How To Make The Most Of Your Own Kitchen
Looking for a dream kitchen, but feeling limited by space? Try our simple advice for working with a designer and getting the best from your small kitchen.
The kitchen is the ‘heart of the home’, and most people spend a lot of time there. It’s such a busy, functional room, that any little niggles will have a greater impact than they do in other rooms. If your sideboard is difficult to access because the dining table is in the way, then maybe it’s not such a problem because you only need to access it once or twice a week. If you’re reaching over your open dishwasher to put the cutlery away twice a day, you’ll realise quickly that this is a major design problem. In a small space, you need to be even more certain that everything works well together, and that you’re making the best use of space.
Do I need a designer?
Most of the DIY chains have online planning tools you can use, or maybe you’d rather just draw something up on squared paper. Surely that’s the best way to stretch your budget and leave more money to spend on the actual kitchen? Well, you get what you pay for, and there’s more to kitchen design than just jigsaw-puzzling as many units as possible into the space. You’ll spend a lot of time in this room over the years, and the aggravation factor will be huge if you don’t get it right. Do yourself a favour and get in touch with a reputable kitchen company and get it right from the design upwards.
You can’t fix things if you don’t know what’s wrong.
You’re probably here because your kitchen is too small, the layout annoys you, and you’d like someone to wave a magic wand and fix everything.
You wouldn’t go under anaesthetic without being certain that the surgeon knew what was wrong with your back and how to fix it.
It’s the same with kitchens.
Neither you nor the designer can hope to create the perfect kitchen if you’re not clear on all the faults of your existing set-up. So, while you’re filling a Pinterest board with pretty pictures, and deciding on the exciting bits of your new kitchen, make an audit of what you already have. One way to do this is to leave a notebook on the counter and jot down everything that annoys you over the next couple of weeks.
Get personal recommendations.
You probably know plenty of people who’ve had a new kitchen over the last five years, don’t you? Ask for their experiences, whether positive or negative. It’s just as useful to know about the company who left your neighbours without running water in the kitchen for a week as it is to know about the company who surpassed all expectations in producing a kitchen that was perfect for your friend’s lifestyle.
If you can’t find personal recommendations, then make it a point to check out customer testimonials from any business you’re investigating.
Give the designer the information they need.
A good designer will come into your space and immediately see many of the things that aren’t working as well as they could be.
He’ll see the space that you have, not the space you don’t have.
That comes with experience. What he can’t see, though, unless you tell him, is how you use your kitchen on a daily basis. Maybe you need innovative storage solutions to help you keep your work surfaces clutter-free? Perhaps you’re happy to sacrifice cupboard space to fit in a big range cooker because you do a lot of entertaining?
Whatever it is, you need to communicate with your designer, so that he can find solutions to suit both you and the space. Show him that list of pain points in your existing kitchen and listen to his/hers suggestions.
Keep the designer working until he gets it right.
Don’t be afraid to question the details.
If you think open shelves would look better than the cabinets he’s suggested, then ask him to explain the decision. A good kitchen designer won’t be offended or put out – he’ll be as keen as you are to get things exactly right for you. If you absolutely hate the idea of having a bin inside a cupboard, then make that clear and ask for it to be changed. Years of kitchen design experience should guarantee that there is sound reasoning behind every decision, but if you’re going to spend the next twenty years regretting the sacrifice of that under-sink cupboard to a bin, then you need to speak up.
• Audit your existing set-up.
• Get recommendations and seek out customer testimonials.
• Book a consultation with your chosen kitchen design and installation company.
• Communicate with your designer.
• Only proceed when you’re happy with the design – don’t be afraid to ask for changes.
Watford Bathrooms and Kitchens offers a complete service from design to installation and beyond. Get in touch now and see how we can help your dream kitchen become your new kitchen