Kitchen design made easy

Budget first

Deciding on your budget is the first step in designing your own kitchen.

One approach is to think of a figure and say, “That’s my budget” and stick to it and another is to say, “The sky’s the limit” and let your imagination run wild; after all this is going to be your lifestyle dream kitchen, then scale it back to an amount you feel comfortable with.

Ask yourself, “What do I really want in a kitchen?” If you love cooking and do a lot of it then you will have a good idea what you want to do in your first choice kitchen and the appliances you will need to cook your favourite cuisine.

You may choose between a microwave or steam oven or have both. Will you go all gas or all electric, or a mix of both? When it comes to kitchens there is an unbelievable amount of choice out there and nowadays the materials they are made of and the gadgets they put in them are becoming very high tech in design, construction and finish, so it is best to seek advice from a specialist kitchen design studio before you make your decision.

On a budget

Once you have decided on a figure, go to a kitchen design studio and say this is my budget, design me a kitchen. Of course, it is not as simple as that. You will be asked lots of questions about cabinets, shelf space, appliances you want, work surfaces and so on and so on. You really need to have some idea of what you want beforehand.

Again, it is worth doing a bit of research before you start your design.

Kitchens are individual and everyone’s wants are different. Depending on family size, some will want a large fridge, others will make do with a smaller fridge for food, but require a large fridge freezer or even a wine fridge. When it comes to fridges size is important. In fact, all the electrical appliances are important and it is deciding which ones you want that can take the time.

Give the design studio the size of your kitchen then leave them to it. See what they come up with, then go over the design with them and finesse it.

Open cheque

For the sky’s the limit approach, you are going to have to do a lot of research.

Check out all the high-end brands. Look through design magazines, surf the web and go into kitchen showrooms and see all the different types of kitchens. Don’t be afraid to ask the price of a kitchen on display.

Specialist kitchen showrooms are licensed to sell top brands such as Boffi, Bulthaup and Poggenpohl.

Italian and German kitchens mainly dominated the market and although the names I have mentioned are some of the high-end brands there are many others on the market that will fit your budget.

Look for a showroom that displays a kitchen that you think would fit into your space. This way you will get a good idea of what you will get for your money and this will help you decide on how much you want to spend with regard to the quality and the brand.

When you feel you have seen enough make some rough plans and play around with your design.

Consider the following: How you would like to work in your kitchen, where would you want the hob and other appliances to be?

What sort of cupboard space do you want and how large a work surface do you need?

If the kitchen is open-plan, and a lot are nowadays, then you will need to ask yourself whether you want a breakfast bar, and do you want to cook facing into the room or cook facing into the back wall.

Your research will give you an idea of what type of kitchen you are after and what it will cost.

Once you have decided on the kitchen brand, go to a kitchen design studio that is licensed to sell that brand, show them your design and get them to produce a finished plan with an estimated cost.