A new kitchen is on the top of many people's lists for home improvements, but being a costly and major project, it is important that you really take the time to think about every facet before you take the plunge. It's so much more involved than just choosing a new colour for the walls or picking out some cabinet doors that you like, so don't approach this process too lightheartedly.
Kitchen planning will involve a lot of thinking, talking and measuring, but just so that you don't get lost in the process, we have created this article for you to reference throughout your own project. If you're ready, let's take a deep breath and talk about how to start planning a brand new kitchen for your home.
When we say look at the space, we don't mean the cabinets that you have in your kitchen already, we want you to picture the room with absolutely nothing in it so that you can get a better idea of how much room you have and what shape it is. This might sound obvious, but if you draw your kitchen out, you will be surprised at how much room you have to play with and what shape the walls actually are, without cabinets attached to them.
We think this example, from MRS Interior Design is great, as it seems relatively small, but if you started the process of kitchen planning with a scale drawing, it would be a lot bigger than you think, thanks to the dresser and alcove.
When you know what cabinets you will be including, have ordered all your appliances and have a detailed scale drawing to work from, you can start considering the more aesthetic and less space driven elements of your kitchen planning, such as what you are going to decorate the walls with!
We are longstanding fans of tiles, as they allow for easy cleaning, come in a huge variety of styles, colours and sizes and can add a lot of personality to a space without much manual effort. What's even better is that they are fairly simple to change or replace, if you decide you are not as keen on them.
The right floor in your kitchen will be decided by many factors, including what style of kitchen you have opted for, the age of your house, who lives in the house and your colour scheme. With all of these considerations taken into account, you should be able to simply identify what material will work best for you and set about getting it ordered.
Kitchen planning can quickly become a never-ending saga of trying to choose between very similar looking items, so don't get sucked into this and focus instead on what your requirements are, then select the product that best meets them and in the most appealing way. Trust your judgement!
When you know how much space you have to play with, your kitchen planning can move onto the next phase, which is accounting for any equipment you will want installed. These items are non-negotiable and necessary, so once you add these to your plan, you can precisely work out how much room you have left for cupboards and drawers.
Always work around the necessary items first, as anything you would have liked to include but can't can be thought about later and potentially placed elsewhere, but you can't put your cooker anywhere else!
With everything ordered and your kitchen planning complete, it's time to schedule your construction team. We know that you may have decided to lay and fit everything yourself, in which case, good luck, but for those of you that prefer to leave large projects in the hands of capable and experienced professionals, be sure to have a strict schedule of build drawn up and, if you can, a fixed price contract in place.
Hiring professionals should be a guarantee of quality workmanship and perfect finishing, plus it takes the responsibility away from you, which will be a relief after all the planning!
With your new kitchen in place, now is the time to add a dining area, if it can accommodate one. You can never really be sure how much space will be left over once everything is fitted, so try to hold off on buying a dining table until the work has been completed and you can have a proper measure up. If it transpires that there isn't quite enough room for a dining area, think about adding something smaller, such as a breakfast bar and ask your trades team for their advice.
If the kitchen is on your list of home improvements for 2016, take a look at this Ideabook: Timeless Kitchen Designs. We think this will give you some great ideas to build on.