Before you begin to plan your kitchen, you will first need to think carefully about how you will use this room. You will also need to consider whether you want to update your current kitchen or completely start from scratch.
To help with this process, you will need to carefully assess your current kitchen and ask yourself which aspects of it you do and do not like and whether or not the layout works well for you. Only make changes if there are real benefits that will improve the functionality of your kitchen.
Another thing to consider is the potential value a kitchen can add to your home, especially if you are considering moving. Although it is likely to add some value, it may not be as much as the cost of having the new kitchen fitted. Also, many buyers look for a home that they can put their own stamp on and the kitchen you choose may not be to their personal tastes. If you are putting your property on the market, it can sometimes be better to simply make some simple updates to improve the appearance at a fraction of the cost of a complete refit.
Ideas for Kitchen Planning
If you decide that a completely new kitchen is the best option for you, then you should ask yourself the following questions:
- How much worktop space do you need and where is it best positioned? Close to the hob and oven is one convenient position to include worktop space.
- Will you need a lot of storage and, if so, what for? Assess your current storage needs and see what changes you can make to improve the storage available.
- Where are the best areas of the kitchen for you to keep dinnerware and utensils?
- What appliances will you need to accommodate within the space available and what are the best positions for them? Think about factors such as space, electrical and plumbing points, how you will use them and whether there is room to open doors.
- Will you need an area of the kitchen for a table, breakfast bar or eating area? For example, do you have children or do you host dinner parties?
- Do you keep a lot of gadgets in your kitchen? If so, where are they best stored?
Taking into account your day-to-day use, the way you use your kitchen and how you plan to use your kitchen differently in the future will help to successfully plan a kitchen that is practical and meets your needs.
Considering the various constraints of your kitchen is also an important step in the planning process. Typical constraints include the position of sockets, doors and windows. The size and shape of your kitchen may also restrict your options.
Not everyone has unlimited financial resources and this will restrict your options. A top of the range kitchen with all the latest gadgets and high-end finishes is something that many people can only dream about. However, this does not mean that there are not ways to improve your current kitchen and transform it into a space that you are proud of and where you enjoy spending time. A few simple updates can sometimes be enough to achieve this.
- Create a feature wall- If you want to make a statement and add some character to the kitchen then adding a feature wall is ideal. Either choose patterned wallpaper or a bold colour of paint to create a stunning focal point in the room.
- Painting- Both the walls and the kitchen doors can be refreshed with a simple lick of paint. This is much less expensive and easier to do than having a whole new kitchen fitted. If you opt to undertake this job yourself, it is important to prepare the surfaces and use a primer before painting. You should also choose a paint that can be easily wiped clean. Alternatively, look for a local tradesperson to complete the painting for you.
- Tiles- There are several measures you can take to make any tiled areas look better. The first is to completely replace old tiles with new. The second is to use tile paint to transform old tiles and make them look as good as new. Even simply removing the old grout and replacing with new can make your kitchen look better.
- Flooring- It is surprising the lift that replacing your flooring will give to a tired looking kitchen. The price of flooring varies significantly, so there are choices available that will suit every budget. Vinyl is one of the cheapest options, with stone and natural wood being some of the costlier options.
- Updating doors and worktops-By changing the worktops and cupboard doors, you will make almost as much difference to the appearance of your kitchen as you would by opting for a new kitchen. You can buy both worktops and doors from kitchen manufacturers, a builder’s merchant or a specialist company and have them fitted by a tradesman.
- Lighting- The lighting in a room can help to create a mood or atmosphere. Light fittings can also contribute to the overall look or theme of a room. Where you add your lighting can also serve a practical purpose. For example, spotlights and under the counter lights can highlight particular areas of the kitchen that you use the most often while also adding a modern touch to the kitchen. If you are repositioning the lights, you will need a qualified electrician to make the necessary changes for you.
Regardless of your budget, there are options for transforming your kitchen and making it one of the best features of your home. If you can afford it, a complete kitchen refit might be your preferred option, but there are still many ways that those with limited funds can implement changes that can make a significant difference to the look and feel of this area of your home.