Top 10 Design tips from your Granite & TREND Transformations Design Guru, Janet!
Considering updating your kitchen, but don’t know where to begin? Janet to the rescue… here are her top 10 tips:
Planning your space
Start with the question… how do you want your kitchen to work for you? Consider… does it meet your family’s current needs, or does it feel outdated? Do you have young children that need highchairs or are your children old enough to now enjoy the multi-uses of a breakfast bar? Or, is the breakfast bar now unnecessary; would you rather have some comfy seating, a cosy breakfast ‘booth’ for example that can double up as a handy workspace? And what about socialising and seating the family and any guests? Starting with the end in mind is a great way to plan your space.
Of course, as well as being the heart of the home, your kitchen needs to deliver on the practicalities of keeping everyone fed and watered. So, what level of functionality do you require and how to optimise your workspace? Consider room for hot pans on either side of the hob with room for plate stacking in close proximity to the dishwasher. Do you have ample room on your worktop to prepare your meals (does that toaster always get in the way?) How about adding a breakfast cabinet to make the mornings run efficiently and zone your spaces? Our functional cabinet solutions bring new storage space into your kitchen.
Aligned with functionality is storage. And let’s face it, when it comes to the kitchen, we all need more storage space. Would changing a cupboard to deep drawers work better for you? How about a larder cupboard to keep all food items in one place? Storage is the key to a successful kitchen; never underestimate how much you will need – then add some more! A kitchen island can be reimagined with storage shelves either end to store that over-sized teapot you just can’t let go of or the ever-growing recipe book collection! Perhaps you have space at the end of a run of tall cabinets to add a shallow cupboard for your ironing board, or tall cleaning equipment? And if you find you can never reach anything in your corner cupboard – then there’s always a solution and we can install some clever functional integrated shelving to solve that problem for you.
So, with your cabinets and worktops sorted, now it’s time to let ‘light’ bring your space to life. Overhead lighting is great to brighten the room but can cast shadows. We think under counter lighting is not only highly practical for worktops but looks elegant and can set the right mood too. You could also try floor level lighting to add ambience. We also offer useful interior lights for your cupboards, dressers or breakfast units. Getting the lighting right in your kitchen goes back to all those planning considerations at the outset – planning the light for work, cooking and of course, entertaining.
Keeping the kitchen free of smoke, steam and smells is another key consideration. Extractors come in the traditional cooker hood variety and now also in a worktop level hob extractor, which cleverly extracts vapours downwards, discreetly reducing unwanted odours and steam in the kitchen. Made for minimalist kitchens, this extractor is top of the class in efficiency.
To keep your worktops free and clear from clutter, using space saving appliances helps. Remove the kettle by adding a boiling tap – and perhaps go one step further by upgrading to include a water filter. By combining your oven with a microwave, you not only save space but get an oven full of possibilities – from grilling, to baking, microwave cooking and plate warming! Neff have a very unique ‘slide and hide’ oven with the door sliding into the unit itself (think Great British Bake Off), which works brilliantly if you have a kitchen island.
Bosch have created a series of smart built-in ovens with PerfectBake and PerfectRoast; giving you perfect baking and roasting results – automatically. They also come with the Pyrolytic programme which means that your oven will heat up to a maximum of 480 °C and burn away any grease or food residue. All that’s left is a bit of dust that can be easily wiped away. Clever!
The devil is often in the detail… and again, when it comes to planning, deciding how many and where your electrical points are is a key component. Do you want them hidden, on show or dynamic – and just as with storage, it’s likely that you’ll need more sockets than you think. It sounds obvious but all the electrical appliances in the kitchen need to plug in somewhere. Your new boiling water tap, for example – even though not on show will need a socket inside the cabinet where the cylinder will be housed. Wine fridges, coffee machines, laptops, TVs – any new appliance whether integrated or not, that you have added to your renovation will need some a place to plug in. So be sure not to get caught out when planning – do an audit of what you currently have, and what you think you’ll need and where.
Have you considered discreet integrated bin storage – with two or four compartments to organise your waste efficiently. Food waste, recycling, general waste – depending on how your waste service operates, you may have a few options to break down and manage your refuse. Tidying your dustbins away inside a cupboard keeps the kitchen neat and tidy as well as away from any curious ‘furry’ members of the household.
Last but not least… remember, you spend a lot of time in your kitchen, so do everything you can to love it and make it yours and bring out your personality. Once the basics of layout, practicalities and appliances have been decided, it’s time to have some fun and add in some individuality. We love using our glass mosaic for upstands, splashbacks or even a feature wall. You can also use two tone cabinetry to add some drama, perhaps dark blue below and light grey above? Or create a standout worktop on your kitchen island. The creative possibilities are endless, and we are here to help produce the kitchen of your dreams.
Happy kitchen transformation planning…
We hope Janet has inspired you with her top 10 design tips for planning a kitchen renovation. If you’re thinking of making some changes in 2021, get in touch, we’d be delighted to hear from you.
With locations across the United Kingdom, there is a good chance there is a Granite or TREND Transformations showroom near you.
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