Before the coronavirus pandemic, many homeowners were already in the process of planning kitchen extensions or refurbishments. However, after new government restrictions enforcing us to spend 24/7 in their homes, families in the UK are now spending more time together in the same four walls than ever before. As a result, major home renovation plans have been put on hold until things return back to normal.
In our experience, time invested in thorough planning is always the key to a successful project. Therefore, with all the household at home at the same time, now is a good opportunity to reflect on the things that work well and not so well in your existing space. This will help you to create a wish-list for your dream kitchen. The best kitchen not only reflects your personal taste and style, but also functions perfectly for your families life.
Planning the layout of a kitchen
A good kitchen layout should not only look great aesthetically but also work well practically and ergonomically. First consider, what do you like about your existing kitchen’s layout? For example, is your food prep area in easy reach of the fridge and sink? Then consider what don’t you like about it? Maybe the position of your hob means that the chef has to have their back to guests, or they can’t keep an eye on young children while they are cooking?
It’s also important to consider the size of your kitchen and the space available; could the room benefit from an extension? Or maybe by reconfiguring the layout of your home you could create a better flow in the existing space?
For open-plan layouts that overlook the garden, consider factoring in a separate boot-room for muddy boots or utility room to house noisy or unsightly domestic appliances?
How to choose the perfect kitchen appliances
For most homeowners, planning a new kitchen is also a good time to review their appliances. For a growing family, a larger fridge freezer might now be required or for avid cooks, more specialist appliances such as warming drawers and sous-vide equipment may be desired. What about wine storage too? If you like to entertain regularly, a wine cooler might be a useful addition to your dining area.
Iconic range ovens such as Agas are often inherited in kitchens and can be incorporated into new designs alongside contemporary, integrated appliances, for day-to-day convenience.
Important factors to consider when shopping for new appliances are the economy ratings and noise output, particularly for open-plan living areas. New Wi-Fi technology enabled appliances are also available, which can be useful for those living hectic lives.
Picking the perfect material for worksurfaces
With the constant preparation and cleaning-up after mealtimes during lockdown, kitchen worktops will be working harder than ever before. Natural stones and wooden surfaces look great but aren’t always the most practical for busy family kitchens as they can be prone to staining.
The best worktop is one that matches the style of your kitchen and is practical for your lifestyle. Are the current worktops durable? Heat resistant? And, do they look good as new after they’ve been cleaned? The colour and pattern is another consideration – darker surfaces have a tendency to show smears more easily for example.
Seating space for the whole family
When all the family are together is there enough seating in the kitchen to eat as a family? Would a breakfast bar be a useful addition to the room? If you like to entertain regularly, having an area where guests can perch while the chef finishes off any last-minute food preparation is handy. It is also worth considering what other activities might require seating, for example, do you use the kitchen for working from home or helping children to complete their homework, or is the space for an ultimate family game night vital?
Handy kitchen storage solutions
The amount of storage you require will depend on many factors. From the amount of people who live in the home, through to how much kitchen equipment you own and how regularly you like to entertain. During this period of lockdown, you may have found that you are lacking in freezer space, or there isn’t enough room in their cupboards for the additional dried food items? What solutions are available to help solve these issues?
A walk-in pantry or large larder cupboard might be the solution to lack of food storage for a large family or a separate utility room to house domestic appliances could create more space in the kitchen for additional cabinets in a more modest sized room.
Breakfast cupboards are proving a popular choice with kitchen clients this year. Not only do they provide storage for dried food goods, but they can also house smaller, unsightly appliances such as coffee machines and toasters – keeping the kitchen surfaces clear. This is especially useful in open-plan living areas where the room is truly multifunctional.
Adding a touch of luxury to a kitchen
Just like buying a new car, there are many features that you can include in your new kitchen to add a touch of luxury to the aesthetic and/or functionality of the space. From wine coolers to bespoke drinks cabinets and integrated visual and audio equipment, the possibilities are endless.
Most of the high-end kitchen appliance manufacturers now have products with wi-fi enabled technology – meaning you can start cooking dinner on your commute home from work! Boiling water taps are perhaps the most popular addition to luxury kitchens this decade. They are quieter to use than a kettle (again an important consideration in open-plan living areas), and instant, therefore perfect for busy kitchens with family members coming and going at different times of the day.
Time to start planning the perfect kitchen
When planning a bespoke kitchen the possibilities are endless. You have control over every aspect of the design, meaning you can create the perfect space that is not only aesthetically pleasing but perfectly meets the needs of family life.
During lockdown, families are spending a lot more time together in their home, making it the perfect time to consider which improvements would benefit their property. If you’re ready to take the first step in planning your dream kitchen get in touch with us today. Our team of expert designers look forward to hearing from you.
Alternatively, keep reading more about how to plan a kitchen extension on our blog.