1. Discover Your Style
The key to a successful kitchen design that you will be happy with for many years to come is to ensure you have pin pointed your unique style. An elegant and classic all white or even a dramatic black /white kitchen are both timeless go-to options however, if you are looking to get creative with your use of colour and materials, invest some time in researching different styles and materials. Start simple: flick through kitchen design magazines and mark elements and styles you love. Browse Pinterest for unique kitchen designs from around the world; Our Pinterest boards are chock-full of ideas to get your started!
2. Staying on Budget
One of the first things to consider when commencing any sort of new construction or renovation is your budget. Rather than simply seeing how much your quotations will come to, consider just how much money you would actually feel comfortable with spending on your new kitchen. With this figure in mind, you can then strategise with your Designer or Architect in planning various design options, and in selecting both hardware and finishes that are available within your price range.
3. Selecting your Appliances
Allow yourself time to make informed decisions when it comes to kitchen appliances as these are big ticket items in your new kitchen and you wouldn’t want to go through the hassle of replacing anytime soon.Visit kitchen showrooms to get an idea of what new technologies are available and try to also visit cooking demonstrations to see your selected appliances in action. Spend some time looking at customer reviews and of course, ask a lot of questions. Ask your friends and family what brands they are using and if they would recommend the same; speak with showroom staff to see what they recommend and what items are the most popular sellers. All of this information will ensure you make the right decisions and have appliances you will be happy with.
4. Trending Materials and Colours
Every few months, we are inundated with many different trending materials or colours. Avoid using these options for items that will be difficult to replace once the trends change (for example, joinery and benchtops). Instead use your favourite trending colours on easily changeable items such as kitchen accessories and decor, wall paint and soft furnishings: all items that can easily and economically changed around to keep up with the latest fashion.
5. Use Samples
Material samples are used during the design stage to ensure each selection will create the perfect colour palette in your new kitchen. It’s also a good idea to use material samples to test out the durability of your selected finishes; for example, use stone samples to test different foods and liquids for staining. Using laminate for your new cabinets? Laminate samples can be easily ordered online directly from the manufacturer; test out cleaning products, soap suds, etc. to see how easy your new cabinets will clean.
6. Don’t Skip Selecting Handles
The handles in your new kitchen must be both comfortable and practical for the whole family to use. Unfortunately they are one of the most overlooked decisions when it comes to kitchen design. Take the time to select a suitable handle you will feel comfortable using on a daily basis; visit kitchen and handle showrooms to have a physical test of your selected handles prior to making your final decision.
7. Plan your Storage
During the design stage consider which items you would like to store away in your new kitchen. Will you need a broom closet? An extra large sized bin? Will your pots and pans fit in your new drawers? Will you have enough room to both store and use your favourite small appliances? Take the time to plan your storage during the design stage to avoid disappointment.
8. Plan your lighting
Most good lighting retailers offer a lighting design service that will ensure your new kitchen design achieves a healthy, safe and of course, stylish level of lighting. Ensure you have a healthy combination of natural and artificial lighting in your kitchen and that any working zones in your space will not be in a shadow. Consider a combination of options such as pendant lights for a glamorous feature, LED downlights for general lighting, targeted spot lights at your working zones and even LED strips mounted beneath wall hung cabinets or your benchtop overhang for ambient lighting in the evenings.
9. Check your Heights
Once you have your new kitchen layout all figured out, grab your tape measure and start checking those heights. Check that your new benchtops will be at a comfortable working height – a standard kitchen worktop is at 900mm off the floor however, we are seeing a trend towards a 910 – 920mm benchtop for added comfort. Ensure the height of your built in oven and microwave are suitable, as well as any overhead cupboards, open shelves, lift-up cabinet doors are able to be pulled down with ease, etc. The height of these items will play a crucial part in the overall comfort and usability of your new kitchen.
10. Understanding and Communicating your Design
When your new kitchen design is complete, make sure to check all drawings and documentation provided to you by your Designer or Architect. Check your ideas have been communicated as you expected and that both you and your Designer/Architect/Cabinet Maker are all on the same page. Any non-standard or special design elements should be clearly and effectively documented so that all parties understand and are in agreement. This will ensure you avoid any costly errors or changes during the construction process and make the creation of your new kitchen as stress-free as possible.
Author Bio- Dimitra Dimitriou (Interior designer for Perini Kitchens & Bathrooms)
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