Looking to Kickstart Your Kitchen Project in the New Year?
Here we are going to look at 8 essentials to tackle before your kitchen renovation
Understand the kitchen triangle- but don’t be confined by it
The kitchen triangle is an essential planning tool but modern kitchens don’t necessarily need to be strictly confined to this format.
The concept behind the kitchen work triangle is that primary tasks are carried out within a triangular space between the cooker, sink and refrigerator.
Modern kitchens are used for a variety of purposes though, so stepping outside of the triangle and customising your layout to suit how you want to use your kitchen is now not taboo. Entertainers as an example may want a second dishwasher in their butler’s pantry or larger families might like to introduce a second sink, or in most cases have an kitchen island in the middle.
Think instead about how you wish to use the space, write a list of the functional things you would like your kitchen to do for you and discuss how you want the kitchen to relate to other areas in the house with your kitchen designer to customise an efficient layout for your home.
Consider your surfaces
The days of all gloss are gone my friends. Kitchen renovators are lucky to now have a wide variety of tactile options available to them when considering surfaces. From timbers and stone to concrete and laminates and glass – your kitchen palette can be as organic, industrial or warm as you would like. We offer a bespoke granite service, ranging from all types and also Solid Oak and Iroko.
Take a look at our worktops that we offer; http://thefreestandingkitchen.com/products/worktops/ For a more bespoke service, why not call our design team on 01787 223297 (option 1)
Surfaces play a big role in the design and functionality of your kitchen space so consider again how you want your kitchen to interact with the rest of the house. Gloss surfaces can reflect light and noise while concrete surfaces can appear cool. How do the surfaces you are interested in work with the rest of your home?
Plan your appliances around your lifestyle
Modern appliances are as clever as it gets – from steaming and humidity controls to self-cleaning products. There is an appliance for pretty much anything these days!
Perhaps you love cooking and would like a start of the art oven or time poor families might want a self-cleaning oven and induction technology to immediately heat and cook food. A homeowner with a vision for a sustainable home might want appliances that use eco-settings.
There is no rule when it comes to appliances so we recommend researching and tailor your appliances around your lifestyle and how you want to use the kitchen.
The average kitchen renovator allows 20% of their budget for appliances but for a home cook or a homeowner committed to complete sustainability, you could be interested in investing more.
Get clever with storage
Even the smallest kitchens can get clever with storage! Look for solutions that will allow for more storage but will also mean you can easily find and access items around your kitchen.
Take a look at our Evelyn range, providing you with masses of storage available to you. Our larders and companion units are great space savers.
Vertical storage, appliance nooks, pantry drawers and corner drawer solutions are all great ways to squeeze every bit of space out of your kitchen!
Take a look at our Larders, Tall Units and Base units below for more information;
Understand the principles of lighting
Lighting design is a critical component of a kitchen renovation but many homeowners don’t get this right. Avoid hotspots and shadows in your lighting plan by carefully considering the following three lighting design elements:
Ambient lighting will provide overall illumination for your kitchen, radiating a comfortable level of brightness.
Task lighting will help you perform specific tasks such as food preparing and is often used over kitchen and laundry workspaces.
Accent lighting can be used to create visual interest in your room. Perhaps you wish to draw the eye to your splashback, artwork in your kitchen or the height of your kitchen ceiling.
Consider how you will use lighting in your space and consult with a professional to ensure your lighting plan is right for the size and height of your area.
Don’t forget your flooring!
Believe it or not, flooring is often an afterthought for many kitchen renovators. Flooring can have a big impact on your kitchen renovation budget so start thinking about this at the planning stage to avoid a budget blowout.
If your existing kitchen is on tiles or a dated floor, you will need to look at updating the flooring as part of your kitchen renovation. Again, the look of the kitchen must be consistent with the remainder of your home so that could indeed mean re-flooring more than the one area in your home.
There are a range of flooring options available to homeowners these days so be sure to look at an option that can withstand the test of time and the foot traffic your kitchen will inevitably attract.
Be realistic with your budget
The biggest mistake people make when planning their kitchen is not being realistic. As a rule, you should aim to spend between 4-6% of your property value and you should allow a contingency for any unexpected events such as trade delays or issues with cabinets and benches.
Remember that your trades, appliances, flooring, lighting, cabinets and fittings all need to work within your budget so plan ahead or speak with a professional kitchen designer to ensure your budget is realistic and achievable.
It’s going to get messy!!
It seems obvious but kitchen renovations are well – messy! Plan ahead for how the week of the install will impact upon your family and start working on a contingency. Think about rubbish removal, covering flooring and furniture and how you will prepare meals, lunches and washing up while your space is out of action. If you have a plan, your home won’t be thrown into disarray come build week and that means less stress for all involved.
The Experience of the Kitchen Space
The drama of home life is played out in the kitchen. We commune, hang out, watch TV, telephone friends and relations, read the paper, do homework and hobbies, lounge on the sofa, cook and entertain, play music, argue and make up – all in one space.
The kitchen becomes the active zone of the house, with an emphasis on sociability. Individual needs can be built into alcoves or accommodated within screens, thereby defining activity areas such as children’s play areas, home work places and places in which to relax in comfort.
