Published on Wednesday, 21st June 2017
The kitchen is the heart and soul of any home. AJG take a look at how to maximise your space with these kitchen ideas whether you have a large or small kitchen…
With the kitchen acting as the hub for most family homes, it’s really important that the space works for everybody. Taking the time to understand how your family uses the kitchen will help determine the best style, layout and furniture that you include. You can easily find clever pieces to make the most of small kitchens and lovely lighting to add the wow factor to large kitchens. Take a look at these top tips to make any kitchen come alive.
Choosing the right layout for your kitchen depends largely on how you use it. Some things to consider are which meals you eat in the kitchen (if any), how often you cook from scratch, how many people use the kitchen, where your plumbing, gas and electric points are and how tall you are (sounds daft but will you be able to reach high cupboards etc?). How often you cook from scratch may influence how much prep space you need and the size of your oven. If you’re more of a zap it and go kind of chef then a microwave and less workspace may be more suitable than acres of glistening marble.
Rustic country kitchen or uber-modern techy kitchen? Your kitchen is a great place to really let your own character shine through with the décor you choose. A rack full of Emma Bridgewater plates may not suit a modern minimalist preference for example so it’s important to ensure that you choose a consistent style.
Keeping paintwork white or light in colour will add space and light if you don’t have much natural light coming in and adding a pop of colour with a vinyl splashback panel can add instant energy to a plain kitchen.
Wall coverings need to be practical so consider using tiles or splashbacks rather than wallpaper in areas that are likely to come into contact with water or cooking splashes.
If you like to dine in the kitchen, unless you have a large area to work with, then having a central island with knee-level storage may not be practical as you’ll also need a table and chairs, but if you choose one with integrated seating this would work really well!
With spillages and high traffic your kitchen floor probably has to be the most robust in the house so consider this as well as the overall style you have opted for. Country kitchens suit traditional flagstones and luxury vinyl tiles offer an incredibly durable surface in seemingly endless designs from wood effect to marble to traditional tile. Opting for a light colour again will give the illusion of space, whilst opting for a darker colour if your units are white will add a beautiful contrast.
Never underestimate how much storage you’ll need in your kitchen. If you have lots of appliances such as a dishwasher, washing machine and dryer in your kitchen, these will limit the amount of under-counter storage you’ll be able to have so it’s likely you’ll need more wall cabinets. Check the height of wall cabinets to make sure you can reach the top shelf as there’s nothing more annoying that having to grab the kick-stool every time you need a plate!
If you have limited other storage cupboards in your house, it may be useful to add a large cupboard in your kitchen to house the vacuum cleaner and cleaning products etc. Again, thinking about what you cook is important; if you buy mostly fresh or frozen foods then much of your grocery shop will be in the fridge/freezer but if you buy a lot of dried and tinned food then you’ll need a decent pantry-style cupboard too.
If you’re a less-is-more person, you may not like lots of pots, pans and paraphernalia on show in your nice new kitchen, so thinking about where and how to store utensils and equipment will be important.
To transform the practical element of your kitchen into a designer’s dream, opt for clever up-lighting and mood lighting in and under cabinets.
If you are using lots of lights, keep your energy bill sweet too by installing energy efficient LED bulbs which last a lot longer, are more sustainable and will save money over time.
Aside from the toilet (sorry!) the kitchen is probably going to see more dirt and grime than anywhere else in the home. When designing your kitchen therefore it’s important to bear this in mind. You’ll want clear access to mop floors and avoid dust and dirt gathering nooks and ledges. If possible opt for cabinets that go right to the ceiling to avoid the dreaded dust trap and install flooring that doesn’t mind being cleaned with a steamer or detergents.
We have to admit, the AJG team does love a gadget! If you do too, when designing your kitchen, consider the number of power sockets and their placement. Do you like to watch TV whilst you cook? Need a smart fridge to stay fully connected with food and family? (Did you know that we are NEST certified meaning you can stay in control of your household energy consumption at the touch of an app? Ask us for more info).
Often choosing a new kitchen seems like the easy part compared to actually getting it installed. But if you do feel like you need some design inspiration just talk to us, we have a great eye for detail and an excellent relationship with local suppliers ensuring we source the right products for your kitchen. Experts in all areas of kitchen refurbishment, renovation and installation from flooring to lighting and everything in-between, we can also talk to you about resizing your kitchen or adding an extension. Once you have chosen your kitchen, our team of master-craftsmen are on hand to install it and can even do the electrics, plumbing and P&D for you too, ensuring you don’t have to hunt around for different trades.
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