“When it comes to kitchen design, don’t fall back on what you know, think about what you need and KISS”, says Jim Gettings of J&S House of Design.
Ironically, kitchens are like coffee, you have a huge choice of what you can have but you don’t know what everything is, or what combinations you can have, and ultimately you play safe and go with what you’ve always had — a trusty cappuccino or americano, or the ‘standard’ fitted kitchen.
When it comes to planning a kitchen, we like to keep it simple stupid (K.I.S.S). What space is available? How do you use your current kitchen? How would you like to use your kitchen? What do you cook/drink/eat? There are some simple planing tips which need to evolve around appliances and innovations out there those of in the industry know about but like a ‘triple venti half-sweet non-fat caramel macchiato’, you may have no idea existed.
Here are some simple planning tips that will help you with your initial kitchen designs.
Start with your layout
If you don’t get the layout right at the initial planning stage, then it is a complete waste of time. With thoughtful planning and design, you can look like you’ve extended it. That is why plannning a kitchen should happen as early in a project as possible, especially if you’re building your own home, renovating or extending.
The all-important question is, how do you want to use your kitchen? More and more people want to create a multi-use space whee you can cook, have dinner, work, watch the TV or even incorporate a bit of a playroom. When was the last time you used your dining room? Why not integrate you dining room into the kitchen to created a larger area for the whole family. There is so much that can be achieved with islands, breakfast bars and wide work surfaces to help integrate the kitchen with the rest of the home. We have moved tiny windows, sinks and wall-hung cupboards to make way for bi-folding doors to bring in light and life to a kitchen without loss of any workspace or storage.
A single galley kitchen, works well in small spaces such as kitchens in cottages or town apartments. Great for simplicity and affordability, and often looks stylish. Clever hidden storage, like butler’s pantries, can add an inordinate amount of storage without the need for claustrophobic wall-hung cupboards.
C and U-Shaped Kitchens
A U-shape or C-chape kitchen offers a great deal of space, keeping everything within easy reach from the oven to the sink. With an island on the outside, it doubles up as a breakfast bar or work surface.
Think about hiding away your bulky appliances
Big kitchen appliances such as juicers, mixers, toasters and even kettles, all take up space on your work surface and add to the general kitchen clutter look. Large under-counter drawers are a solution to hide away some of your appliances or add in a separate cupboard such as a baking station help keep your kitchen tidy and organised.
Modern drawer runners means that we can now have large and deep drawers strong enough to hold your kitchen gadgets, and the beauty of the drawers is they open out to you rather than you having to go rummaging in a cupboard. Simple!
Take time to look at kitchen technology and don’t just go with what you already know
Choosing a new kitchen is not an everyday activity, neither is selecting what appliances you are going to have. This is where it is important to think of the simple questions of what you eat and how you cook, don’t have a double oven and range if all you’re going to do is steam cook your food. Investigate options like a steam oven. The Miele Experience Centre in Abingdon offers cookery lessons to show you how to use a steam oven for example, give it time and the microwave might even become redundant as more people move towards steam cooking.
Lighting is vital to finishing your kitchen and your enjoyment of it. You’ve just spent thousands on new units and appliances but the lighting is often overlooked or added as an after-thought. Think about statement lighting, ambient and even mood lighting, something that will really make a feature to the room. If you plan on having an island, ensure the lighting is suitable for what you plan to do on it.
Now that you have a better idea of where to begin with your kitchen design and what you should be thinking about when you start talking to a kitchen design company. A list of how you use your kitchen, what you cook, when you use it the most, photos of kitchens you like, and don’t like, it is good to have something to refer to. Your kitchen measurements would be handy or even a floorplan of the house or plans for the build or extension, essentially your canvas. At this stage, all plumbing and electrics can be planned effectively and the design, so get thinking and planning, the earlier the better.
Jim and Susan Gettings, owners of J&S House of Design
With over 60 years’ of combined design experience, they have a wealth of knowledge in the home building, renovation and new development markets designing and project-managing quality kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms.
With a loyal client base throughout London and the Home Counties, J&S House of Design provide a personalised service, supporting their clients throughout every stage of the process. Their brand new kitchen showroom is based in the Oxfordshire town of Kingston Bagpuize.
J&S House of Design are currently registered on our Trade Directory.
If you are a homeowner, our Trade Directory provides you with a wide range of businesses who offer services at Graven Hill, including; contractors, building materials suppliers and construction equipment rental companies. If you are a specialist supplier to the self and custom build market, or a local business that can support the growing community at Graven Hill, you can apply to be listed and our residents will be able to get in touch with you directly.