Use your space
Start by looking at your floor space creatively. Keep an open mind and mark everything that doesn’t absolutely need to be there. Build in cabinets, unused utility areas are all spaces that could be used more efficiently. Whilst extending your kitchen is a great way to add space to your home you might be able to achieve the layout you want without the hassle and expenditure of building an extension. Whatever you decide, always have the room design drawn up and considered carefully before starting any building work. Changing something before you’ve completely planned out your design can be the difference between a successful design and disaster.
Open-plan kitchens is a fantastic way to make cooking more sociable. The perfect answer keeping the chef company at a dinner party or family meal, whilst also staying safely out of the way. Open plan kitchens appear to tick all the boxes for modern living but there can be a few issues to consider before you get carried away with the sledgehammer. Firstly, be realistic about how tidy you are. If you’re a messy chef who likes to leave the cleaning up until afterwards it might be best kept to a closed off kitchen. Smells can be off-putting and highly efficient ventilation is essential to minimising odours spreading to other areas and noise can also be problematic.
Functionality is key
A design that looks beautiful on paper is one thing, but with one of the most important, functional, rooms in your home your kitchen has to flow properly. It might sound silly, but practise making a meal in your proposed kitchen. How easily can you get from the oven to the sink? From the fridge and the dishwasher? An island where family and friends can perch is at the top of most wish-lists but a large floorspace is essential to make these work well. Plan for 1100-1200mm of clear space between the edge of the worktops and the island unit, so there is plenty of room to move around between the two. Ideally, the dishwasher should be sited next to the sink and with storage within easy reach.. Be wary of having a hob on an island if there are small children in the house, as it’s a safety risk carrying pans of hot liquid from the island across to the sink.
The appliances in your kitchen are one of the most crucial elements of any kitchen design. They are one of the most costly and are also one of the most important bits to get right. It’s worth taking time doing your research to check running costs, decibel ratings, as well as avoiding unnecessary functions you have no need for. Investigate retailers and manufacturers that have showrooms where you can book a visit to be shown the appliances first-hand. Also, whilst they can’t be 100% reliable, it’s definitely worth reading online reviews. Remember to get a few different sources for reviews as it will give you a better idea of the genuine product information.
In terms of budget, there is a worktop out there for everyone, however along with huge price ranges there is also huge practicality ranges. Having an idea of the colour and practicality requirements of your counter tops will help a lot with your decision making.
Kitchen floor can have a big influence to the feel of a room. Ultimately it needs to be practical and durable but it can also form an important decorative element to your kitchen. Timber will bring a natural look that’s soft and warm underfoot, engineered boards are very practical. Ceramic and porcelain floor tiles will last many years, can bring pattern to the scheme and are great when combined with underfloor heating for warmth (without it they can get very cold in winter). Stone tiles are naturally warmer and come in interesting colours but may need regular sealing.
Bring colour into the room on the walls, or with a glass splashback. A bold shade can work well as there are other neutral elements in a kitchen that will balance the overall effect. Add texture with seating, fabrics and wall finishes to create a cosy feel. Choose large pieces such as an over-sized clock, or mirror for extra interest.
For help and advice about your home improvement project contact your local Building Control team.
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