HOW TO CREATE THE PERFECT KITCHEN – The kitchen is a great place for family gatherings and should be designed so that you have sufficient work space and storage. This guide provides some practical advice on how to create the perfect kitchen for your home, which is especially useful if you are planning on fitting a new kitchen.
Step 1 Take a pen and some graph paper and then draw a plan with the measurements of your kitchen space. Try to be as accurate as you can. If you are going to order a new kitchen you can take these measurements along to the showroom with you and have the kitchen suppliers develop you a 3D computer image of what your kitchen design will need, in terms of units and appliances and what it will look like once it’s finished. This is very useful as the computer software is able to easily change aspects, such as unit and work top colours or layout until you are completely happy with the new look.
Step 2 You have a choice when it comes to buying a new kitchen and that is to fit the kitchen yourself or have a professional team of kitchen fitters do the job for you. For starters, if you take your time and follow a good set of instructions, then fitting a kitchen is not as complex as it might seem. The real benefit to fitting your own kitchen is the cost savings. Having your kitchen fitted by a professional tradesman can almost double, if not more, the overall cost. By fitting it yourself, and with the savings you make, you could afford those additional stylish appliances, that not only save energy, but look simply beautiful. Give this some serious consideration. On the flip side a professional team of kitchen fitters will only take a day or two to fit everything and their work will be guaranteed. In the event of an accident you won’t have to worry if one of the units, doors or appliances are damaged as it will be their responsibility to repair or replace any damaged items.
Step 3 When it comes to choosing the style of the kitchen, for example a cottage oak kitchen or an ultra modern kitchen, the choice will come down to two things. Firstly the practicalities and whether the design you choose actually works in your home. If you live in a country cottage with a thatched roof, then putting in an ultra modern kitchen may not really work. Think about the design carefully and the style of house you live in. Secondly it comes down to personal preference. It’s what you really like that counts and you’re the one who has to live with it and use it every day. You might decide you want units that are a deep dark red or jet black and shiny, again anything can work really well, depending on your existing decor, but ultimately it’s what you really want that counts.
Step 4 Consider how your kitchen will be used. Are you an enthusiastic cook? Are you one of these people that loves cooking and entertaining? Or do you rarely cook? You need to think carefully how you and your family use the kitchen and if you have a big or small family or do you simply live alone? All these factors will determine how you are going to use your kitchen. As an example, if you are single, live alone and doesn’t really like to cook, then ask yourself… “Is there any point in buying a huge refrigerator that is designed to hold enough food for a family of six?” Try to design the kitchen around your exact needs because the kitchen uses approximately 65% of all the energy you use in the home. Also, there is not real point in having a huge kitchen if you are simply not going to use it, unless of course you like everything big and that you want the kitchen to make a statement.
Step 5 Now that you have an idea of how your kitchen is to be used, consider the amount of storage space your kitchen will need. Most people find that once a new kitchen is installed that the storage space quickly runs out and it’s a fact the more you have, the more you will probably want. Ask the staff at the kitchen showroom about creating storage space and space saving devices and storage. Kitchen technology has come a long way and you will be amazed at the gadgets that are available. Some you will find very useful, others may not really be needed but at least have a look at all the possibilities and this will then give you a good idea of what storage devices you do needs for your new kitchen.
Step 6 Next comes the appliances. Technology has come a long way and you will want your appliances to be very functional and have the ability to save energy. Again, the kitchen uses approximately 65% of all the energy use in your home, so buying appliances that are energy rated is very important if you want to reduce your carbon footprint and reduce your energy bill. Discuss your appliance needs with the staff at the kitchen suppliers, they will be able to give you a huge range of appliances to choose from and all offering a different functions and energy saving capabilities. Look for appliances that carry the energy saving seals and look at their actual energy ratings. Technology has come a long way and you can now find appliances that have A+, A++, A+++ and beyond and all will help reduce your energy needs and save you money.
Step 7 Think about how your appliances are going to fit into your new kitchen. Layout is important as you’ll want the most used appliances within easy reach when working in the kitchen. This is especially important if you have a very large kitchen. Also consider if the appliances will be built in so that they don’t stick out and blend with the whole design.
Step 8 Finally consider the safety aspects, especially if you have small children. Ask the staff at the kitchen showroom about safety aspects – do tell them if you have young children. You might, for instance, consider having a wall oven that is well out of reach of your children or safety door or lock catches so they can’t get into certain cupboards where you keep the household cleaning fluids. We all know that there are hundreds of cases each year where a child has consumed bleach or other cleaning fluids which means a worrying time and a trip to the hospital. There are lots of safety devices for the kitchen, such as fire blankets and fire extinguishers, so do ask and do consider each one carefully in order to make your kitchen as safe as it possibly can be.
Acknowledgements: Video – B&Q