design your dream kitchen today
Is it time for a new kitchen? We’ve got eight must-follow steps to make the process as smooth as possible.
step 1 — work out your budget
You have to be realistic here — of course we all want a brand-new kitchen complete with a fancy island and instant hot water tap, but all of these extras cost money, so be strict with yourself and only order what you really need — you can always add to your kitchen over time, after all. Stick to your budget and you may find that you have enough left over anyway!
step 2 — make a list of what you need, then what you want
Again, this step requires discipline. Most of us would love in-built wine racks, but you may be lacking in the space or funds for this! Write down the absolute essentials first; hob, extractor fan, units, worktops, oven etc and then you can start to add in the bells and whistles.
step 3 — draw up a floor plan
Don’t underestimate the importance of knowing the space you have to work with. It’s probably a good time to get the experts in here; an architect or a professional builder or kitchen company can advise you and will think of things you probably wouldn’t. You’ll need a floorplan of the kitchen drawn up; not only will this help you visualise what you need, it will also help you to keep costs down and to work out what should go where.
step 4 — think about your kitchen layout
It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people miss out this small, simple step. Think about the workings of the kitchen — do you want your sink near your hob, do you want your oven under the hob, do you want the microwave integrated and where will the fridge and freezer go? All of these practicalities have to be thought of before you settle on a final plan.
Top tip if you have a galley kitchen: avoid too many wall units, as this can make the space feel even smaller and more narrow. Opt for open shelves or glass-fronted units to create an open feeling.
step 5 — which kitchen do you want?
Shaker, modern, Georgian or Victorian… there’s almost too much choice! If you’re undecided, look at the period and style of your house — if you live in a very recent new build, then it might make more sense to go for a modern shaker style or a high-gloss option, but if you live in a country cottage, a more traditional style is probably the way forward.
step 6 — work those worktops
Heads up: worktops will always cost more than you think they will! If money is tight then go for laminate, but if you have more to play with, wood, natural stone, granite and quartz certainly add a wow-factor to any kitchen.
step 7 — vital appliances
From American-style fridge-freezers, built-in ovens and microwaves, coffee machines and range cookers, opting for freestanding or built-in appliances can make all the difference to the look of your kitchen. Built-in options look sleek and contemporary and fully integrated appliances will also look great in period homes.
step 8 — focus on flooring
Of course we were going to mention flooring! It is imperative that you have not only the most attractive floor for your kitchen, but also one that is suitable. Believe it or not, not all laminate flooring is suitable for kitchens, as you have to be aware of steam, moisture and water. Engineered wood is probably a safer bet, as is vinyl or luxury vinyl tiles. More advice and information can be found here.