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New Year

New Kitchen

While it’s over for another 12 months, Christmas can leave a lasting impression, especially when it comes to kitchens. It’s a time when any shortcomings in design and function are ruthlessly exposed. When mildly irritating design flaws – not enough prep space, cupboards filled to the brim with contents you can’t even reach, let alone see and ancient appliances – all come together in a perfect storm of uselessness and thoughts turn to investing in a new kitchen.

January is a perfect time to start – the sales are on for one thing, meaning you can bag a genuine bargain – and all those problems and niggles from Christmas will be fresh in your mind, too. Of course, it can seem like a bit of a mountain to climb, there are so many decisions to be made but that’s where talking to the experts really helps. With years of experience in a huge number of projects, from compact refreshed designs to huge renovations, we can ensure your kitchen journey is as smooth a ride as possible.

So, here are our tips to set you on your way to a fabulously functional and great looking new kitchen.

Before you go anywhere, see anything or even decide on the look of your new design, sit yourself down and make a list of the good and bad points of your existing design. In order to ensure your new kitchen is just right, you need to clarify what’s important and what’s not. Make a wish list not just of must-haves such as appliances, sinks and taps but of design ideas, including optimum layouts, storage solutions and lighting schemes.

Work out how much you want to spend but don’t be too restrictive. That perfect design might be just a little more than you first imagined but will pay dividends in terms of usefulness and longevity. Spend wisely, too. Quality handcrafted cabinetry with butt hinges, dovetail joints and doors set in hardwood frames will withstand the rigors of family life much longer than cheaper counterparts, ensuring you’re not the victim of dropping drawers and hanging hinges before the handcrafted kitchen cabinetry year’s out. Check guarantees, too, as they are always a sign of a company’s confidence in its own product. Think carefully about the parts of your kitchen you use most – worktops for instance – and make sure you invest in the most hardwearing you can afford. After all, they’ll have the most use.

For many, it’s the appearance of a kitchen that really counts. The look we choose usually sets the tone for the whole scheme and at Harvey Jones we have three versatile cabinetry styles – Shaker, Linear and Original. For those with a more contemporary look in mind, the slab door style of Linear is a minimalist choice, with flat fronts and square edged cornicing, while Original cabinetry includes door beading and more ornate finishing. Picking cabinetry with a timeless feel, such as Shaker, can broaden your options. It’s a classic style that can be given a modern twist with the addition of built-in appliances, composite stone tops and bar handles or kept traditional using a gorgeous range oven as a centerpiece with wood or granite worktops and period touches such as plate racks.

While searching the web can give you an idea of the design you’re after and the companies that come within your budget, there really is nothing like getting out and about to see furniture in ‘real life’. As much a part of a new kitchen as the cabinetry, a good designer is key to ensuring your room looks good and works efficiently.
A lot is made of finding a designer who is ‘on your wavelength’ but it’s not just idle talk. It’s vital that you work with someone who understands your wants and needs. Sadly, the idea of ‘free’ design has somewhat undervalued the important part an experienced kitchen designer can play in a project. As well as listening carefully to what you want, their advice and expertise are invaluable when making the many choices you’ll be faced with. Honesty is important, too and a good designer will be the one that not only advises you that your grand ideas for a central island are just not going to work in your compact space but will also provide you with clever alternatives – breakfast peninsula anyone?

A kitchen is a big investment and although it’s a natural reaction to get things underway as soon as possible, it’s worth stepping back to ensure all your ducks are in place before you start. Seemingly dull but actually hugely important details often get overlooked in the mad dash to have that gorgeous cabinetry in place. For instance, make sure you’ve planned in enough power points and that they’re in the right place. After all, what’s more annoying than having to plug in your flash new mixer or coffee machine away from where you really want to use it because you forgot to fit a plug point in that part of the room? Think carefully about lighting, too. Is that dining table really in the right place? Remember, once you’ve got fixed pendant lighting above it, it will be difficult to move. Finally, great storage is key. Think drawers not cupboards where possible and you’ll experience the joy that comes with finding that spice or condiment without having to get down on your knees to scrabble in the back of a dark, overcrowded cupboard.

Ready to start designing? Book a complimentary design consultation or visit your local Harvey Jones showroom. Find your nearest showroom here.

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