Once the decision to buy a new kitchen is made, the temptation often is to start the process as soon as possible, However, actually taking time to stop and think first will pay dividends. Consider all the options – and there are many and varied – to ensure this often once-in-a-lifetime journey is taken at a gentle pace, with plenty of time to see all that is on offer before you commit. The kitchen is the heart of the home, so planning the perfect kitchen must be a well-considered and researched project. The more information on what you’re looking for that you can bring to your showroom visit, the better.
JUST FOR NOW OR FOREVER?
Firstly it’s worth deciding if this is to be a kitchen that will last a long time and one that’s worth spending a little more time and money on to make it future proof or an ‘it will do for now’ space that you plan to move on from in a couple of years. If it’s the latter, then the process will be somewhat easier as you’ll be looking just to improve in the short term, rather than a space that will grow with you and your family. Either way, research and careful planning to ensure you get things right the first time is key.
Firstly, think about what goes on in your kitchen and how you want to use the space. Consider factors such as whether you need to include a dining area for entertaining or a space that can double up as a home office or study. Do you need the kitchen to serve as the focal hub for the family? Are you a gadget geek or a serious foody, or both?
Look, too, at your existing kitchen space to work out what it is that is successful about it and what needs changing both in terms of style and functionality. Is it big enough? Are things in the right place or would you prefer to move them? If you’re considering knocking walls down, changing the position of services or even extending are all costly then remember you could require expert advice and labour, too so it’s good to factor that in at an early stage.
SETTING YOUR BUDGET
Working out what you want to spend is the next step once you know how long the kitchen needs to last. Once you have a figure in mind you can start to look at the kind of cabinetry and appliances that will fit into that budget. It’s as well to be sure you are aware of the typical costs of kitchens and be clear about the budget to your chosen designer, and they will do everything they can to design the best room within your target price range.
Most people have a good idea of the cabinetry style they’re after from the outset and at Harvey Jones we cater for all needs, from our trusty painted Shaker range to flat-fronted Linear and our latest Arbor design. Remember, too, that costs vary considerably for worktops, tiling and appliances, so getting your research done into the options is vital. The golden rule is to carefully consider exactly what your priorities and non-negotiables are. So, if your heart is set on marble worktops, but fancy appliances aren’t a must-have, you can mix and match to suit your needs and budget.
Granite and stone composites are incredibly popular right now and definitely worth the investment, particularly if the kitchen needs to last for a good few years. There are many different designs, including some of the latest faux marble and granite options, which are proving very popular, particularly if used on a worktop and up into a splash back area.
Putting together a quick wish-list of appliances is also a good idea. However big or small, there will always be a maximum amount you want to spend and there will always be compromises on what you can and can’t afford.
A good relationship with your chosen kitchen supplier and designer is a must as they are the ones that will be advising you on the best way to spend your money, both in terms of the final layout and the products that you choose. However good your designer is, though, they will always need some help from you to get started. Form your own scrapbook of ideas from magazines and also by using social media sites such as Instagram and Pinterest, as this helps any designer to immediately comprehend what style you are looking for, whether it is traditional, modern or ultra-contemporary plus the colour palette you favour.
The first visit to a kitchen showroom is always aided by having measurements of the space to hand, with details of any immovable objects – windows, doors and boilers for instance – as it will give an idea of the space available.
Finally, it’s important to be clear about your vision but don’t be afraid of asking for help from an expert. You may think you’ve considered every eventuality but it’s always worth consulting the experts.
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