. 

When our clients go through the process of removing their old kitchen, they are often surprised by how much they were storing unnecessarily. Our top tip is to get rid of any unused kitchen appliances, utensils and foods that have passed the expiration date – this is the perfect time to get rid of clutter. Not only will this make your renovation easier, but it will also help you to ensure that your new kitchen is organised. Try to move these items into an area completely removed from your kitchen, where they could stay for the duration of the renovation with minimum disruption to your daily life until then.

Relocate Your Old Appliances

Are you going to lose your stove and/or refrigerator for some or most of the renovation time? If you have space, a great way to minimalise the impact of your kitchen renovation is to move your essential appliances into another room to create a temporary kitchen.

When we asked our clients for their tips for surviving a kitchen renovation for this blog, many suggested using another room or even the garage to set up a temporary kitchen area.

If you are renovating a kitchen as part of an extension, you could be without your kitchen for a considerable time. By moving appliances such as fridges, freezers, ovens, and hobs, you can continue to live in your property with some adjustments to your usual routine. When planning your project, ask your designer to advise where you could move your appliances in the interim.

You will need a safe way to cook or reheat food, such as a microwave or a slow cooker and a refrigerator to store your food at the bare minimum.

Create a Temporary Food Preparation Space

If you can relocate your appliances and plan to continue to cook during your renovation, you will need some food preparation space. Depending on your project and what stage you are at, you could utilise the new kitchen space with temporary cabinetry or worktops. Failing that, if you have a spare table or a temporary camping or decorating table, these make perfect makeshift work areas. Find a nice sturdy table and place it in a space you would be happy to cook in, preferably up against a wall with access to a power supply for a temporary hob or slow cooker.

Make a Plan For Your Meals

It’s fairly safe to say that a kitchen renovation isn’t the time for gourmet meals. Think about quick and simple meals that can be cooked with minimal cookware and ingredients. There are lots of fantastic cookbooks that offer simple recipes that require little equipment and minimal ingredients. We love Jamie Oliver’s “5 Ingredients” cookbook, which has loads of simple recipes; there’s also a great recipe book by Anna Jones called “One: Pot, Pan, Planet: A greener way to cook for you, your family and the planet” that is full of recipes that you can cook with a simple temporary kitchen. The key to success is to plan what you will eat during the renovation so you can work out which utensils and appliances you are going to need in your temporary kitchen.

Tips For Living In Your Home During a Kitchen Renovation - Plan your meals

When we asked our designers and clients for their advice for mealtime during a renovation, we received heaps of great advice for not only preparing great food but also reheating and storing food. Not to mention some excellent advice for avoiding cooking altogether! Read on to hear their top tips.

Purchase a slow cooker – At the time of writing this article, one of our designers, Sophie, is currently going through a kitchen renovation and she said that she swears by her slow cooker. Slow cookers are a relatively inexpensive way of cooking fresh meals from scratch or reheating pre-cooked meals. The BBC good food website has tonnes of fantastic slow cooker recipes that taste delicious and are simple to cook. A top tip for cooking with your slow cooker is to use these slow cook liners, which help save time washing up.

The microwave is healthier than you think – However you feel about microwaved food, your microwave is your friend during a renovation. We buy almost 80 million ready meals a week in the UK, but don’t forget you can still prepare fresh food in your microwave. Contrary to popular belief, the microwave preserves more nutrients than traditional cooking methods such as boiling or roasting.

Master batch cooking – When we asked our designers and clients for advice, there was a common theme; batch cooking is your friend. If you can batch cook and store as much as you can before your renovation, it will make dinner times much more straightforward.

Dust off your camping supplies – Camping stoves and tables are a cheap cooking and workspace solution when you are between kitchens. The good thing is even if you don’t own camping equipment, you probably know someone who would lend you some. If you do purchase some equipment, you can always sell it on after your build.

Make use of your BBQ – It’s surprising just how versatile your BBQ is. Burgers, chicken and sausages are all classic BBQ foods but you will be amazed at what else you can cook, from avocado to pizza. With a bit of imagination, your BBQ can serve as a temporary replacement for your hob or oven.

Take the pressure off with a takeaway – With a renovation on the go, you have the perfect excuse to get a takeaway. Take the pressure off cooking and order in from your favourite restaurant.

Get by with a little help from your friends – A great tip from our clients is to ask your friends and family for help. In most cases, your family and friends will be more than happy to help you by either inviting you for dinner or sending over a delivery of one of their signature dishes.

Tupperware is the key – If you follow any of the tips above, you will need some good quality Tupperware to keep your food fresh for longer. Make sure you have plenty so that you can save your batched cooked treats.

Washing Up Your Dishes

Being without a sink during a renovation can make things difficult. The good thing is that if you have followed the steps above, you would have already helped minimalise the washing up that you are creating. Most of our clients will use a bathroom or laundry room when going through their kitchen renovation. In most cases, your bathroom sink will be too small to wash up in. Therefore, one of our KCA clients recommends that you use your bath and a drying rack. Depending on your bathroom suite, the bath has plenty of space to wash your dishes. If you don’t have a bath or a sink big enough, our designers recommend two large plastic storage containers, one to wash up and one to drain. There’s no doubt that being without a sink will make things hard, so the most important thing is to keep on top of the dishes as you cook.

Familiarise Yourself With the Project Timeline

 Although there are some great tips to minimalise discomfort when living in your renovation, there is no avoiding the disruption altogether. The key to making the process as easy as possible is to communicate clearly with your contractors and familiarise yourself with the project timeline. By understanding how your timeline is going to affect your services, you will be able to plan ahead and bake into the renovation plan some contingencies if there are delays or unforeseen obstacles.

When carrying out your renovation, be sure to ask your kitchen company to liaise directly with your trades to provide technical drawings at the right time. You would be surprised how often kitchen services are placed in the wrong position when your kitchen designer hasn’t been looped into the conversation with your contractors. Clear communication of the position of services will ensure that there aren’t any last-minute surprises when your kitchen arrives on site

Find Companies You Can Trust

In these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to select companies that have a good reputation and a trusted track record. The first point of call would be to reach out to family and friends for referrals and company recommendations. If you can try to choose a company with good recommendations from friends, positive reviews online and an established track record, you can protect your investment and trust that your renovation is in safe hands. When selecting your kitchen design company, try to appoint a company that owns the process from start to finish. This will help avoid miscommunication between multiple parties, and one point of contact will make your life easier during this stressful time.

We hope that these tips have been helpful in outlining what to expect during your renovation and how to minimise disruption. All of our clients agree that the temporary inconvenience is 100% worth it. With a stunning new kitchen installed, your memories of the renovation will soon be replaced with memories of treasured times spent in your kitchen with family and friends.

At KCA, we have been guiding clients through the process of a new kitchen since 1993. To find out how we could help you, please contact our design team by calling 01344 883777 or enquire online.


We’d like to say a big thank you to our clients who shared their advice for this article.

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Welcome to our new Blog
Since 1993 we’ve been designing kitchens and bedrooms for prestigious properties and learnt a wealth of hints and tips along the way; knowledge we would like to share with you here on our Blog.

Welcome to our new Blog