Kitchen Planning, where do you start?
A kitchen plays such an important role in any household that the design should be perfect. Before you jump straight in and head on down to the nearest kitchen shop there are a few steps you should take.
Explore and get inspiration
It’s easier to find inspiration for a new kitchen than you think, watch tv shows, look in magazines, visit your friends or family see what they’ve done, look online, such websites as Pinterest and Instagram are excellent for ideas as you can create boards and share them with others so you can get feedback too.
Choose a Style
There are so many styles to chose from, from a contemporary, modern, traditional, rustic, country but your kitchen should represent your households personality.
The colour and style of the doors and worktops is the next key step. Should your worktop be wood, composite, marble, laminate or granite. You can decide on this before confirming on colours of the worktops and doors as each contractor/kitchen supplier may have slightly different shades but you should get an idea of what colour scheme you are wanting.
The first thing to consider before choosing the shape of your kitchen is the kitchen triangle. Your stove, fridge and sink should be easily accessible within one another to make cooking and preparation an easy task. The recommended distance for the triangle is no less than 4 feet and no larger than 9 feet, if you have a small kitchen this is something that is out of your control.
The next consideration is what shape do you want your kitchen? Will it be all against one wall, will it be an L shape, a U shape and will you have an island, no matter what your kitchen size you should utilize as much space as possible to have more adequate storage and space for appliances whilst maximising the work top area.
Following on from layout, you should think about your house space and if there is enough space in your current kitchen for your plans. A possibility could be structurally changing rooms to create a more open space. It is a common misconception for people to think this isn’t possible for their home, structural changes are easier and less costly than you think.
Isn’t generally a first thought when kitchen planning but it is something that should be thought through carefully, are there enough electric points for the appliances you need or will you need more installing? Lights and their positioning should be carefully planned too, there is nothing more annoying than trying to prepare food with a shadow constantly in your way. Solutions to this would be to consider under cupboard lighting and LED lights in the ceiling. Well planned lighting can enhance the kitchen.
Are you planning to move or remove radiators, water appliances or the sink? Have you considered installing alternative heating systems? If you have a tiled or wooden floor it can get quite cold so an underfloor heating system would be beneficial, and there are different systems to think about water systems or electric.
Are the items that bring the kitchen together and give it it’s character and functionality.
– Paint: what colour scheme compliments the units and worktops you have chosen?
– Tiles: Are you wanting some parts of your walls tiling. Tiling above the worktops could be beneficial as any splashes are easier to wipe off and won’t cause any staining.
– Splashbacks: If you don’t want to use tiles, it’s recommended you do protect your wall behind where your stove is as fat splashes will stain and don’t look appealing. Splashbacks can come in various different colours and can even be clear transparent, so can become a feature in your kitchen.
– Sink: There are three main types of sinks, undermount, drop in sink and integral.
The drop in sink is usually stainless steel and goes over the work tops, it can be harder to clean as dirt can get trapped in the seals, but is more cost effective than other types.
The undermount sink is a more stylish approach where the work top counter overlays the sink, it is easier to clean as there less places for dirt to gather!
The integral sink has the same finish as the work top so it looks smarter, but is more expensive and if you get a chip in your sink it could lead to a full worktop replacement, and you are limited to the type of work top finish you can have.
You need to choose a sink that matches your lifestyle and cooking methods, if you cook quite a lot and have many things on the go a double or triple sink may be better for you, if you rarely use the sink because you have a dishwasher, a single one may be better to utilise the worktop space.
– Taps: The 2 main things you need to think of whilst choosing a tap is the design. If you have one tap hole you can choose from a single lever tap where there is one spout and lever for both hot and cold water or a monobloc tap, similar to the single lever however it has two handles rather than one.
If you have two tap holes, again, you have two options. Pillar taps which are two separate basic taps or a decker mixer tap which uses both the tap holes but connect into one spout.
Next you need to choose your handle style and if you have a spout what style and height these need to be to, make sure the spout allows enough room to fit pots and pans under.
-Appliances: Have you left enough room for all your appliances you’re wanting? Ovens, extractor fans, fridge/freezers, dishwashers and microwaves. Do you want these to be free standing or integrated into the counters?
Who is doing it?
Kitchen planning is a stressful task, however choosing who you want to carry out the works is another stress that you don’t necessarily need. This is where you should decide if this is something you want to tackle…or alternatively if you want to hire a contractor who can help you design the kitchen to make sure you’re getting everything you want, supply the kitchen, organise other trades people like the electricians, plumbers and plasterers if needed. So you can essentially sit back and watch the progress happen! If you are in the West Yorkshire region this is an area that Bray Building Services specialises in, you can fill out our contact form at the top of the page to get the kitchen planning process started. Check out our portfolio here.