Choose a budget, which you must remember doesn’t just mean adding up the fixture, fittings and white goods. Good installation is crucial and a good experienced kitchen fitter will be able to deal with those last minute snags and problems. Your budget must also include such costs as the fitting, lighting and skip hire as well as other tradespeople’s costs.
Make sure you decide what you want the new kitchen to do. For most it is place to prepare, cook and store food. It can also be place for family and friends to gather, eat and socialise. In our experience practicality must always take precedence over style. That is not to say you can’t have both but ensure you get the balance right. Monolithic American style fridges dominate a room and are a license to overbuy and waste food. Similarly the ice cube making fridges look good, but peek inside at the amount of room for left food storage. Which is your greater need?
Are you having a separate utility room? If not where will the washing machine, tumble drier etc. go? Consider moving these appliances elsewhere such as the back of a garage, an outhouse or an upstairs bathroom. This will free up space in the kitchen.
Make sure you have plenty of the right sorts of storage for your lifestyle. You may want display cabinets for that antique glassware or your cookery books. What about a breakfast bar or centre island?
It is more useful to have drawers of differing depths than numerous cupboards. This will afford easier access to items at the back. The same applies for pull out larder cupboards and make sure you can get the back corner spaces in those corner units. There are so many ways this can be achieved. Check with your designer. A lot of designers also forget to include a broom cupboard where you can store brushes, mops and ironing boards.
When you are checking the energy ratings of the while goods, it is also a good idea to check the noise levels, how quiet are they? Here at www.ChameleonDesignsInteriors.co.uk we like to consider all sorts of domestic pollutions, and excessive noise is one of those. A cheap noisy extractor fan or rattling washing machine on its spin cycle will soon become irritations. Consider buying from the approved list at quietmark.com
At the sink, what sort of taps do you want? The most useful in a kitchen is a single mixer tap. How about installing a multifunctional tap that can supply filtered, boiling or carbonated water as well as the usual hot and cold. Not only do these taps save time and effort they can free up work surface area with no need for a filter jug or kettle.
Don’t forget those rubbish bins. Check with your local council if they have separate collections for food waste, recycling and general waste. These will need storage space in your new kitchen.
Finally, consider using the services of an independent interior designer. As always we here at Chameleon Designs are experienced in planning layouts to fit with your own personal needs and budget and can be free to source items from all the major suppliers rather than being tied to using the in house products of the stores and kitchen warehouses. We have contacts in London and Norfolk, which also keeps it local so you can visit them personally. We also know many artisan craftspeople, for example if you want a single, or indeed many, bespoke pieces to give your kitchen that final ‘wow’ factor. www.chameleondesignsinteriors.co.uk