Kitchens used to be the place where someone – usually Mum - slaved away while the rest of the family watched telly in the lounge. Well at least it was in our house – nice work if you can get it eh Dad?
Fortunately times have changed for the better and lots of our customers want an everyday dining area in the kitchen to suit today’s more informal lifestyle. Bear in mind that everyone in your family will need something different from a new kitchen – whether it is an Aga, a space to do homework, or even just to relax and watch TV.
The kitchen has become the centre of family life and is probably the area of the house where we spend the most money on replacement and renovation. So I thought I’d jot down a few tips on how to plan ahead for your new kitchen to help you spend your budget wisely.
1 Use a professional kitchen design company to plan the layout so you can make the most of the space you have. But don’t forget that it’s your kitchen to suit your lifestyle, so don’t be talked into the latest trend or idea for the sake of it. Made to measure units will maximize the space you have and reduce the need for ‘fillers’ between units.
2 Consider a separate utility space, where you can keep all your large appliances, oversized crockery and cleaning products. Your new kitchen should be accessible and easy to use with the minimum of clutter. Options for making the most of your space include magic corners, tall larders/cupboards and deep pan drawers.
3 If space allows, a proper kitchen table is worth buying. Invest in a good one as you will need to use it all the time and for different occasions.
4 The kitchen has taken over from the dining room as the place to relax and socialise. A breakfast bar or an island with stools offers extra workspace and acts as a barrier between the kitchen proper and any dining area.
5 Go to town with technology – it goes really well with traditional or contemporary furniture. Be brave with your choices. Chic new appliances, a good-quality oven and sleek yet practical storage units are essential. Fridge freezers with ice making and cold water are a real benefit if (like me) you have thirsty kids or have friends over for drinks and dinner.
6 Think about how you will use the space. If you are a keen cook, soft furnishings and detail will only take up work space and collect dirt. However, if you are more interested in the entertaining side, then you can be more decorative.
7 If you are happy with the existing layout of your kitchen but want a facelift, change your work surfaces. This will instantly transform and modernise a kitchen. Replacing cupboard doors or handles, substituting small round knobs for longer, brushed steel handles will also bring your kitchen right up to date.
8 Plan the lighting carefully, to give you the option to change the mood. Bright lighting for work areas and low level lighting is useful if you are going to eat in the kitchen.