1.Kitchens are often considered the ‘hub of the home’ – have you enough space?
Could it be that by moving a wall, or incorporating a small side room, the space could be more productive and useful? If you are going to install a new kitchen, then adding on a small amount of building work may only add a little to the project, but a lot to how the kitchen can be used.
- Plan your space – what do you want to use it for?
Is this just to be a kitchen, or is to be a dining room as well, do you need a comfortable seating area, a workplace for children’s homework, a mobile phone station, a computer desk? Write a list of what the space needs to accommodate – how the family will use it?
3.Talk things through with all your family – plan together
A new kitchen impacts on the whole family, and therefore involve the whole family – let them have their say before you start planning. Get their ideas as well and make everyone feel part of the project. Putting in a new kitchen is disruptive, so be prepared and get everyone involved.
4.Start with the ideal, and then adapt if you need to
Start your planning with the ideal, and then cut your cloth accordingly. Keep that ideal in mind even when economising – and see if you can do some things in two stages to keep costs reasonable.
5.Decide on your kitchen cabinet style and overall look.
Take a look at manufacturers and their style – what are you looking for?
- A sleek modern look, or something more classic?
- Freestanding units, or all integrated?
- Light and airy, or more moody and atmospheric?
Have an idea of what you want before you start talking to a supplier. Look through magazines and pull out kitchens you like, colour schemes that suit, individual elements that excite – make your own scrapbook of ideas to show the designer.
6.Make early decisions on the big areas – floor and worktop Kitchens are not just the cabinets – the flooring will change the look of the space dramatically, as indeed will the worktops. Large areas need careful consideration and whenever possible floor the whole room before the kitchen is fitted. Look at worktop options and decide which you would prefer – granite, marble, composite, wood, metal – the list is long so consider it well.
7.Look at the appliances you may need
Let the supplier know how you use your kitchen. Make it clear which areas are essentials and which are luxuries. Choose appliances that you will use and need.
- Do you love cooking, are you a great chef?
- Are you a coffee fanatic?
- Do you bake cakes?,
- Are curries your speciality?
Every aspect can be accommodated if the designer knows from the start.
8.Choose a supplier who you like – then use their experience and trust their judgment
Essential to any partnership, and a new kitchen is definitely a partnership – is an empathy and understanding. So choose a supplier who is ‘on your wavelength’, and who you like. During the process of designing and manufacturing your kitchen you will build up a working relationship, and this needs to be with someone you can talk to.
9.Set a realistic budget
Work within your means, budgets often grow during a project, so start with a realistic budget which covers as many areas as possible. If you are working in an old property there are often things hidden away which need sorting once you start ripping out existing kitchens. Be aware that the utility supplies cost money to move – and the electrical and plumbing planning is essential.
10.Don’t skimp on the basic structure and infrastructure
Use your money wisely. If you have a limited budget – then spend it firstly on the room and getting the utilities in place – the electrics wired in, and the drainage all new and sorted. Ensure the room is heated, either with underfloor or with traditional radiators, and that the walls are in good repair. The main structure needs to be sound before you put in your new bespoke kitchen.