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Your bespoke kitchen renovation questions answered

Thinking about a new bespoke kitchen for your home? Have lots of questions and not sure where to start? Our latest blog covers the most common questions, proving you with advice on where key design features and how and where to start your kitchen renovation project.

Where do I start when planning a new bespoke kitchen?

A new bespoke kitchen starts with a vision – so this is how you want your kitchen to look and function. Consider how you want to use your kitchen once it is completed, it is important that your kitchen reflects your lifestyle, your needs and your style preferences.

SSocial media is a great place for ideas and inspiration

Look to all different sources to seek your inspiration – interior design magazines, websites, social media, and even the architecture in your local area. Once you start researching, it can be useful to create a mood board what has all your favourite features and looks so that you can take it with you when you visit kitchen designers, but remember, the idea of bespoke is that the end result will be unique to you.

Once you start to have an idea on what you would like, make a list of must-haves and would like as it might be that your budget or space won’t cater for everything you would like. Finally, consider how your new kitchen works with the rest of your home as it shouldn’t be a stand-alone space, but needs to flow and coordinate with your entire home.

How do I budget for a bespoke kitchen renovation?

Budgeting for a bespoke kitchen can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Be sure to understand what your budget must cover such as design services, cabinetry, appliances, and installation. It is good practice to have a contingency pot set aside – aim for 10% to 15% of your overall budget, in case you run into any problems.

Prioritise your spending based on your must-haves and then see what you have left over for your would-likes. It might seem daunting at the cost of high-quality, long-lasting cabinetry, materials and appliances might but they prove cost-effective in the long run, especially if you are planning to stay in your home for years to come.

   Is open shelving a good idea?

open shelving

Mersea Kitchen Case Study

Open shelving can be a great way to showcase beautiful crockery or cherished collectables. However, they require regular cleaning and organisation to maintain an uncluttered appearance which can create more work than you would like. For a bespoke kitchen, consider combining open shelving with closed cabinetry for a balanced, functional design.

If you do decide to go for open shelving, make sure you think about your lighting options as well. The whole point of open shelving is to show off whatever you decide to put on your shelves, so you’ll want to make sure they are lit correctly.

Does a “kitchen triangle” between the fridge, stove, and sink really make a kitchen more efficient?

The kitchen triangle concept, where the fridge, stove, and sink are positioned to form a triangle, is intended to minimise movement and maximise efficiency. However, the effectiveness of this layout depends on your specific kitchen size, shape, and your cooking habits. Your kitchen designer will be able to discuss this in more detail with you and work out the best option for you.

How big does a bespoke kitchen need to be to fit in a kitchen island?

Audley Kitchen Case Study

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer as this is highly dependent on the layout and dimensions of your kitchen. However, a good rule of thumb is to maintain at least 1 metre of space around the island and 1.2 metres behind seating to ensure easy movement.

If you are wanting to put certain items into your island, such as the hob or sink, you’ll need to consider distances from areas such as seating, as well as how this may alter flow around the rest of the kitchen.

What design hacks make the best use of a bespoke kitchen island?

Best kitchen layout

A kitchen island can serve multiple functions but there is no right and wrong answer as to which is the best configuration – it is very much about what is right for you and your home. You may wish to consider incorporating a breakfast bar, installing a sink or hob, or using it as additional storage with built-in cabinets and drawers. Electrical sockets under breakfast bars are ideal for charging points and outlets near food preparation areas on the island can also make it a convenient place for small appliances to be used.

How can I tell if I’m making the most of my space when it comes to storage?

If every item in your kitchen has a designated space and is easily accessible, then you’re on the right track. Consider utilising height with floor-to-ceiling cabinets and remember to plan for small appliances too. A lot of our customers now ask for us to design kitchens where small appliances can be stored in cupboards, but also used in the space so they don’t need pulling out every time they are used. We make sure to account for plug sockets and pull-out worktops to make using easier.

What are the best storage hacks for a small bespoke kitchen?

Vertical storage, pull-out pantries, and clever corner cabinets can dramatically increase your storage capacity. Using drawer dividers and internal cabinet organisers helps maintain order and it means you can easily find what you are looking for, without having to route around and pull everything out.

How do you hide all the appliances — bread maker, stand mixer, etc. — without a butler pantry?

Consider corner appliance garages or bi-fold doored cabinets that can keep smaller appliances hidden yet accessible. Larger appliances can be integrated within the cabinetry or placed on pull-out shelves for easy access. The key is to design your kitchen with your specific appliances in mind. Do you love to bake and want a kitchen aid mixer? Do you make a smoothie each morning? If a kitchen designer knows these points, they can help to design solutions that take all this into account. That is the beauty of choosing a bespoke kitchen, you have the luxury of a kitchen whose design has been tailored to your needs.

How can I update a kitchen without ripping it out?

There are several ways to refresh your kitchen without resorting to a complete renovation. Replacing handles and painting cabinets in a fresh, modern colour can make a dramatic difference. Updating your countertops or backsplash, replacing old appliances with newer, more energy efficient models, and introducing new lighting can also significantly enhance the look and functionality of your kitchen.

What are the best bespoke kitchen trends to consider?

Trends in bespoke kitchen design include the use of darker and bold colours, sustainable materials, innovative storage solutions, and high-tech appliances. However, with a bespoke kitchen, your personal style and functionality needs should be the leading factors in your design decision. 

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