Kitchen advice please(16 Posts)
Finally think we might be ready to invest in a new kitchen this year.
The last time I had a new kitchen was in 1994! I was young and broke and went for bog standard replacement of what was already there. My knowledge of design and awareness of what's available now are therefore both very basic, so this is daunting me somewhat!
Please, tell me about your kitchens - what you love, what you can live without, amount of cupboards, drawers, sizes, workflows, etc. I've read the thread about workshops so realise that is a lot down to personal taste and as yet, am not in a position to choose supplier. But there must be so many features available now that weren't 20 years ago that I don't know about!
What should I definitely have in my new kitchen???
I should add that the room is 26 foot x 10 foot so long and thin and we use one part as breakfast room (ideally I'd like to swap to the other end)
Apologies if this had been done to death on here before. If so, please can anyone direct me to the threads?
A plate warming drawer???!!! Oh my, I didn't know such a thing existed I told you I knew nothing!
Please tell me more, I want to write a list.....
I used this as a fantastic guide
Yep, a warming drawer. Really don't use it loads but when I do it's amazing.
I love my roll down shutter cupboard with plugs in the back. I can pull out my mixer and processor to use and then hide away.
Induction hob, microwave combi and single oven. The micro combi does oven, grill, microwave and combinations thereof. It's on the wall above the oven and warming drawer so saving space on the worktop. The induction hob is great.
Big pull out drawers for plates and pans, next to dishwasher for easy unstacking.
I like the Karndean type flooring- warm, non slip, not as likely to break stuff you drop.
Washing machine in a utility room/cupboard if at all possible (I hate the British thing of having them in the kitchen and loved our laundry room when we were in Australia).
Have a think about what you dislike about your kitchen now and make sure you incorporate them in your new kitchen. Make sure there's a place for everything including hanging teatowels etc. With the new layout imagine you're making a cup of tea, making dinner or putting the shopping away to make sure it makes sense and works. Go for quiet appliances, especially if in an open-plan area. I much prefer the deep drawers to cupboards. Look in brochures and online to get some ideas about what style you like...then shop around. One of my favourite things in my new kitchen is the plumbed in fridge freezer so I don't have to run the tap for ages to get cold water. I really enjoyed the planning bit (the doing bit not so much).
I definitely prefer drawers to cupboards - although our look is classic/traditional where you'd tend to think old-style cupboards were the thing - and don't feel we had enough of the former when we designed the kitchen in our last house three years ago. This time (and we're about to make a decision, having moved in a couple of weeks ago) I'm going for all drawers.....
Zoned work areas and a place for everything also rate highly on my must haves!
Finally, a pot-filler if I can find a decent one......why does the US seem to have better stuff than we do?
We are just coming to the end of fitting our new kitchen. I have spent 12 months thinking about it and planning it, and everything is right for my space and how I work.
My advice would be to take your time planning it. The style of doors can be relatively easily changed, but locations of appliances and worktop space isn't as easy to alter.
Look on Houzz, in magazines, on the internet for ideas of styles of doors, clever storage ideas, and just things you haven't even thought about. The kitchen lessons learnt thread on here is great for ideas too.
Think very carefully about the layout, the Ikea software is good for tinkering about with unit positions, even if you don't buy an Ikea kitchen. Don't be afraid to ask a designer to re-design it if it will not work for you as everyone is different. If you're not very good at visualising it, use newspaper / masking tape on the ground to mark it all out full size and walk round it pretending to cook etc to check it will work for you.
Think about where you will put hot things out of the oven to check them? Where will you put hot pans if you need to take them off the hob? Where will you put your plates or serving dishes when dishing up a meal? Where will you put your dirty stuff before you load the dishwasher or if you need to run two loads (eg after a large meal, so a load for pans / cooking stuff and a load for plates, glasses and cutlery etc)? Will this be on show and will it irritate you while you're eating? Where will you put the toaster or kettle? Where will you use appliances that you don't keep out (eg blender, mixer, slow cooker etc?), will they be in the way of anything else such as where you dish up or where you put the food from the oven? Where will you prepare food? Can you fit people in doing different tasks, such as preparing a meal / cooking, making a hot drink, emptying the dishwasher etc without being in each other's way too much? Can you empty the dishwasher without having to close the door to access a storage cupboard for lots of the items? Think about where you are going to store everything - your everyday plates, granny's best china, cutlery, cooking utensils, herbs & spices etc, tin foil etc, bins, cups, glasses, bread, veg that doesn't need to be in the fridge, baking stuff, appliances that you don't want / need out all the time, roasting tins, the worlds largest turkey serving plate, wine, cooking alcohol, cook books, tea towels (in use and storage), kitchen paper, etc etc etc. everything needs a home, otherwise you will be cursing every time you need it or have to move it to reach something you use more often.
Think carefully about the lighting design, you will want focused task lighting in strategic locations and softer lighting that can be left on which is fine for making drinks etc at night.
I'm sure there are other things I thought about too, but they are the main ones. Hope that helps!
Spend time - lots of it - in the design stage !!!
Our kitchen is 10ft wide too. We have done it with an L and then a separate unit on the third side - saves having two corner units which even with clever gadgets aren't great on space, since you can't stand in front of them.
I would say - get informed and challenge what you see in showrooms. There seem to be two styles at the moment - "painted shaker" and "super modern", but actually if you browse some magazines/houzz you can be much more imaginative and individual. There are a massive choice of unit sizes and layouts in the trade, most of the B&Q type showrooms only offer a limited selection.
Kitchens are better quality than they used to be. A mid range kitchen now should have good quality doors not pretend wood or peeling laminate; 18mm rigid units with solid backs, full extension drawers with soft close, choice of carcase colours and handles, lots of options for interior fittings, customisation for say appliances or odd spaces.
this site very helpful for layout planning. We have more or less followed it and it does get the right things in the right place. You don't necessarily need to fill your room with loads of cupboards and worktops if the space you do have, works really well. As above, do think about your routes through, will your table be an obstruction, will there be enough lighting in the right place. Pull out wire baskets etc in base units are a good alternative to drawers and give some flexibility on spacing. If having deep drawers make sure they have deep sides too.
Wow. Thank you all for taking the time to reply and for the great advice. Am now ploughing through the thread and site links - it's going to take me a while!
I am now a complete convert to induction hobs.
I wanted everything integrated but didn't want to replace my freestanding washing machine so I kept it but had it placed inside a unit with no bottom so there are doors hiding it and matching the rest of the kitchen and the plinth fitted in front.
You would never know it's there and also means if I have to replace the machine it won't cost me half as much as if it was integrated.
Also like having large pan drawers.
I agree about induction hobs, mine looks like new after 8 years.
My favourite thing is an appliance cupboard for mixer, food processor & jam making stuff.
That and a heavy duty ducted extractor.
Not only do Induction hobs cook really quickly, and are so controllable, they also are a doddle to clean.
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