A food preparation area.
A cooking area.
Washing up area.
The heart of a party – All parties seem to end up in the kitchen.
Food and drink store.
The one room where a family all gets together to chat and eat.
Those are just a few of the functions a kitchen may need to fulfil and you will need to plan your kitchen to fulfil your family’s needs.
It is essential that you plan a new kitchen carefully so that you get a kitchen that is right for you.
Here are the 5 fatal mistakes that people make when planning and fitting a new kitchen:-
1. Not having adequate storage – Glass doors look great but you have to be very neat and tidy and have lots of lovely crockery and glassware to show off, you can’t exactly show off baked beans cans! Think carefully about how much stuff you’ve got and make sure you have adequate storage and storage solutions. Pull out larders are a great way to store food and to have easy access to it. Deep drawers are a good solution for large pans and baking tins. Try to get a balance between aesthetics and practicality.
2. Not adding everything – Are you toying with the idea of having a dishwasher? Plan it into your new kitchen, it will be harder to fit it in later. Think about electrics. You may not have many electrical items now but you may want to put a TV, sound system, microwave or new gadgets in your kitchen at a later date so put plenty of sockets in now. Anther consideration to think about is ease of use. Does one member of the family have mobility problems or are you beginning to get old and arthritic? You may want to have a wall oven fitted rather than an oven that you have to bend down to use. Future proof your kitchen as much as possible.
3. Following fashion – Think about those awful 1970s kitchens and bathrooms you see in some houses. If you want to really future proof your kitchen and have it looking good for a long time, you will want to choose a classic kitchen rather than picking a kitchen that is fashionable now but is so trendy and different that it may look out of place in 5 years’ time. A good choice is a handmade wooden kitchen which is classic and is built to last. Wood always looks great and is practical and long lasting. A kitchen is a big investment, you want to get it right.
4. Not thinking about colour and lighting – Some dark colour kitchen cabinets and work tops can make a small kitchen look even smaller, darker and even oppressive. Make the most of any natural light, choose lighter coloured units and think about lighting. Under cupboard lighting can help with food preparation in darker kitchens. Plan it in now and get the electrics put in.
5. Not getting advice – Don’t just put your kitchen in the hands of a builder. Consult a kitchen company who will be able to give you advice on the best layout for your needs. There are many different layouts – galley, one wall, L-shaped, U-shaped, islands etc. Using a professional will ensure that you get a kitchen that is aesthetically pleasing and functional.
6. Not budging – You’ve got an idea that you want a central island or a breakfast bar but the designer says it won’t fit. If you are inflexible and won’t budge, you may end up with a kitchen that just doesn’t work. An island needs to have plenty of space around it so that you can get past. If you stick to your guns, you will find that you are forever bruising your hips when you bump into things or you’ll find that your oven or dishwasher won’t open. Be flexible and listen to the experts.
Take your time planning your kitchen and seek the advice of a professional company or designer to help you. The result will be a great looking, practical kitchen which you will be happy with for many, many years.
Dominic is a writer and publisher who specialises in home interiors and designer kitchens. Dominic represents Benchmark Interiors (http://www.benchmarkinteriors.co.uk), one of the leading designers of bespoke kitchens in the UK. In addition to full designer kitchens, Benchmark offer a range of free standing kitchen furniture using only renewable forest European Solid Woods.