The kitchen is often considered the centrepiece of the home and with good reason. The kitchen is the heartbeat of the house, where the food is prepared, where we spend a good deal of our time and it’s also the one room in the house that can truly mark your home apart from your friends’ places. In short, a great kitchen can separate an average house from a great one.
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The kitchen is the most expensive room in the house by far, yet it is also the one that is most commonly remodelled as owners address past mistakes. So if you can get it right first time, you’ll save money in the long run and be able to simply update your kitchen in the future to keep it looking fresh without a large investment.
Of course, you want the kitchen to be beautiful, but it has to be functional as well. Along with the bathroom, the kitchen has to be practical, easy to clean and easy to live with; it also needs to be able to hold all your appliances and provide as much storage as possible without cluttering the design. That’s because a good kitchen should also be a welcoming space.
Whether you like it light and airy or enclosed and cosy, big windows and openings can make a world of difference to a finished kitchen design. Incorporating those spaces into a fully working kitchen is a complicated task, though.
The kitchen is a minefield of totally conflicting requirements and a good designer and kitchen fitter are essential to make the most of however much space you have. Don’t think you need to have a massive space to enjoy the benefits of a luxury kitchen, you just need to make the most of what you have in terms of square footage.
If you’re not sure what you want, look to the web for inspiration. Pinterest has a huge number of design concepts and they’ll help you get a feel for what you like, and what you don’t. You might even want to create your own scrapbook of concepts that will help you focus on the kind of kitchen you want.
Then start to think about the practicalities; consider the following, for instance:
- Which appliances do you want? Are you interested in a giant Aga or a simple, low-maintenance, integrated cooker?
- Do you want an island cooker?
- Do you need countertops and seating?
- Do you really need space for a table?
- How much storage space do you need?
- Do you cook as a family or alone? How much prep space do you need?
Keep a list of all your requirements and add to it as you go. There will be random thoughts that make your kitchen requirements unique. If you get it right first time, your kitchen will serve you well for many years. Get it wrong and you’ll be cursing your lack of foresight and planning.
Once you have got all your requirements in place, think about how they relate to the work triangle, which is the essential working relationship between the refrigerator, cooker and sink. In a small kitchen, this is relatively simple, but in a larger space, you might even consider separate triangles for prep, clean-up and cooking.
Some of the most elegant kitchens are small, in actual fact, and achieve greatness by exploiting the smaller space with excellent effect. The critical thing, though, is that the kitchen fits your lifestyle. A great kitchen for one person might be a nightmare for a family of four and a busy person on the go might prefer a modern, wipe-clean kitchen to a labour intensive country kitchen. You have to design a kitchen that fits in with your house, your personality and your needs. That’s why a bespoke option is often the best.
Once you’ve designed the kitchen, you need to find a great kitchen fitter to make sure all the elements go together perfectly. Most fitters can manage a good kitchen, but for a great one, the edges have to be perfect, the joins have to be just so and everything must be complementary.
Get all these elements right and you might just end up with a fantastic kitchen.