How to plan a kitchen
- Credit: Archant
Creating a new kitchen is a major project, perhaps the most significant and expensive improvement you can make to your house, so it really is worth giving it some very serious thought.
What’s it for? Is it just somewhere to cook, or do you want it be a combination of kitchen and living room, with space for family and friends. Do you have a young family or are you expecting one, in which case you want to be able to keep an eye on the kids while keeping them away from all the dangers cooking presents. Interconnected family rooms with wide sliding or folding doors can be great, especially when the children become teenagers and you want to escape from them!
Once you have figured out what the kitchen is for you need to think about what you want to cook on, as apart from being the most essential aspect of a kitchen this has a major impact on the design. I personally like fast, powerful gas hobs and gas ovens, as you would find in most restaurants. Other people swear by Aga’s, which also have their qualities but aren’t so hot when it comes to frying steaks for twenty guests. If you have the room, and the budget, go for both.
The other Big Thing in the kitchen is the fridge, mainly because it is Big Thing to incorporate into a design. The two principal types on the market are integrated, which are concealed behind furniture doors, and freestanding.
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Once the appliances have been decided and the basic layout of the kitchen has been worked out, the style of the cabinets, and the materials and surfaces need to be considered.
Painted kitchens are either finished by hand on site, or pre-finished in the factory. The latter gives a more individual feel, though is inevitably more costly. Whereas painted finishes tend to deteriorate over time, kitchen furniture made from quality hardwoods such as oak or maple often improve with age.
Mass produced kitchens generally use laminate faced interiors, which are pretty durable and easy to clean, Bespoke kitchens, such as the ones we make, often have veneered hardwood interiors, which add a degree of quality, and are more durable over time. Kitchens at the budget end of the spectrum feature “lay on” foil wrapped doors, whereas bespoke kitchens would generally feature solid “in frame” doors with traditional hinges.
There are lots of different surfaces on the market, from the common and relatively inexpensive postformed laminates to solid granite and hardwood. Again natural materials tend to improve with age, although they may require more maintenance than man made materials. We like to mix and match different natural materials, for instance using teak for draining boards, granite near cooking areas, where hot pans may be used, and other hardwoods for seating areas.
If you need more kitchen advice please get in touch. We have been designing and building bespoke kitchens for 30 years and will come up with solutions that suit you rather than imposing a design based on the fashion of the moment or our own egos!
www.timjasper.co.uk | 01243 774411