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Good idea guide for kitchens
Designs for your kitchen may be more involved than you first thought so we have listed some ideas that we hope will assist you in choosing your dream kitchen. Over the years we have spoken to various companies, salespeople, architects, designers and have compiled a list of dos and don'ts to help you make the right decision.
Funding of your kitchen? Approximately 90% of people who purchase a new kitchen borrow from a bank, building society or themselves. We would suggest that the building society offers the lowest interest rates for borrowing and are well worth perusing.
Always have a look through some of our kitchen brochures to see if you like a design before you meet your kitchen supplier.
Before deciding on your supplier it is always a good bet to see some of their previous work and if possible speak to one or two of their clients.
Guarantees are always very important. In general your guarantee should be for a period of not less than 5 years and should cover the entire kitchen including catches etc.
The cost of your kitchen will be dependent upon the material (wood being the most expensive), design and appliances i.e. the type of cooker, fridge freezer etc.
Is your existing kitchen in the right position for you? Or have you thought of building your new kitchen perhaps in a larger room with a different aspect? By doing this you may be able to incorporate your dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer.
Do you intend to eat in your kitchen but space is a bit tight, then perhaps a breakfast bar is the answer. They do not jut out into the room. Breakfast bars can be designed to pull out from a cupboard or work area. So after breakfast just push it away and hey presto it's gone! This leaves you with valuable floor space.
Where shall we put the sink? Not necessarily under the window. We know this was common 20 years ago when the dishes where always washed by hand in the sink so boredom could be broken by looking out onto the garden. The arrival of dishwashers has lead to sinks moving away from the windows. You may now consider placing your kitchen table or breakfast bar near this area so you get good natural light for eating and reading the early morning post.
One of the most important appliances in any kitchen is a good extractor system. We suggest a minimum of 150mm diameter fan is installed. This will remove any cooking smells and vapour, and should where possible be sited as close to your cooker as possible. This will also help to keep your kitchen clean. You will be surprised how quickly the kitchen gets dirty.
When planning your kitchen i.e. work surfaces, cooker, fridge etc. try to think of working within a triangle. This will help you to keep your work appliances where you will need them. However your kitchen designer will assist you with this.
Cooking on gas or electricity? Which one is the best? What shall I have? With today's high-powered electric quick heat and infrared plates and together with cleaning there is not much difference between them. It's down to your personal choice. For quick meals do not forget the microwave, which can do all that your large oven can do but quicker and cheaper.
Wall tiling is well worth considering. This looks great and is easy to keep clean; the biggest problem is the choice. There are so many different styles and colours to choose from, but again your kitchen designer will advise you.
Lighting your kitchen. A centre light is always a good idea to give maximum light when preparing food, or a number of small inset Halogen light in the ceiling. However we do not expect that you would leave this on all of the time and would advise pelmet lights at the bottom of the wall cupboards. Where possible small Halogen lights always looks good.
Power points should be plentiful. You need approximately a double plug every 1.5 metres or so, for food mixers, toasters, blenders and kettles. The list of appliances goes on and on.
Floor covering is the last item fitted. This can be in many forms from stone, slate, ceramic, wood, strip and vinyl. The choice available is mind blowing. The most important thing to do is to ensure that everything that has been fitted complements its neighbour. Don't rush, take your time when choosing the right colour and material. Remember that it is the detail that adds charm and character to your kitchen so discuss them with your designer. He or she is the expert and that way you will get it right first time.