Kitchen Style Considerations
The style of your kitchen is something very personal to you. To ensure your style aspirations are realised, it’s vital that your kitchen designer aligns with your thinking to achieve the perfect outcome.
Whether it’s a traditional or contemporary style you’re looking for, it’s good to collate and share ideas with your designer. You can take inspiration from lots of places – something you see on your travels, online, in brochures or even at family and friend’s houses.
Even specific colours or paint samples you’ve seen and would like to incorporate are useful, there are possibilities that include colour matching to ensure the perfect recreation of your chosen colour palettes.
Also, make a list of things you don’t like. Even the best kitchen designer doesn’t know you hate blue unless you let them know!
For more on kitchen style trends for 2021 check out our kitchen trends article.
HOW YOUR KITCHEN WILL BE USED
The area that requires a high level of thought is how you intend to use your kitchen. If you’re not a keen cook for example, investing in high end cooking appliances may not be worthwhile.
Will you entertain in your kitchen? Chill out in your kitchen? If so, then appropriate space should be allocated to ensure you can achieve your desires.
The size of your family and the available space in your kitchen may mean that some compromises need to be made. You may want a breakfast bar and a dining table in your kitchen space but it may not be practical.
One way to help organise what is important is to make a list of priorities so that your designer can gain an understanding of what is most important to you. Then, if compromises do need to be made, the less important factors are omitted, where necessary.
If consideration needs to be given to pets, then this should be mentioned too so that your kitchen is the perfect home for everyone!
To help you collate your ideas why not start looking through our Design Questionnaire.
Before you get too far into your requirements, it’s worth considering what available budget you have to invest. There are so many factors to consider that will each require a certain level of investment and you may need to make some concessions in some areas to stay within your budget.
Worktop choice for example can make a substantial difference to price so it’s a good idea to prioritise each area in terms of investment. You may prefer to invest more in appliances and flooring than lighting and worktops for example.
It’s easy to get carried away with a specific appliance you love such as a venting hob but check what impact specific appliances have on your budget and be realistic about the priority of such appliances.
Making a list you can assign investment values to, allows you to focus your time on suitable products that match your budget and speed up the planning stage.
Some of the more obvious areas that will require investment include:
- Kitchen furniture.
- Appliances – Dishwashers, ovens, hobs, extractors, microwaves, wine coolers, laundry etc…
- Sinks & taps.
- Internal storage solutions.
- Building work.
- Installation work.
- Electrical work.
- Redecoration work.
Your choice of worktop will have a big impact on the overall scheme; as it is on a horizontal plane it will be very prominent and it is the real workhorse of the kitchen, so it is important to give it due consideration.
Consider what you have to spend and the longevity you need from your worktops. For instance, are you planning on moving in a couple of years and just want to have things looking a bit tidier, or, is this a forever kitchen that you want to look as good in 20 years as it does today?
From solid timber or laminate to quartz or granite there are many options which range dramatically in price. It’s often hard to understand the pros & cons of each kitchen surface so if you need some help, we created a comprehensive guide, just for you!
There’s so much choice available in terms of appliances. For the gadget lovers, appliances can connect to your wifi, be controlled by an app or even Alexa.
More contemporary kitchen styles typically include an induction hob. The decision between gas and induction is mostly down to personal preference. Largely made up by your cooking style, needs and of course aesthetics.
Gas hobs are quicker to heat up initially and are generally less expensive but are less safe and not as environmentally friendly.
Induction hobs, while more expensive, are cleaner, more efficient, have more features, are safer and more environmentally friendly.
A popular choice in kitchens at the moment is the Quooker Boiling water tap. This tap provides instant boiling water and gets you a little closer to that coveted empty worktop by removing the kettle.
Equipped with a CUBE, the Quooker tap provides filtered chilled and sparkling water alongside 100-degree boiling, cold and hot water. All from one tap. More about the Quooker Boiling Water Tap.
