The build up to fitting a new kitchen can be a tumultuous time. While on the one hand it’s a hugely exciting period where you get to think about how wonderful your new kitchen will be, all the fun and memories you’ll share in this new space — cooking meals with a partner using the shiny new appliances, informal chats over glasses of wine with friends, and helping the kids with their homework. It can also feel you however, with feelings of uncertainty. You’re investing all this money into the space how can you be certain that the end result will be right for you?
This kind of worry is experienced by many homeowners embarking on all sorts of home improvements, and perhaps it’s only natural to feel a little nervous about these kind of things, especially if it’s one of your first home improvements. But by thinking things out carefully before hand you can take many of these fears away. Here a few things we think you should mull over when redecorating a kitchen.
First, think about the shape of the room
This is the very first thing you should start to consider before any work begins. Whether you’re extending the room, knocking through or simply redecorating it, the dimensions of the room hugely dictate what will and will not work in your kitchen. Galley and single-wall kitchen layouts tend to lend themselves best to long thin rooms, whereas island and L-shaped layouts are more suited to square rooms.
While you may have a personal preference on kitchen layout, its best to be realistic and go for the layout that will make best use of the available space. Unless, of course you are altering the room e.g. with an extension.
Another thing that is easy to forget when initially planning out the room are things like windows and vents, it’s important to plan the room so that none of these elements will be obscured by any tall appliances, such as a fridge or Welsh dresser.
Then, ponder its uses
If you ask someone what they do in the kitchen. Their response will most likely be “cook…obviously” but that’s often not entirely true. While the historical purpose of the kitchen has been the part of the home used to prepare food, for many households these days it is also one of the principal places we eat, socialise and entertain ourselves.
Ask yourself then what other activities you’d like to use the space for so you can best optimise it for your household. For example would you like to create a quiet reading nook by a window? Or a spot where you can keep an eye on the kids while they watch TV as you cook?
One of the most popular kitchen features these days is the breakfast bar, which in addition to being an informal dining area, also doubles up for a range of other uses such as being a place where the kids can do homework, you can catch up over coffee with a friend or they make greats spots where you can slave over a hot laptop carrying out general life administration, like paying bills and applying for new jobs.
Finally, take time with the finer details
Once, you’ve thought about the best way to lay the room out and what activities it will be used for you can consider it’s actual make-up. That is the thing the materials used for the fixtures and fitting of the room, deciding on what the overall style and atmosphere of your new kitchen will be. Modern? Traditional? Or maybe somewhere in between?
Aside from the aesthetic and economic considerations of the different materials commonly used for worktops, flooring and kitchen backsplashes there are practical things to think about too, such as how robust a material is or how easy it is to clean, find out more about that in our guide to kitchen worktops here.