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Choosing A New Kitchen

A new kitchen can be one of the biggest areas of expenditure when it comes to our home’s interior, so it is important to spend time making sure that, when you do take the plunge, the decision you make is carefully considered and will make the best use of your budget.

Here are some things to consider to get the best out of your project:

1. Assess Your Requirements

Take a look at your existing kitchen and write a list of likes and dislikes. Think about storage, position of appliances and worktop space. Are these all correct or is there room for improvement? Also consider how you would ideally like to use the space. Open-plan living is becoming increasingly popular with large kitchen / family rooms a key space in modern homes. This is the stage to consider if any further changes such as knocking down an internal wall might be of benefit.

Key considerations:

• Worktop space – How much food prep do you do and where?

• Storage – how much cupboard space will you need? Consider food storage, cutlery, crockery, glasses, electrical items, saucepans, utensils etc to make sure that you will have enough space. Do you prefer cupboards with doors or open


• Use of the space – is this a casual family space or will it be used for formal entertaining? Perhaps it needs to double as both? How many people will need to be seated? Do you want an additional breakfast bar where people can sit and chat while you are cooking?

• Appliances – do you want these integrated or on view? Consider the space they will take up. Do you have room for that large, American-style fridge-freezer, for example?!

• Lighting – Is it dark under your wall cabinets? Consider adding under-cabinet downlighters for task lighting. Feature pendants above the dining table and / or breakfast bar can add a focal point to the room and give the “wow factor”!

2. What Are Your Long-Term Plans?

Think about your long-term plans for the property. If this is your forever home, now is the opportunity to splash the cash and create the kitchen of your dreams completely tailored to your lifestyle! If you plan on moving on a few years down the line, however, a more conservative approach is sensible – consider what future buyers may be looking for as well as what works for you.

3. What’s Your Style?

It’s time to get creative! What look are you going for in your home? Traditional? Classic-Contemporary? Modern? Think about the style of architecture in your property. Will your kitchen be in-keeping or a bold contrast in style? Have a look through magazines, brochures and Pinterest for kitchen images that inspire you. Once you have an idea of the overall style you are going for, move on to looking at the details. Consider all the finishes - flooring, worktops, walls, splashbacks and hardware. Get samples of things you like so that you can make sure they all work together as finishes can look different in real life to how they appear in a magazine or on a screen.

4. Decide On Your Budget

Having listed all your requirements, thought about your long-term plans for the property and considered the style of kitchen you would like, it’s now time to consider what you would like to spend. Be realistic both about how much it will cost to achieve your ultimate goal and about how much you can afford to spend. If the two do not match, you can shop around for ways to reduce the cost, such as different finishes, less expensive hardware or alternative worktop options. Make sure you factor in a 10% contingency fund to your budget for any unexpected additional costs.

5. Consult A Designer

With so many factors to consider and with such a large expenditure, mistakes can be costly. Hiring an interior designer to help you will allow you access to a wealth of experience and product knowledge and help avoid errors which could cause great expense to correct further down the line. Whilst a kitchen designer from a store will help you to plan your kitchen layout and select cabinet finishes, internals and appliances, a good interior designer, in addition, will consider the whole space, making sure the kitchen itself ties in with the flooring, wall finishes, furniture and soft furnishings throughout the room, giving a cohesive look.

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