There are many options for ensuring your kitchen is correctly ventilated. A great extraction solution not only helps whisk away unwanted odours, they can help remove moisture and grease, as well as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and other pollutants that cooking can release into the air.
The extraction solution can also play a part in your kitchen design by becoming a feature. Many hoods include lighting solutions and can create a great mood solution as well as helping brighten your cooking tasks.
If you’d rather hide away your extractor, this is also possible. Those with large open plan kitchens often consider venting hobs where the odours are pulled downwards rather than upwards which helps create a sense of free-flowing space and light.
Venting hobs are also a great option for those with more compact kitchens that are looking to maximise storage space. The sleek and minimal design creates a feeling of more space and they are much quieter than regular extractors.
In terms of efficiency, steam and odours are drawn out at cooking level which means your kitchen has fewer smells and less condensation.
The floors of a property take the brunt of our everyday activities and are usually the first surfaces to reflect wear and tear.
A kitchen floor can also make or break a kitchen design so it is important to invest in a floor that functions with the pace of your everyday life and simultaneously compliments your kitchen design.
From ceramic and wood to Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) the choice can be overwhelming. A popular choice is LVT. The surface of LVT will not dent or scratch as easily as some other choices, it’s 100% waterproof. Some manufacturers of LVT are so confident in the strength of the flooring that they offer up to a 25 year guarantee on the domestic ranges.
The price can vary dramatically so it’s worthwhile browsing your options. Popular suppliers of LVT include Amtico and Karndean.
Careful consideration towards kitchen lighting is essential to ensure maximum visibility in working areas. Well placed ceiling spotlights help to illuminate worktops for food preparation, whereas under unit or cabinet lighting styles assist darker spots within the kitchen.
Depending on your kitchen style, you may wish to consider mood lighting in addition to functional task lighting, especially if you are using your kitchen space for entertaining, dining or relaxing.
Ambient lighting is ideal for a kitchen which doubles up as a dining room – combining it with dimmer switches to control mood, whether you are having a family meal, friends over for dinner or sitting down to a romantic meal, can be a neat solution.
Pendant lighting is a great style choice and can feature as a focal point, working well above kitchen islands.
Consumer choices have greatly expanded in recent years due the the development of LED lighting, which has helped homeowners improve the amount of energy saved whilst also evolving design, aesthetics and function.
KITCHEN ACCESSIBILITY AND ORGANISATION
Don’t overlook the power of internal storage and organisation options to make the best use of your storage space, making those nooks and niches more accessible.
Consider any disabilities you have and if you need to make the kitchen super accessible for elderly people. Rotating or floating corner storage can bring the contents of your cupboard to you, not only keeping your kitchen organised, but reducing stretching or reaching in certain areas.
Even the smallest area can be utilised with things such as a pull-out can holder or spice rack. If you are a keen cook with a large spice and herb collection then let your designer know!
You’ll also be surprised how a strategically placed shelf can improve your kitchen efficiency or add a style solution for plants, artwork or items that need frequent access.
An often overlooked area is bins and recycling. You can remove unsightly kitchen bins from the view of your guests and create extra space in your kitchen by hiding them away in your kitchen storage.
KITCHEN QUESTIONS & CONCERNS
It is common to have lots of questions or concerns about a new kitchen. Don’t keep them to yourself, explain them to your kitchen designer, they will be able to answer your questions and ensure your kitchen project is a positive, exciting journey, rather than a stressful one.
Some clients are worried about choosing the right time to invest in a new kitchen and if they should take the step or make a few repairs.
From cluttered cabinets causing stress and frustration to a poor layout leaving your kitchen unsociable and underused, there are many reasons why you should consider a new kitchen but how do you really know when it’s time? We’ve put together an article which covers this in more detail: 7 signs you’re ready for a new kitchen.
While design and functionality may be the first considerations, there’s a growing demand by homeowners for spaces that are environmentally friendly: How to create an environmentally friendly kitchen.