Choosing a new kitchen is both an exciting, but challenging process. Here at Nicholas Hythe Kitchen Design Studio, we can offer you the guidance on where to start.
1. How do you want your new kitchen space to be used?
When thinking of a new kitchen, it’s easy and understandable to be swayed by appearance alone. But one of the first questions you should ask yourself is how you want the space to be used. How is it used now, and how do you envision it being used in future?
For example, you might only use your kitchen for cooking (what a novelty!), but this is a rarity now and you may be limiting your design choices and features to suit only this application.
However, if your space allows and you are open to the wider purposes that your kitchen can fulfil, a whole range of styles, features and formats are available to you.
Think carefully how you would like your space to be used. Here are some uses or purposes:
- Purely cooking space
- Entertainment space
- Include a formal dining area
- Storage area
- Family area
Be clear at this stage on what you want and not just what you need, and we’ll help bring it to life for you
2. What’s your budget?
You may be wondering why this isn’t the first question on the list. Well, it very much could be and if you have an absolute budget you must stick to without fail, then it probably should be!
The reason we have placed it lower down the list is simply this: get the kitchen you want and that will work for you, not just the one you can afford.
There are lots of ways we can help you stay within budget but you run the risk of wasting your money if you end up with a kitchen that you aren’t happy with, that isn’t as user-friendly as you had hoped for and you then decide to replace it in 5-10 years due to poor design or even worse, poor quality.
However, it is also important you have a figure in mind to act as a form of restraint. It’s helpful to get a few quotes on kitchens to explore what you really want and what’s affordable. It might be worth spending a just little more to get your dream, and, if it lasts you a lifetime, then it’s worth it.
3. What features must be included in your new kitchen?
So now you know how you want your kitchen to be used, next is to decide upon some key features and must-haves.
These may be directly related to how the space will operate or just a design or feature you have always wanted and now is your chance to include it. For example, if the kitchen is to serve as an eating area as well, then a breakfast bar with additional seating may be great addition.
Similarly, your choice of appliances (particularly the cooking side of things) can alter your design greatly. Think about which electrical items you prefer as answers to questions like this have a big impact on the type of kitchen you’ll enjoy for years.
4. What style do I want?
The possibilities really are endless, but there are distinct styles of kitchen that you can veer towards to help you refine what you actually want.
Do you want a sleek, minimalist look, with flat doors with or without handles? Then perhaps a more modern fitted kitchen is the right direction for you.
Or maybe you prefer the comfort and warmth of a more timeless style kitchen? If that’s the case, you may want more of a traditional look and feel.
Perhaps you have experienced a style yourself or know someone that has a type of kitchen you prefer (or not) but if you’re still not quite sure, take a look at our other blog ‘Kitchen designs that will stand the test of time’. [link to blog post]
Or speak to one of our team who can help you.
5. What storage solutions do I need?
This stage requires a good degree of planning, but the first step is to figure out how you use the space.
Do you do a lot of cooking? Where will you do most of your preparation? Do you use a lot of spices? What utensils do you need most readily? Do you mind having kitchen items stored but ‘on show’ or do you want a clear worktop and everything tucked away?
There are some fantastic storage solutions available, which our experts can help advise you on, or you can gain some inspiration from the likes of Pinterest for example.
6. Should you even consider getting a professional kitchen designer on board?
We’re bound to say “YES” aren’t we! But, seriously, a great kitchen designer can help and guide you through all the above.
But it’s so much more than that. A kitchen designer will save you hassle, stress and time, but they can also take your kitchen design in a direction you may never have contemplated or thought possible.
A great kitchen designer will have unparalleled, specialised knowledge of materials and will know what styles or features work best in different situations.
Kitchens are very different to others rooms. They are made up mostly of hard surfaces that, whatever your budget, are expensive to buy and fit and not easy to change, whereas a typical living room is easy to alter if you change your mind.
So, if you get your kitchen right the first time around, it’s worth the extra upfront cost and will save you money in the long run, if you don’t feel the need to change it again – and that’s where a professional kitchen designer can make a really big difference.
A kitchen can be a hugely versatile space and there’s plenty of advice available. But if you want personalised advice and someone to expertly design, supply and project manage the whole installation of your kitchen, speak to one of our specialists and see the difference for yourself.