You can not opt out of this process altogether, though, because you want to decide what equipment you need from the kitchen, the sort of units, fitted or freestanding, the flooring, lighting… the list continues.
The dimensions and shape of your kitchen will, to some extent, dictate the gear you’ve got and where you place it. Remember not to overfill modest kitchens – these should have a simple, uncluttered look if you don’t want permanent claustrophobia.
First decide where to site your sink, drainer and dishwasher – remembering to keep the position of existing service points if at all possible, because re-wiring and re-plumbing can cut a swathe through your budget. Remember, however, that track lighting over the worksurfaces is a real blessing – alterations to existing wiring to integrate this should not break the bank.
Remember, also, the’magic triangle’ of stove, sink and refrigerator. Some (male) designers pour scorn on this formulation but these 3 parts of equipemnt should always be stored close together for maximum efficiency, with your food prep area nearby.
If your kitchen is big enough to dine in, work out where to site the table or breakfast bar and stools/chairs.
Then decide what additional gear you need and how much space you’ll need for it. Bear in mind that labour-saving things like food mixers and juicers will need to be permanently at the prepared – if you must get them from a cabinet every time you need to use them, you won’t! Likewise, plan how much storage space you’ll need for food, cutlery and crockery, cooking utensils, cleaning equipment, etc – a household of five will need a lot more space than a few, as an example.
Your choice of components depends on personal preference, budget and lifestyle. Hard-wearing, easy-clean surfaces such as wood, veneers or laminates are a blessing for active individuals and families with young kids. Higher-maintenance glass and stainless steel are for people that have time to look after them – or a daily assistance!
If you don’t have money to burn you should select cabinets you will be delighted to live with for quite a few years – you could always ring the changes efficiently with a coat of paint or new grips.
When it comes to decoration, don’t forget to use – or define, if you are in the lucky position of having someone to do the job for you – grout that’s resistant to heat, water and dirt.
Similarly, select special’kitchen and toilet’ paint and background – the ranges are expanding all of the time. But a kitchen is a very’active’ place so that it is sensible to keep the furnishings and walls fairly neutral to prevent visual overload.
As soon as your kitchen is set up, think logically about where to place everything. Keep items you use frequently in the most accessible cupboards. Those you use infrequently can go in greater cabinets while heavier items should be tucked away in cabinets underneath the worktops.
Adding a brand new kitchen entails quite a lot of upheaval and it is not something you do quite often. It is logical, therefore, to get it right and careful preparation is vital. Your tastes, allied with your provider’s expert guidance, should lead to a room that meets all of your needs for a kitchen that’s efficient, aesthetically pleasing and a joy to use.