tips for kitchens(44 Posts)
am planning my new kitchen and am very interested in your views. What would you have to have, what would you avoid? Not talking the fact I need sink, cooker etc, but really interested in what you did that worked, what you did that didnt work, what utensils or clever tricks you would not be without.... hive mind of mumsnet, please help me
My favourite thing in my kitchen is the drawer units for plates and cutlery - which is in the island directly opposite the dishwasher (with the mugs in a cupboard above the dishwasher). Makes unloading very easy.
thanks keely79. Are the drawers the very large ones or more usual size? Am a bit worried the very big ones might not take the weight of plates etc for too long
There are quite a few previous threads on this topic. To sum up
- everyone loves drawers
- half of Mumsnet loves boiling water taps, the other half is meh about them
- quartz and granite get a thumbs up for worktops, laminate gets a thumbs down, marble divides people down the middle
- good fitting is generally agreed to be 110% important
- everyone seems to love navy blue
ooh thanks. But I am a bit confused. Am also a bit meh about the taps which seem to come in at £1K and that seems a lot for what they do. But why thumbs down for laminates? It seems to be more durable from all I have read. Any views on what inserts into cupboards / swivels/ pull outs? Anything to avoid at all costs?
The things I really love about my new kitchen:
Plenty of worktops, with hob, oven, sink and fridge all very close;
Great lighting, you really need lots of light over your worktops;
Built in dishwasher;
Large built in fridge;
Corner unit with swivel pull out section;
Fairly big drawers - one fits 8 plates, 8 bowls, 8 pasta plates. No issue with weight
We had laminate in our previous kitchen, chosen by us and much loved. It was wood effect laminate. Have previously had real wood and whilst it looks amazing the maintenance really put us off. Admittedly it was already in poor nick when it became ours so perhaps you can stop it getting like that but it put me off for life.
I know that granite and quartz are very desirable and we have granite in our new house but I don't like it. Or marble. I did see a corian worktop I didn't mind the other day, but it looked more like concrete than anything else.
It's a tricky one - we need to keep resale in mind so will probably not go laminate given than people don't seem to like it but if i was doing a kitchen in a house I didn't have any plans to sell I'd seriously consider it.
Anyway, we had very wide and pretty deep pan drawers in our old kitchen and they were still in perfect condition after 4 years, I'd certainly have them again. Personally I like quite clean lines in a kitchen and we managed in our old one to have one wall of floor to ceiling cabinets and the rest just base units. I know they can't always be avoided but I don't much like cupboards above the work surface.
I don’t whether you have any flexibility about layout, but if you do, think about it carefully. My inherited kitchen has a cooker which is on the opposite side of the room to everything else so you have to carry hot pans right across the room to drain them. Would be a nightmare with a toddler or dog underfoot.
I have a perhaps daft loathing for high wall cupboards because I feel they block light from work surfaces.
I gather from the builder (currently fitting my new kitchen) that laminates have changed somewhat in recent years. The surface layer on many of them is thinner and less durable than it used to be. They are still lower maintenance than wood, though, and I'm hoping they still have some robustness because I just put wood effect laminate in my utility! Corian is supposed to scratch/stain quite badly if you are not careful. There is a new super-tough material on the market which is tougher than stone, but I can't remember the name of it! It's hugely expensive.
I don't like granite either, there's something about the visible texture of it I don't like, but I do like the uniformity of quartz.
Spend money on the details rather then the all the units which often look the same whether they are from John Lewis or Ikea! My units are ikea my tops were bought online and fitted by our builder. we splashed out on a really efficiant fridge, underfloor heating and spent a bucket load on the handglazed tiles. overall probably still cheaper then going to bnq for everything and i got exactly what i wanted.
Would double and triple recommend electric underfloor heating our costs basically nothing to run and keeps the tiles from being cold. it also acts as a big slow radiator for the whole house. it only cost about 300-400 too and we didn't need to waste kitchen space with a radiator.
I love wooden tops and have them in my kitchen but would not recommend them to anyone else. Best surface is a good quality man made stone. granite looks great but i have seen far too many ruined by food acid. Laminates tend not to be heat resistant so mark.
