Firstly, specify your wants and needs. Make a list of things you like and dislike in your existing kitchen, such as type and amount of storage, colour, style, appliances, lighting, the lay-out. How do you want to use the space: is it just for preparing meals, or where the whole family gather together, or for entertaining? Also, what are your cooking habits – how often, what and for how many?
1. Are you happy with the existing layout? If the space doesn’t work, consider opening it up. For those who have a budget and are prepared for a longer process, extending the house is something to consider.
2. If you choose internal remodelling, visit the showroom and have a chat with a designer. Kitchen Connections offer a free design service, including home visits – this way we have a better feel of the space and the house, which is very helpful when choosing the right range so it blends in with the rest of the house. After measuring up, the next step would be a design presentation in the showroom.
3. If you choose to extend, the best time to see a kitchen designer is the moment the architectural plans are ready, from which we can design and quote. This way we have enough time to create the perfect kitchen and ensure it works efficiently in the new space. It’s important that the design process is not rushed at the end because the contractors benefit from having early plans.
4. Visit the showroom to inspect the quality of the product and the ranges, and meet your designer. Look for inspiration too; the look of a new kitchen is very personal, so images from magazines and social media, colour references, surfaces, swatches, all that is extremely helpful when designing. Be clear about the budget too; this way we can help to decide where to save and where to invest.
5. Once you’re happy with the designer, layout, style and timing, ask a few important questions before you pay the deposit. Who is going to manage the project? Who is going to install the kitchen? Ideally, it should be the same company who supplied the kitchen. Is the second fix included? You should always check with the kitchen company at the start about which services they can and can’t provide. Everyone should be clear about what needs to be done, when and by whom.
6. When all questions are answered satisfactorily, it’s time to pay the deposit. Now the designer should oversee the project from start to finish. A full set of kitchen installation plans for the contractor should be provided and the installation date agreed.
7. Lastly, it’s nice to add a personal touch in a new kitchen. Things like mixing different accessories, personal choice of drop lights or breakfast bar chairs. Anything that would make your new kitchen extra special.