The thought of a lovely, sparkling new kitchen is exciting. The prospect of the upheaval and everything else a kitchen renovation involves can seem very daunting. However, the right advice and guidance can go a long way in avoiding unnecessary stress and uncertainty.
With so many aspects to consider is it easy to become confused, so the best place to start is deciding what you like. It is easy to be caught up with trends and fashions, but everything dates eventually. Choose what appeals to you, as you will be the one enjoying it.
Look at pictures of different kitchens online or in magazines. Decide what you like and what style would suit your home and budget. Take into consideration the age and style of your home as you need your new kitchen to fit in. Optimise the layout with a nice flow and good functionality. If you struggle with ideas, you can employ the services of an interior designer or kitchen planner to guide you with your decision-making.
Jo Cattermole, owner of Ruby Colour and Design explains, “There are so many different types of kitchens and it really comes down to individual taste, style, function and budget. While there are specific styles you can follow, my clients generally choose what they love and want, or what they have enjoyed before. Styles you can consider are traditional, classic, country, art deco, Scandinavian, rustic or industrial. ”
While the choices are huge and the colour ranges diverse, it is easy to figure out what you do not want. Eliminate all those possibilities first to narrow your selection and make your choices easier. Consider the colour of your flooring; this is something that is less likely to be changed than the colour of your walls and furnishings.
With this in mind, the decision between a pre-made kitchen verses a custom kitchen may arise. Many hardware stores are able to supply you with a range of cabinetry and help you with the layout. These are all pre-made designs, sizes and colours that slot straight into an empty space. You can have a pre-made kitchen professionally installed but you also have the option of doing it yourself, which becomes more cost effective.
A custom kitchen may be more suitable for someone who is dealing with difficult or small spaces or just wants their kitchen to be more ‘designer’. These are generally more expensive but a good kitchen builder will have great ideas and advice and can provide images of what your new kitchen will look like. The cabinetry is custom made to fit and installed by the kitchen builder.
Whatever your decision, there are other tradesmen that you will also need to consider. A plumber, an electrician, a tiler and possibly a plasterer and someone who can flue your range hood, depending on the style you choose.
Often when employing a kitchen builder they can also arrange the other tradesmen needed along the way. This can certainly be less stressful than trying to orchestrate them all yourself.
Bench-tops and tiling are also important parts of your kitchen colour choices. There are many types of bench-tops available so once again your own preferences, taste and budget is what should sway your decision. As with the cabinetry, consider the colours in the flooring when deciding upon your bench tops, tiling and or a glass splashback. Like tiles, glass splashbacks are available in a wide range of colours and can be a great focal point in your kitchen.
Jo advise that, “Colours can change once they are all put together, so it’s vital to see them together as samples before you start. “
You will need to select the appliances for your new kitchen and figure them into your design. There are many styles and options with these appliances and they come within a wide price range. Generally, an oven, cook-top, range hood, fridge and dishwasher are what you will need to purchase. Many new kitchens these days also have built-in microwaves, so this may be something you decide to include. Do consider purchasing the same brand for consistency in style and one known for its good quality. You won’t regret it.
Don’t forget about your kitchen sink and tap wear. Again, there are many options available here too, so choose what you prefer, what will fit your budget and work best in your kitchen space. Perhaps you would like to have a permanent, filtered water tap or a waste disposal unit installed. You may also decide on a fridge that has water plumbed straight to it for convenience.
With new kitchen lighting, it is important to have this worked into your kitchen plans. Discuss this with your kitchen builder or electrician. “Often my clients lean towards feature lighting above a breakfast bar. This can add to the style of your kitchen and can easily be changed or updated in time,” says Jo. “Down-lighting is also very popular as it is a modern, yet economical way to light your kitchen. LED lighting is often used to give a wow factor along kick plates on breakfast bars”
Once all the aesthetic decisions have been decided and you are happy with your choices, it’s time to put it all into action. Jo concludes, “A home should reflect you, not a magazine page or show home. It is about what you love and the look you desire, no rules I believe. As we age, our taste can change. Using colour in our accessories not only gives a touch of ‘you’ it is also an easy and inexpensive way to have a change if you feel like one.”
So don’t be nervous. Throw yourself into the wide range of kitchen designs and choices available. Collect as many samples as you need, start to visualise your new space and enjoy what reflects you and your home in the best way possible.
By Claire Hester.
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