What is so key about kitchen design? It is the word ‘kitchen’ itself that leaves us short. There is general agreement that the kitchen is the essence of home, a substitute for the hearth. The kitchen has become the new hallway. A cup of coffee or tea, which we consider more of a greeting than hospitality, means you go to the kitchen first, whether you ate a service engineer or a dear friend whose has travelled miles. The highest proportion of time spent in a room at home goes to the kitchen; the concept should allow us to realise how to re-orientate our homes to a lifestyle that suits us better.
‘Leisure together’ Families want to spend the precious home-time together after being at work or school that takes such a large chunk of our day. Expanded leisure activity and holiday takes us out-of-home, too. If work has expanded in hours, out of home leisure has also grown. With many households having two working partners the pressure on family time together is even greater. We believe this is one of the greatest pressures for working towards “one space for active living, with kitchen included”. We want to spend what time there is in visual contact and not be isolated in a separate rooms two corridors away.
Appliances as icons…
Ergonomics may form the basics of comfort but without the back up of wider psychological aspects, such as feelings of warmth or the pleasing of the eye, then why linger in a kitchen space? The tactile qualities of natural materials, the enchantment of natural light on colour and the use of pattern assist.
Appliances as tools or as status symbols? They are both. Larder, fridges, Agas, ranges, dishwasher drawers, wok burners, massive air extractors – there is increasingly more demand for the top-end manufacturers to make status symbols for those who desire for something different and well made.
Identifiable icons are the unchanging products of a kitchen – the appliances. Fifty years ago, appliances dominated the kitchen industry, today the opposite applies. Apart from the prestigious large appliances of those mentioned above, appliances are formulated to submerge into the sizing of the kitchen units. Now that is a higher demand for bespoke cabinetry to tailor to those integrated appliances.
Click here to take a look at our integrated appliances; http://thefreestandingkitchen.com/products/fitted-appliances/
How to add a larder to your kitchen
A larder can be a real space-saver in a kitchen of any size. Their rise to fame started in the Victorian period, and in more recent years, they have found themselves back in fashion in contemporary kitchens.
A traditional larder was typically a large free-standing unit or small room within the kitchen. Larders of this style are a fantastic choice for those who both have a large kitchen and prefer traditional design. If there’s not already a separate larder space in your kitchen, one option you’ll be looking at is a standalone unit
The free-standing units usually offer storage in the form of shelving and drawers hidden behind a set of double doors. Larder rooms, in comparison, are typically made up of shelving set from the floor to the ceiling of the room, offering space for huge amounts of ingredients and appliances.
A traditional part of any kitchen, larders take storage to another level, with space for small appliances, as well as everything you need for a good day’s baking, and more. Contrast the interior with the exterior for a modern effect. Use rich wood accents to warm up any kitchen and add a natural element.
Home Appliance Design Trends for 2018
Home appliance trends for 2018
Brands are using natural materials to add an element of warmth, tactility and a crafted, luxury feel to their products. Wood veneers, cork and leather all provide a welcome contrast to today’s technological-driven products and synthetic materials, allowing appliances to sit more discreetly alongside furniture and domestic interiors.
Here at The Freestanding Kitchen company, we can offer integrated appliances to fit nicely within our freestanding kitchen units, see our Gallery for our clients’ photos that have been sent to us.
SMEG has brought out a bold statement colours range
Bold, bright shades are really starting to make their mark within home appliances, offering statement pieces and injections of colour. Vivid red, deep teal blue and vibrant green are set to hit the home appliance scene in a big way, appearing across fridges, coffee machines and washing machines.
Examples: Smeg is an early trendsetter here. Looking to its heritage to inform its colour choices, Smeg has created a new range of kitchen appliances with colour options inspired by the Italian Rivera: olive green, sunshine yellow, deep red and burnt orange . The bright appliances use chrome detailing for a fresh take on Smeg’s renowned retro aesthetic.
As you can see below, are a few examples;
Pastel colours are becoming particularly progressive in kitchen appliances, challenging conventional design. The use of fresh shades like pink, green and aqua blue give products a ‘cute’ and softened aesthetic.
The use of rounded shapes, which are being explored alongside pastel shades, lend a nostalgic and retro quality, while pairing pastels with high-shine chrome and stainless steel creates a more sophisticated look. This trend mirrors the development of tech products becoming softened by brands adopting pastel shades in tactile materials and smooth textures.
Christmas is fast approaching, would you like a freestanding coffee machine to sit nicely on your kitchen work tops? Or a new dishwasher to save all that washing up after the family Christmas dinner?
If so, give us a call on 01787 223297 (Option 1) to discuss further
Click here to view our Interior Accessories
Why not add some vintage style to your kitchen, making it the heart of your home even more, with our interior accessories now in stock! http://thefreestandingkitchen.com/products/interior-accessories/
Our New Evelyn Range
Evelyn Range is now in stock!
As you can see below, this is our Evelyn Range. Due to popular demand, our cabinetry is now available in a limed oak finish as well as our standard oak. Limestone is ground down to a paste and applied to the furniture to create a lighter wash over the timber. The cost is the same as our standard oak range.