Top tips when planning a kitchen renovation with Heart of your Home Kitchens
Kitchens are one of the most expensive rooms in our homes to renovate so getting it right first time is key.
Kitchen Designer, Katie Green from Heart of your Home Kitchens shares her top tips to help you avoid any costly mistakes.
What style of kitchen are you thinking about? Are you thinking about a modern sleek handle-less style kitchen or a traditional shaker style kitchen? This is often overlooked but for me, the style of the kitchen my client is thinking about, really has an impact on the style and shape of the design.
For example, a modern, handle-less kitchen lends itself to tall long banks of units with plenty of storage and a sleek minimal island.
A traditional style kitchen allows you to play around more by incorporating quirky features like pantries and decorative glazed units.
Set a budget and talk to your designer, honesty is the best policy when building a working relationship. With the budget in mind, your designer will be able to confidently advise you on the style of kitchen that will be right for you and to help you get as much for your money as possible.
When thinking about the colour of your kitchen, put together a mood board with images you like. This can really help your designer envisage what is in your mind.
Just as you would in your living room, base the choice of your kitchen cabinet colour on how it will make the room feel. This is largely down to the amount of natural daylight the room receives and where in the room the kitchen sits.
So, if you’re designing a kitchen extension with the dining and living areas overlooking the garden, and the kitchen units are going to be situated at the darker end of the room, light-coloured cabinetry will reflect light back into that part of the room, making it feel larger.
If, on the other hand, your kitchen is sitting within a south-facing, light-filled room, darker units are not only entirely suitable, they might make the kitchen feel more homely.
Choosing the right colour for kitchen cabinets is not just about light, though. Picking a grainy wood finish for your units will introduce texture and interest into an otherwise featureless room – perhaps a contemporary extension that has no period details.
Where possible, always put function first and then design. There is no perfect kitchen layout, they come in all shapes and sizes but try where possible to keep “the working triangle” between your hob, sink and fridge as these are the most frequently used appliances.
Where possible, try not to keep more than 6 or 7 steps between them.
Direct the traffic
In high traffic areas (especially if you have children) try to avoid placing appliances, especially hobs in those areas.
Keeping them out of the walkways will help to avoid spills and burns when children are running through where they could potentially have a nasty accident and knock a pan off the hob.
Factor in walkways
If you have the space, try to design wider walkways. A minimum of 900mm is a good start, 1050mm for a one person cook zone and 1250 for a two person cook zone.
Position your fridge correctly
Keep the refrigerator in an easily accessible area at the entrance to your kitchen.
This is one of the most frequently used appliances so if you can keep it accessible and out of the way from the central ‘cooking hub’ this will free up the main space in the kitchen when the family are in and out of it!
Always think about storage and where you are most likely to keep every item in your kitchen before you finalise your design. There is nothing worse than moving into your new kitchen and finding out there’s not enough storage for you.
Consider a pantry
If you have the space pantries are brilliant as you can easily see what is in your cupboard at eyelevel. As part of your renovation plan try to incorporate worktop behind the pantry doors for extra workspace (great for smaller kitchens). They can also double up as a place to hide small appliances like a toaster or kettle when you’re not using them.
Make use of the corners
Make use of awkward corners by including corner storage pull outs.
Corners are my bug bear and I always use a storage solution where possible, as they can make such a difference to the accessibility in your kitchen.
Something that’s often forgotten about!
It can make a real impact on the finished design and you want to include as much as possible.
Under wall unit lighting wired into the switch on the wall is great, as not only is it practical, it also creates a beautiful ambient atmosphere too.
You may even want to think about pendant lighting or a feature bulkhead over an island as this can create a real focal point.
There is no such thing as too much worktop space!
It can be a real design feature in a kitchen, try mixing it up with textures and choose a surface that is easy to work on and care for, like a Corian or Quartz for example.
Again, think about the colour you want, light colours will create a feeling of space and a nice light and airy feel, where dark colours can make a small room look smaller.
Plan landing space
Between the hob and a wall or another appliance or tall housing.
At least 400mm is a good start, for safety (enough space for pan handles) and so as not to squash your appliances together.
It may seem a silly one, but often forgotten about are handles… they can really make or break a design and can totally change a look.
They are usually last to be thought of and it’s here where mistakes can be made.
Asking what kind of handles my clients would like is now one of my initial questions.
Think about the style of kitchen you are going for and ask your designer for advice on different handle styles and where to position them on your cupboard doors.
Bins, are a great addition to any kitchen, especially a recycling one.
Choose one that has the right number of compartments for you and position it in a place where you do a lot of the food preparation so the waste can go straight in.
Create a focal point
Something you want your eyes to be drawn to when you walk into the room.
This could be a feature mantle around your hob area, or a super modern breakfast bar with split level seating.
You want one thing to “pop” in your kitchen to make your kitchen stand out from the rest and give your friends a talking point!
If you’re incorporating an island, then determine it’s function. For example – if you want to both cook and sit at it, make sure there is enough space away from the hob to sit comfortably.
Keep the design balanced, I love symmetry in my design, it keeps the eyes happy! For example, if you are having a range cooker, where possible put it in the middle of the room and work outwards to keep the design balanced and streamlined.
Break up cabinetry blocks
Avoid boring, heavy blocks of doors and drawers by adding interesting details such as glass doors and display shelving. Or try wine storage or open shelving with interior lighting.
Again, this can make or break your design, think about what you want to achieve. Do you want to create a warm atmosphere with wood for example or do you want a tiled floor? This can sometimes be cold, so you may want to consider underfloor heating.
Know when to stop…
Don’t over design, knowing when to stop is the key. Something we independents are good at – ask us for advice and don’t overcrowd your kitchen with units as this can often make a room look small.
And there you have it! Not much to consider is there! All jokes aside it can be a bit of a minefield and Katie’s tips really help you think about all the elements you need to consider.
A huge thank you to Katie and if you want to take a look at Katie’s stunning designs take a look at her website here
Another blog you may also find helpful when planning your new kitchen “7 steps to planning your dream kitchen”
If you enjoyed reading this blog do scroll to the bottom to subscribe. Once subscribed, you’ll receive an email when a new blog is published so you never miss a blog post again.