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new kitchen extension help please?!!

(11 Posts)
fancyacoffee Sat 05-Mar-16 18:41:59

I'm looking for any help on kitchen buying/planning. Units with or without handles.....Gas/electric hob.....Wooden floor/tiles....light or dark units...?
Feeling overwhelmed with choice and really grateful for any thoughts or advice. What have you done and LOVE, what would you do differently? Thanks in advance! xx

IShouldBeSoLurky Sat 05-Mar-16 19:58:28

You need the kitchen lessons learned thread. It's a few pages in on this board or cones up on a site search or Google smile

LetMeBakeCake Sat 05-Mar-16 20:35:46

Hello - we did a massive renovation of our kitchen (and the whole house!) last year.

We bought our units from Howdens - 'Tewkesbury Stone' they are called they are a painted solid wood and I love it! I thoroughly recommend Howdens - excellent quality. With them you have to hire your own tradesman (a carpenter or kitchen fitter) as Howdens only sell to trade but this is a much more cost effective way to do it compared to somewhere like Magnet who 'project manage' it all for you but at a premium. Howdens do however send you a kitchen designer and this worked well. I told her I really wanted a Rangemaster, an American fridge freezer and an island and the kitchen was designed around these things. I had 'up and over' cupboards for the FF so it didn't stick out or look too big. I'd be wary of cupboards with ought handles just because of the whole fingerprints thing! Ditto with gloss suits they show a lot of marks (we have some in our bathroom). If it's not your 'forever house' then gloss units are a very cost effective way to re-do your kitchen but if it's for long term is recommend solid wood if budget allows smile

Got my appliances from - they are run by so same service/products but you get TONS of boots advantage card points. Got a Rangemaster double oven, integrated washing machine and dishwasher (Neff) and American style fridge freezer and integrated microwave - both Samsung. I love all my appliances except the microwave which I bought because I really wanted an integrated one. It was really expensive (because it also performs as an oven which we don't need). I could have actually just had a gap left for a normal microwave and I think it would have looked fine. We shopped around in stores and online before making our choices - I'd advise you to avoid SMEG - they look gorgeous but seem to have terrible reviews!

We got solid oak worktops which I really regret as although I am almost obsessive about wiping up every drop of water that gets on them, they mark so easily and around the sink is a bit of a state already. It does look good though in areas where water doesn't get to so you could go for a half and half.

One of my favourite things in my kitchen is my splashback we got it online and was SO nervous about it but it looks gorgeous and people always comment on it. We have black metro tiles and black appliances so it really pops:

My other favourite thing is my islandsmile I've always wanted one and it's so great - I really recommend that or a peninsula if you have the room as it gives you space to work without clutter - ensure there are sockets to hand (you can have pop up ones if you need to).

Flooring we eventually settled on a vinyl that looks like an oak floor. (People tend to think it's real wood as it has a 'grain'). It's extremely hard wearing and doesn't show marks. A word of warning: we went into a carpetright and got shown ones that had a really thick spongy backing to make it seem luxurious- this is actually completely impractical as if you were to put chairs on it (or anything else) it will leave an imprint. What you want is something with a thick top layer (it's like a hard plastic coating) that protects from scratches, tears and indents. We actually got ours from an independent carpet guy in the end.

Wow I've rambled on a bit!! Hope that's useful to you smile

didireallysaythat Sat 05-Mar-16 21:39:24

Howdens - I think they are probably as good as the "designer" in your local branch. Ours came back (after one no show and a month of emailing and ringing asking to see the design) with not one but two wine fridges. Which given that we said we didn't want a wine fridge, just seemed strange. Walked away.....

PersisFord Sun 06-Mar-16 08:01:42

letme what make is your floor please <hijacks thread> sounds like just what I'm looking for!

LetMeBakeCake Sun 06-Mar-16 08:10:58

Actually I couldn't find tell you - we used this in dependant guy - was just over a year ago now and I tried to find it online (to make sure we were getting a good price!) but couldn't - I do know it had an industrial standard top layer so just look for the thickness of that when you are shopping around - sorry I'm not more help

kayessbee Sun 06-Mar-16 08:19:36

It sounds as if sitting down with someone face to face would be useful to help wade through the decisions, maybe the people who are supplying the kitchen, or if you don't have anyone yet, it might be worth going to a few showrooms and getting ideas. And the gas/electric thing really comes down to personal preference, unless you don't have a gas supply....!

Trawl through websites and magazines and pull out 'looks' that you like so as to get an idea of what you'd be comfortable with. Don't worry about if it will fit your space, just get your list of 'likes' together.

And I know that many here aren't keen, but an interior designer can help you - as an ex-designer I often would do just a couple of hours consultation work with someone to get their ideas sorted out and into some sort of plan. That was overseas where that sort of thing was readily accepted, it can be done here, but unfortunately many think that it's a glamorous & expensive look that they want to create, or 'not interested' option....not true....

PersisFord Sun 06-Mar-16 08:20:42

Thanks letme, I'll find a flooring person and ask!

kayessbee Sun 06-Mar-16 08:25:19

Oh, the other thing I used to do was ask them to write a list of things under three headings -

'Definitely want/need'
'Absolutely not!'

Then a middle section -

'Would be nice to have, budget and space allowing'

It can be anything from colours to make of'll help start unravelling the big jumble of things to consider...

MiaowTheCat Sun 06-Mar-16 11:50:56

It's completely overwhelming to start with - what we did was to wander around all the kitchen departments with our phones and start to take photos of anything that took our fancy - even if it was something as mundane as a wall hanging rail - that gave us a bit of a starting point as we started to see ideas consistently reappear again and again (helps that my kids are sad little buggers who consider a day out in kitchen showrooms to be the height of fun). We made a list of things in our current kitchen that pissed us off (the entire kitchen was not allowed as a single entry) to avoid in the new one - things like we had our dishwasher against a wall that was always getting splashed and filthy from stuff going in and out of it, and endless stuff dumped on top of the kitchen cupboards - so we could book design appointments with a clearer picture of what we didn't want.

Once we started looking through my ideas really did completely change - we originally wanted a shaker style kitchen in bone white or cream units and I was completely against high gloss, thinking it wouldn't work in this house and would be a bugger to clean - but we ended up totally falling for one particular style of gloss kitchen and it really really works in the house, and the light it bounces back into the body of the house is a dramatic increase (meaning we can get away with playing a bit more with colour in there than we thought we could).

Gas v electric cooking - that's something only you can decide on - we had an ancient gas cooker I loathed and I hate hate hate cleaning gas hobs and putting all the bits back together and I'm the world's messiest cook - so induction hobs were right at the top of my wish list. I also was a bit OCD (apologies if that offends) about not wanting mismatched different tones of stainless steel appliances or being tied to one particular brand of appliance (our previous appliances had all ended up being one brand with identical beeps everytime something finished and drove me nuts) so wanted black appliances to make it all easier to colour match - that kind of drove the colour scheme a bit in that black worktops, splash backs and hoods evolved from that and we just ended up having to plump for an accent colour.

fancyacoffee Mon 07-Mar-16 16:09:56

thanks so much for all of these very useful posts - really appreciate them all xx

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