I grew up in a kitchen where the dishwasher was raised to knee height as part of the floor to ceiling cupboards and oh my god, how i wish i had done the same for my kitchen since. instead i opted for a raised oven but if you think about it you would do far more bending for a dishwasher then an oven.
We also had the one that has the third level at the top to put cutlery, i would recommend that!!
I have bins inside a cupboard unit which is great because it keeps the mess out of sight. I also have a big fridge with water and ice, and love the unlimited supply of cold filtered water.
If you can’t stretch to granite or Corian worktops, check out Minerva.
I’ve just had that installed and it looks great.
A good fitter is a must.
I’ve got a big American fridge with a larder unit surround which I love.
If it will fit your look then I'd really recommend an induction hob. It's as responsive as gas but a lot easier to keep clean. I think task lighting makes a big difference and I would plan out where you intend to keep everything so you don't find your plate cupboard/drawer and your dishwasher miles apart. If you have the luxury it's also nice not to cram all the walls with upper units as this can make it feel crowded.
Yes I’ve got no wall units, looks sleek. And glass splash backs instead of tiles.
I hate corners in kitchens, so when we had ours done I asked the builders to fit a full length corner 'pantry'... I absolutely love it. my kitchen is not very big and this has maximised space that would otherwise always have been under-utilised.
trying again: www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/397935317053550773/
thanks so much everyone this is brilliant. I really appreciate it. Adding to my questions while I am here. Induction hobs look great but I have one at the moment and when anything boils over it leaks into the drawers below/ over the surface. Does anyone else ever have this problem and if so any solutions? I cant be the only inattentive cook in the world?
Our worktop is laminate made to look like a quartz effect and it's holding up brilliantly considering the kitchen's been in a good two years and isn't gently treated! We did get the thicker worktop width and I've got worktop protectors everywhere people might possibly put lots of stuff though but it isn't always the nightmare people make it out to be on here if budgets are limited.
I'm forever letting stuff boil over on the induction hob and haven't had any drawer leakage - hob's fairly well sealed though which might make the difference and there's a fair bit of extra hob surface after the edge of where the pans sit so any pasta water incidents tend to sit on there anyhow.
Keep an eye on oven capacities if you're getting a double oven - some main oven capacities are tiny so read specifications carefully.
Bins/recycling - ours are in a cupboard but our kitchen is tiny and two bins in the way would be a right royal pain... consider where pet beds and bowls will go if you've got those to consider too.
I love our plumbed in American fridge freezer with ice maker and water filter/cooler - it's bloody awesome particularly in the summer but especially when I can only drink plain water when it's absolutely ice cold. It was our big splurge in our kitchen and it's been worth every penny.
Likewise with us having a very small kitchen we have a wonderful wall hanging rail that has cup hooks, a basket for tea and coffee containers, a spice rack and a kitchen roll/tin foil etc dispenser rack - takes so much clutter off worktops and cupboard space and keeps things to hand. USB charge points in electric sockets we've found very very handy too - just means you don't end up with hulking huge phone chargers blocking off half the sockets on your worktops.
Watch door handle strength with combinations like small children and dishwasher doors -we've got long bar handles that are quite slender and the dishwasher door one is slightly distorted because the kids bloody well persist in trying to use their entire body weight to open it! If you have family that's slightly less irritating to live with than mine can be - ignore that point!
Black sinks... look stunning but fucking hell the water mark hell! Mine drives me mad sometimes!
Some great points I am also planning a new kitchen. Main plans done just need to tweak it.
Has anyone had wooden worktops? Drawbacks? I like the look of wood and we have a pine dresser in there so it would tie in. Just not sure about durability.
we have wooden worktops. i love it, but it's maintenance (which i've not kept up with- they need regular oiling). i prefer a more 'rustic' look in kitchens so the wooden worktops tie in well, but i think in a more polished/highly finished look it would probably be a nightmare.
Definitely go with big wide pan drawers and as may as possible. Beats climbing into cupboards!
I was tempted by an induction hob but went for a gas on glass instead and I’m really pleased with it
Join the discussion
Please login first.