While many have their own ideas about what they like and how they want things to look, there are a few mistakes many people make when designing a kitchen. Richard Davonport, managing director at Davonport, claims to have witnessed many “deadly sins” homeowners make when trying to plan their new bespoke kitchen. To help Britons avoid going down the same route, the kitchen designer has shared some of his advice and insider secrets.
No focal point
According to Richard, “every room needs a focal point”. This is an area that draws in the eye and really creates a statement.
He said: “In a sitting room, it’s usually the fireplace; in a bedroom, it’s often the bed itself, and so the same goes for the kitchen.”
It might be that households choose a statement island or a freestanding drinks cabinet, or perhaps a cabinetry colour or dramatic splashback as their focal point.
The expert added: “Choosing one feature to lead the design or style also means that other elements play supporting roles so that the room isn’t overpowered with too many ideas.”
Cabinetry is too tall
It’s quite common practice to build several floor-to-ceiling full height cabinets. This can work well in a large room as it gives the impression of a “false wall rather than a run of cupboards”.
However, when this is incorporated into smaller rooms, the effect is somewhat different and “can lead a room to feel smaller, darker and claustrophobic”.
Richard recommended: “If this is a look you love and space is at a premium, speak to your designer about incorporating features across the run of cupboards that break up the uniformity.
“For example, adding some glazing not only mixes things up but can also reflect natural light and brighten up the room.”
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Separate cutlery from cooking utensils
For those who have the space, make sure cooking utensils are near the hob or range and that the cutlery is nearer to the dining area.
Richard claimed that this makes for better zoning in the kitchen and therefore less congestion in busy areas.
Not leaving gaps
The main focus of many homeowners is to cram as much storage as possible into their space. However, this often leaves little room to manoeuvre around the kitchen and leaves family members constantly in each other’s way.
The designer explained that by allowing at least a 900 mm distance between walls and cabinetry or other furniture, there is plenty of passing room, but cupboards and shelves are still within easy reach of the cook.
Wrong proportions for wall cupboards
One of the beauties of choosing bespoke cabinetry is that not only is it custom-fitted to a room, it can also be custom designed.
This is important in more quirky properties, particularly those with extraordinary ceiling heights.
A very low ceiling height might require wall cabinetry to be adapted from standard measurements to something a little more tailored.
For example, a country cottage with wooden ceiling beams may be better suited to much smaller wall cabinets. This is not only so the doors are unhindered by the beams but also to ensure they do not dominate the room.
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Not understanding trends end
Richard claimed that trends that circulate online from time to time are “certainly not enduring or appealing to everyone”.
When designing a kitchen, the priority is obviously to get things right but a little forethought about whether it would help or hinder a house sale in the future is also worthwhile.
The designer said: “If you really want to be on-trend then consider freestanding pieces that can create standout instead of the fitted kitchen furniture, which is expensive to replace.
“Select items that are easy to replace without disrupting the entire room and by planning ahead, you’ll get that extra flexibility you might desire later on.”
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