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Tips for Planning a New Kitchen: My Top 5

I remember the first time I had a brand spanking shiny new kitchen (gloss finish was all the rage at the time), I felt really grown up…..I was also knocking 50!

I also remember the hours and hours I took looking at what was available, then re-adjusting what I was looking at to fit my budget, then re-adjusting again when I realised I wanted more than my budget would allow for - honestly, planning my kitchen layout was a minefield.

It’s not surprising that when I step in to help clients who are having a refurb with a new kitchen or extension with a new kitchen, I almost always can suggest a tweak (or 7) depending on how long it’s been planned and by whom.

Here are some of my ‘Top Tips’ for planning your new kitchen:

Consider how you live over EVERYTHING!

Is your place the party place? Are you always entertaining? Should it be an open plan kitchen? Do you like cooking/baking/ping meals/freshly ground coffee?

All of these questions will require tweaks to your plan, whether it’s in the space, the finishing or the style – if your designer is not asking you these questions, find someone else or find someone like me to check what has been planned.

Make the space give you what you want from a kitchen, not fit a kitchen into the space!

So often a kitchen planner will look at the space, work out how many units of what size will give the least filing and use them. How many wine racks have you seen in kitchens of beer drinkers?

You don’t have to have a U-shaped kitchen, a breakfast bar, a galley or any of the other traditional shapes. Three kitchen designers came to look at my new space for my latest kitchen, all of them wanted to put in a U-style kitchen, none of them suggested an island much less the ‘run’ I now have – which was always my dream.

Spend the very most that you can – that is comfortable!

A new kitchen is an investment, you should consider having it for 10-15 years. Buy cheap (or plan cheap) and you will hate it in time. You might think you want the latest colour/finish now, but ask yourself, how will you feel when it dates? Are you in your forever home? Then no worries; if you are not at that stage, how long will you be there? Is that trendy kitchen going to date your renovations and potentially end up de-valuing your property?

Think about your life in 10 years….. I don’t have a single cupboard in my kitchen apart from under the sink. I don’t want to be bending down and trying to reach to the back to find a tin of soup/pan lid/disinfectant, I’ve future proofed myself with only drawers and made the handles a feature instead.

Kitchen appliances matter!

But not to the detriment of your pocket or the lines – how many warming drawers have you seen along with those wine racks? Be a devil, a drawer under the oven will generally cost 20% of that warming drawer you have no idea how or why to use!

Hate dishes? Make a dishwasher priority even if it is slimline. Busy family? Is a full size fridge and freezer more useful than another cupboard?

Never let a builder talk you into not moving services!!!

Everyone wants an easy life! Of course we do, but a builder who tells you not to move gas lines, sink plumbing or electric points (can I squeeze a 6th point and say double whatever you think you need) will not be cooking and living in your kitchen! It’s the same as the kitchen planner with their wine racks!

Go back to how you live, think about today and 10 years time, talk to someone who has no benefit to gain from you buying a kitchen from them or making life easy for the job! Your new kitchen, whether you are a cook, a party person or a microwave supremo, will be something you have to live with for a while…..make sure you get what you need!

For tips on saving money and still getting the look, how to plan for a growing or decreasing family or you just might want to run the ideas and plans past me, please feel free to reach out.

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