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7 Great ideas from 30 years of designing and installing quality kitchens
After three decades of designing and installing kitchens and bedrooms of all shapes, sizes and styles we have seen pretty much everything. Here are some of the biggest lessons we have learned along the way:
1. Think through EVERYTHING: Consider where utilities are in relation to each other. Make sure you won’t ever need to lean across a hot hob! Will opening a particular door obstruct other access or become an unforeseen hazard? What affect will kitchen stools or islands have on general manoeuvrability around your kitchen?
2: Don’t get tied to the wall: Breakfast bars and static or moveable islands are great ways of creating more surface space in modern kitchens. Whether it is for cooking or socialising, a bit of creative thinking, some innovation and a touch of inspiration can reveal all sorts of ways to make the most of unnoticed space.
3: Beware of false economies: The old cliché that you get what you pay for is true 90% of the time. The fact is that things can be over-priced and that top quality often comes at low prices: so the key is to buy according to purpose. If you are going to cut corners, don’t do it on the moving, high-usage elements of your kitchen. Invest in top quality practical things before letting things that just look nice steal your budget.
4: Remember space and vision: Picture yourself at each work station in your kitchen and imagine what you might need to do. Do you have enough worksurface to put down hot plates? Are there convenient spaces for storage or a towel rack? Where will the washed plates drain and do you have the best view of the garden while you wash?
5: The lightbulb moment: By the time you turn the lightbulb on for the first time, it can be too late! All too often we have saved an architect’s blushes by pointing out the shadow that a design feature or ill-positioned downlight is going to cast over an (otherwise perfect) design. Lighting as a whole can make or break a design and it is so important to give the lighting of your new room some serious thought.
While we are talking about lights: LED is the only way to go these days!
6: Common sense and sneaky storage: There are some storage ideas that are simple common sense. For example: always work out what you will need to store, before designing the storage. That way you won’t be trying to force things into spaces they were not designed to fit. Other ideas are just pure genius! We have found so many innovative, inspired and, in some cases, downright sneaky storage solutions. Some are now commonplace, like sliding corner cupboards, but others are still a custom kitchens’ secret…
7. And finally! Go back to the beginning: All too often, people get so involved in getting a new kitchen, bedroom or any other room fitted into their home that they forget why they started. Any room is part of a home, and the home is a place where your family should be able to live. Whenever you decide it is time for some home improvements, first think about the positive impact it will have on the people living in your house. Then decide what elements of the design are the most important in reaching those goals: and never lose sight of that focus.