Designing a New Kitchen - where to start(15 Posts)
We have to start thinking about having a new kitchen. We plan to have 3 or so companies around and in an ideal world, money permitting we'd have John Lewis to do the kitchen primarily because I trust them to do a good job.
We have a good sized kitchen 20' x 10' but it has 3 doors and 2 windows making siting cupboards quite difficult. The designers will ask what we want and perhaps suggest too many extras I guess. I'm trying to work out how we use the kitchen to work out what we need in it.
My question is really, what questions do I need to ask myself to work out what we need in the kitchen.
Sorry if this is a bit vague.
We had a very awkward shape of kitchen & I spent a long time trying to design it. It is fairly easy to just make a list of appliances & try to fit them in. But I found my breakthrough came in thinking about how people will use the space. So you've got your triangle of hob - fridge - sink that the chef needs. Those should all be reasonably close with no tables etc in the way. Then you've probably got an eating space? And maybe a 'corridor' between the doors which should be kept as clear as possible. If you fit the appliances round the people, you will end up with a room that really works.
Finally, don't expect John Lewis (or anyone else) to necessarily have have best solution. We got lots of quotes but few cared about design, they just wanted to fit in expensive things to sell you.
Find out where things like the water & gas pipes are if you can. We recently fitted a kitchen for my DM and the stopcock to the water was a right pain!
Think also about lighting and power points. Depending on what you already have then you may need to think about getting the kitchen rewired. This will be especially true if you are moving things around. Obviously you dont want to do this after the kitchen has been fitted!
It used to be traditional to put the kitchen sink under the window because that allowed the housewife to look out of the window while she washed up. It was also convenient for water supply & drainage. These days with dishwashers this sort of 'rule' is less important.
Symmetry is important wher space is limited eg having same size kitchen units facing each other will make a kitchen look wider. Having the same size cupboards on either side of say the oven/hob/hood is also visually pleasing.
Why not try designing the kitchen yourself? It really isnt that difficult as standard kitchen units come in standard sizes.
Thanks for that. I do expect the designers to try to fit in as many extras as possible which is part of the reason I want an idea of what I want to start with.
You might also want to think about rubbish bins/recycling and what you want for that - we have to separate out loads of things so have opted for a drawer thing with four different bins, but it took a bit of working out.
Also what you want to do about corner cupboards - lazy susan etc as these can be expensive.
And whether you want a pull-out larder...
Make sure you have drawers in it. When we bought our last house we didn't notice until we moved in that the kitchen had NO drawers in it ! We made sure when we viewed houses for our last move that they had drawers in the kitchen.
Another thing to check is were will you be putting your dinner plates. If you want to put them in a wall cupboard check it is deep enough for a dinner plate. The house we are in just now had a brand new kitchen put in by the former owner. But we can't use the wall cupboards for plates as they aren't deep enough. We have to put them in a base upboard.
If we ever move again we'll be taking a plate with us to check !
These are a few links I've found useful
1. blum dynamic space planner - ignore all the stuff about special pull-out units for the toaster, but it helps you get the main items in an ergonomic layout for different sizes of kitchen.
2. Majjie's blog
- she has lots of candid comments about both design and products.
3. the Ikea online kitchen planner, even if you don't use their units you can rough out a layout and play about with options to fit your room.
My personal bugbear is having a sensible workspace next to the hob, ideally between the hob and sink, for preparing food on. And don't get fobbed off with corner or base units you can't actually get access into.
My room is about the same size and IMO plenty big enough for all the units, plus table and chairs.
Thanks for the comments so far. There really is a lot to think about and we have to get it right because it's not cheap!
The blum site is really thought provoking.
I'm not sure on corner units and but agree on having drawers rather than cupboards.
When I moved into this flat, the only drawer was a cutlery drawer. I had a bit of withdrawal trauma at not having a shite drawer any more, but it was quite liberating after a while!
I redesigned the kitchen in my old house, as it was really impractical. I made sure I had plenty of worktop space, extra cupboards and the sink/cooker/fridge freezer in a nice easy to reach triangle.
In the same position here. Have been sketching on bits of paper. The ikea planner was good too. Its a nightmare!
I've started visting kitchen showrooms and getting brochures. I'm marking off things we like - not necessarily units, but types of cupboards, layouts, where the oven is etc, types of drawers, styles of sinks, cooker hoods etc....
And things I don't like.!
There's so much out there this should help us plan and narrow down. Also talked to the sales people in a few places who had great advice...and no pressure to buy.
Lots of places offer free design services so get a few to come out and see what they come up with. May not be 100% what you want but they may give you new ideas and help.
Second Nature have a really cool tool that lets you design a kitchen online which is pretty helpful to see how colours would go together and stuff... sncollection.co.uk
I have just been and paid the deposit for my new kitchen today!
We started with a list of "must haves" and "try to avoids" compiled by
the whole family me. Then we looked around a few showrooms and asked those we liked for designs; this ruled a couple out, one did a design with no regard to our specs, another did a design totally unsuited to the house - it was too minimalist and would have looked like a lab, not a kitchen in a 1911 house.
We then took the bits we liked of the remaining plans and asked the companies if they would like to amend their plans in view of the bits we particularly liked from their competitors. We also made a list of each cupboard or drawer in our current kitchen and checked where that stuff would go in the new one.
Finally we have done it! I now have the design I love with all the bits I want in.
Start first of all with your budget.
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