Martin Roberts shares tips on renovating your kitchen
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A new kitchen is a huge but worthwhile investment for any home. Looks and functionality wise, it will always add value to your property. But there are key kitchen design mistakes to avoid to ensure it doesn’t cost you in the long run. One thing homeowners don’t want to do is forget the finer details.
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The primary function of any kitchen is to cook and prepare food, so it has to be highly functional.
It’s therefore important to always start the design process by looking at how the space will be used when preparing and cooking meals.
Ruth Lavender, design expert at Benchmarx Kitchens spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk on the importance of planning a kitchen carefully to avoid certain faux pas.
She said: “Kitchen faux pas can often occur due to things getting forgotten or overlooked in the early stages of planning and they only become evident once the kitchen is complete and in use.
“Designing a new kitchen involves a lot of planning, thought and consideration, so it’s understandable that some elements are missed by homeowners along the way.
“These eventualities can be easily avoided by working with a reputable kitchen designer who will consider all design elements early in the design process.”
Designing your dream kitchen can be an exciting process and it can be easy to concentrate only on the glamorous elements.
But forgetting practical essentials is one of the biggest mistakes homeowners can make when designing kitchens.
Ruth explained: “Often, people get so wrapped up in picking colours, surfaces, and cupboards, they forget to consider the small details which have a huge impact on the practicality and enjoyment of the kitchen.”
Homeowners need to dedicate time to addressing the more mundane details as these are essential elements of kitchen designs.
The expert advised: “An effective way to address this is to make a list of all your current kitchen annoyances.
“Maybe you’re missing plug sockets near your counters for your toaster and kettle, or you don’t have space to store your waste bin.
“This will help you to decipher which practical solutions you’ll need to include in your new kitchen design so you can avoid finding yourself with an unsightly bin on show in your brand new, beautiful kitchen or having to re-think your kitchen layout because there’s not an accessible plug for your coffee machine.”
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Wasted storage space is another problem that plagues many of the UK’s kitchens, with spots left empty or cabinets and draws that haven’t been designed to maximise storage capacity.
Ruth says that “through careful planning these issues can easily be avoided.”
She added: “Consider where you need storage, what is going to be stored where, and what you access the most.
“This will help you to decide the types of storage solutions you need, where they are placed and what additional organisation solutions should be incorporated.
“Integrated carousels are excellent for convenience as they allow you to locate different utensils quickly without you having to scramble around at the back of the cupboard.
“Pan drawers are another great option as they provide the depth needed to store larger items whilst keeping them accessible.
“You can make the most of every inch of your cupboard space with concealed drawers, pull-out wire shelves and storage baskets too.”
A lack of functional lighting can not only be “inconvenient” but in some cases “hazardous”, according to the designer.
Ruth explained: “An under-lit kitchen can be inconvenient, and in some cases hazardous.
“Kitchen work requires ample lighting, yet many kitchens lack the illumination that is needed to carry out these tasks.
“This problem can be avoided by strategically planning your lighting to ensure it works for your kitchen layout.”
Each zone needs to have sufficient lighting which is specifically chosen for the purpose of that area.
It’s also important to check that your ceiling lighting isn’t blocked by any cabinets, as this can result in a wasted light source that serves no purpose.
The interior pro noted that installing multiple light sources is one of the most effective ways to make sure there is ample light that is fit for purpose.
A combination of spotlights, hanging pendant fixtures and under-cabinet lighting will ensure that every space has appropriate lighting.
The kitchen is the heart of the home, and particularly over the past few years, they have become multi-functional spaces for the whole family.
“A common mistake homeowners make is that they design a kitchen that is not an accurate reflection of how they live and doesn’t take into consideration how they will use their kitchen in years to come,” says Ruth.
It’s important to think about the practicality of your design and consider whether it truly works for your family and lifestyle.
The expert explained: “For example, a light, bright kitchen with open shelving is great for making the room feel larger, but if you have young children with messy hands and not a lot of time to clean, this design may be too high maintenance.
“To avoid this, consider how your household normally uses your kitchen and how they will use it in the future.”
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