Having a new kitchen is like having children, pets or getting married, just because you’ve done it once doesn’t necessarily prepare you for the next time! Things are changing all the time and so are you! Now more than ever, the changes seem to be at such a fast rate. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the choices, decisions & planning take a deep breath, grab a coffee and a cupcake and take half an hour to clear your head then start to break everything down into bite size chunks.
For both the first time planners & those that have gone before I hope that you’ll find the following planning formula useful.
Make a list of concerns or needs that are really important for your new kitchen, Remember that your kitchen needs to be both practical and stylish, keep this at the forefront of your mind throughout your project. Ask yourself the questions below to help formulate your lists then sort into negotiable, non negotiable and wish lists. This breakdown will be invaluable when making choices that affect your budget.
Keep referring back to your lists & answered questions whenever you get that feeling of bewilderment and they will help you make informed and confident choices.
Just one more thing – When works eventually start, you need to prepare for time without a kitchen. Plan in advance fun mealtimes that can be done with nothing more than a microwave & kettle. Use this as an opportunity for eating out more than usual, if your budget doesn’t allow for restaurants & take away’s then make arrangements with your family & friends. You probably don’t see them all as much as you’d like. So be cheeky and arrange to visit them at meal times! Calling on them for dinner will surely be paid back once you’ve got your new kitchen to show off.
Kitchen Planning Questions
What works really well for you in you existing kitchen and what drives you mad?
How do you use your kitchen? What do you do now that you want to continue or do more of?
Do you envisage different uses with your new kitchen? What would help to achieve this?
Is your kitchen the hub of family life? Would a command centre help with organising the family with paperwork filings system easy to see to do lists & a quick view calendar?
What do you have in your kitchen now that you never or very rarely use? Take this opportunity to de clutter.
What do you have in your kitchen now that you use all the time? Could this be improved or does it work just right as it is? Any keepers need to go on your non negotiable list.
How have things changed since you planned /adopted your current kitchen? What may change for you in the next 10 – 15 years?
Consider where in your kitchen you spend most time and your preferred view? Do you spend most of your time at the sink or over the hob or prepping food? Would you prefer to be looking out of the window here or talking to family & friends or maybe watching TV?
Kitchen Units & Design Style
What do you want to stand out as a key feature? (Walls/Units/Worktops)
Do you prefer contemporary, traditional or urban?
Are you looking for timeless or fashionable? How long (if ever) do you think it will be before you change your kitchen again?
Is easy cleaning important? Gloss will show up finger prints much more than matt
Do you need a colour that will be forgiving of hand prints, pet splashes or cooking ingredients?
How much natural light is there in your kitchen?
Are you aiming for a feeling of spaciousness or cosiness?
Flooring & Walls
What is traffic through your kitchen like? (Pets/kids/visitors)
Are you a messy or a tidy cook?
Do you like to change aspects of rooms often or is low maintenance more important?
Do you want your worktops to make a statement or do you prefer subtle?
Who uses your kitchen and are they messy or careless? Will your worktops need to withstand heavy use?
Is worktops space more or less important than storage?
Do you have space for a dining table in the kitchen? If not an island or peninsula will allow for a seating areas whilst doubling up for extra worktop space
Space – Do you have a big area to work with or are you confined to making the most out of a small space? Ranges and full height fridge freezers can easily be accommodated in large rooms. For smaller kitchens a built in oven and hob & under counter fridge and freezer may work better
Is technology important? automatic programmes take the guesswork out of cooking but if you’re not technology savvy they could be a nightmare for you
Time Constraints – If you have a busy life self cleaning ovens may be invaluable but and if you have more time on your hands you may feel your money would be better spent elsewhere as these come at a price.
Do you have a utility room? If so you may have the luxury of selecting a separate washer and dryer, if not maybe you need one unit that does both. If your washing machine is in the kitchen noise levels of the machine may be important.
How much do you use your sink? If you have a dishwasher do you mainly use sink for pans & trays which may benefit from a single large sink and/or will you get more use from a double or bowl & half for prepping food? The size of the sink will affect cabinet size so if the sink is important think of your requirements on this before you plan your cabinets If you prefer sinks that sit under the surface rather than on top you will need to have solid worktops such as granite or quartz.
- Designated area for a command centre
- Tiled floor
- Double sink
- Tiled Walls
- Large Fridge/Freezer
- Access to garden
- Easy clean surfaces
- Island/Peninsula with seating
- Integrated recycling compartment bins
- Separate washer & dryer
- oven & hob out of reach from young children
- Walk in pantry
- Self cleaning oven
- Granite or Quartz worktops
- Work surfaces – Need to be forgiving of spillages and heavy use
- Lots of traffic – Kids and pets in and out all the time need area to be child friendly and as safe as possible
- Budget – Have to keep within budget but want to get the best as possible for money as needs to last as long as possible
- Worktops choose between granite and quartz
- Integrated fridge / freezer
- Free standing range
- Tiled floor
- Solid worktops
- Large sink (big enough for oven trays)
- Island with seating
- Full height pantry
- Kettle tap
- Integrated wine/ drinks fridge
- Integrated coffee machine
- Don’t want a cluttered look so need enough cupboard storage
- Often entertain and will need the kitchen to work well as a social area
- Need to consider any additions to the family in the future and will the kitchen adapt to possible changes