Any big purchase can be daunting and a new kitchen is no exception.
So, we thought we’d try and help by putting together a list of the top 5 things we find are the most important things to consider when looking for a new kitchen. If you know the answer to the following 5 questions, you’re well on your way……
How do I plan to use my kitchen space?
The kitchen is still very much the heart of the home but it is no longer just the room we cook in. We all have different lifestyle needs and the kitchen has become key to unlocking the design of your home and there are 3 main options that it’s important to look at.
Just Kitchen – This is the most traditional style option. The rooms entire function is for kitchen use with the possibility of breakfast bar eating. This style allows for a separate dining room for more formal dining. Often clients prefer this style as it keeps the smells and sounds of a kitchen shut off behind a door
Kitchen/Diner – This style has been around for some time now and combines family dining with the kitchen space. This style is very family orientated, losing some of the more formal dining but gaining an open plan space that brings the family together at meal times. Quite often there is the need for some building work with load bearing walls being removed to create the space but this upheaval is well worth it.
Kitchen/Living – This is the most recent evolution in kitchen design and has moved beyond the kitchen/diner into a kitchen/living area. This style creates an open plan area that brings the whole family together and not just at meal times. In addition to the kitchen you’re also adding sofas, tables, TV cabinets and drinks cabinets. This style needs a large space so isn’t always acheivabe but when it is, the space becomes so versatile. It will cater for parties, family meals, casual dining or supervising the kids doing their homework while you prepare a meal or chill out on the sofa.
What kind of style do I like and will it suit my home?
There is a lot of choice these days and it can sometimes be a very daunting process trying to decide on which door style you want for your kitchen. No matter how many variations of style and colour there are available, the kitchen can still be broken down into 3 basic styles and it’s important to know which style it is you want as this can impact on budget, design and suitability for your home.
Traditional kitchen – The traditional kitchen is a timeless style that often includes pilasters, mantles and dressers. The style tends to fit certain property types like farmhouses, manor houses and Victorian/Georgian style houses. Although the style is still incredibly popular, it doesn’t always lend itself to every property type and wouldn’t typically be seen a contemporary house or studio apartment
Modern/Contemporary kitchen – This style is still incredibly popular and has evolved in the uk market over the decades. Traditionally a slab gloss door with a handle, the style has moved on to include handle less options with either a J groove door or the true handle less rail system with accent colours and textures accenting or replacing the gloss finish. This style is most often seen in newer houses and apartments but the style can work in more traditional homes if the interior design has been done well
Shaker Style – The shaker style or variation on the shaker is the most versatile style you can choose. Depending on the variation, this door style can be designed in a very contemporary fashion or a more traditional theme and also works some where inbetween. The style looks at home in a farmhouse, manor house, new build or apartment.
What colour scheme would I want and what choices do I have?
Once you know which style you’ve chosen, the next step is to look at colour schemes. The colour options depend on which material you choose. Vinyl wrap doors and painted gloss doors are limited to the vinyls and colours offered from the manufacturers. Even bespoke kitchen companies tend to buy in vinyl and high gloss painted doors. There is however, a large collection to choose from so it is rarely prohibitive. If you are looking at painted matt doors then you have an unlimited choice depending on which kitchen supplier you use. Suppliers who offer off the shelf products will have a limited colour palette to choose from but bespoke kitchen suppliers like Bespoke Interiors, have in house spray booths so the paint options are endless.
What’s the difference between the different companies out there?
There are literally dozens of kitchen companies in the North East so making a decision on who to obtain quotes from probably feels like a guessing game. Hopefully we can help by explaining the basic differences between the different types of kitchen supplier
Flat pack/Mass produced – The flat pack and mass produced kitchens are the most affordable kitchens on the market but they are also the most limited in choice and quality. As these kitchens are made by the thousands, the materials used to manufacture them tend to be cheaper as the profits made by using cheaper materials is huge. It also pays to reduce the amount of choice in sizes, styles and colours so the kitchens can be bought in bulk and sold on to the general public. Generally the price is the selling point for these kitchens
Tailor made kitchens – I class tailor made kitchens as a different entity to bespoke kitchens. Tailor made kitchen companies offer a range of choices so you can spec your kitchen within the door ranges available to them. Unlike the mass produced markets that tend to have set ranges, the tailor made companies will offer different style/colour doors with different cabinet colours. The cabinets and doors from these companies tend to be a better quality to the flat pack markets and this is reflected in the price. There are however, still limitations with this type of kitchen supplier
This type of supplier generally doesn’t manufacture and instead, buy in cabinets and doors from suppliers. As a result, they can’t always offer bespoke sizes and colours as they still buy from distributors who only deal in standard sized doors. The finished result is a better quality kitchen but you run the risk of having fillers in places you wouldn’t want them, assymetrical designs and colours that don’t quite match what you wanted
Bespoke kitchens – Bespoke Kitchen companies can manufacture kitchens to any specification, style and size with their only limitation being the materials availble in the market place. This type of company tends to manufacture some of the components themselves and any components that aren’t manufactured in house are made to order by specialist suppliers. As the components are made to order, the material used are of greater quality and the finished installation is free from unwanted fillers etc as the designers aren’t restricted by set sizes. The colour choices are also limitless as they are painted in house or by hand on site.
Bespoke Interiors falls under this category and although our set up and capabilities mean we can offer truly bespoke kitchens, the cost can be comparable to the tailor made companies, depending on which style of kitchen you choose
High end branded kitchens – The kitchen companies at this end of the market can do everything that the bespoke kitchen suppliers can do. The key difference to companies at this level is the name awareness. Don’t get me wrong, the quality of finish and specification with these companies is excellent but nothing that isn’t achievable with some of the more affordable bespoke suppliers but just as a designer label adds pound signs to your clothing, a designer label does the exact same thing to your kitchen.
How much should I be looking to spend?
This is the most obvious question but isn’t always the deciding factor when choosing which supplier to go with
These are the main things we think you should consider when deciding on a budget
Which type of kitchen supplier do I want? If cost is the most important factor then mass produced kitchens are probably the way to go.
If you want more quality and a better design then you’re looking at the tailor made and bespoke kitchen suppliers. You’ll be paying anything from 8k-50k depending on size and spec but you’ll get something tailor made for you at good value for money
If you prefer the branded products then you are looking at the Mark Wilkinson, Clive Christians etc for your kitchen but expect to pay £60-£125k
How long do I want the kitchen to last? Due to the lack of quality in the flat pack/mass produced kitchens, we’d expect you to get 10 years from these kitchens if taken care of. With a bespoke kitchen you’d be looking at twice that
Will it add value to my home? Depending on the ceiling prices of your home, a good quality kitchen will add value to your home and even when there is no value to be added, a new kitchen can help sell your home. We advise speaking to your estate agent before deciding to buy a bespoke kitchen for the purposes of selling your home
We hope this blog post has helped with your kitchen planning but we still advise speaking to an expert designer for more detailed advice
We’d love to work with you on your next home project. We design and fit bespoke furniture in Newcastle, Northumberland, Durham and throughout the North East. Drop us a message and we’d be happy to answer any queries you may have or can arrange an appointment in our Newcastle showroom or your home.
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