Most people would agree that the kitchen is at the very heart of the home. It’s where people gather to cook, socialise and enjoy spending time with each other.
Homeowners – perhaps spurred on by a combination of home improvement programmes and foodie shows on TV – are investing in their kitchen like never before. They have better and more choices across the kitchen, and the rise of open plan living and smart homes means that innovation in the kitchen is the strongest it has ever been.
But the kitchen is also a practical room, and needs to suit whoever is doing the cooking, as well as those just hanging out. So what are the options for people looking to update their kitchen? Should they go for a full re-fit, transform the kitchen by replacing doors and work surfaces, or give the room a spruce up with a quick paint job?
Start with a plan
It sounds obvious, but the key to any successful kitchen update lies in the planning. People should ask themselves the following questions:
- Why do you need a new kitchen? Are you updating to sell? Have your needs for the kitchen grown or reduced or do you simply want to update your kitchen?
- What do you like about your current kitchen? Is there sufficient storage? Does the layout work well? Is there enough space for all your appliances or do you want to introduce new ones? Does the colour scheme work for you?
- What do you dislike about your current kitchen? Can you easily move around, even with more than one person in the room? Are any cupboards difficult to access? Do the finishes on the cupboards and worktops look dated?
- What preference do you have for the look and feel of your new kitchen? Do you want to create a warm and inviting space? Do you want your kitchen to be the hub of activity in your house? What style do you want?
- What are your storage needs? Do you need extra space? Do you have a lot of crockery, pots and pans, glassware or appliances to store?
- Do you have any special items to store or display in your new kitchen? Would you like to store wine bottles? Do you have cookbooks to display? Do you want a spice rack or an open shelf for access? What about general rubbish or recycling?
Remember the ‘work triangle’
Another important thing to remember is something professional kitchen designers refer to as the kitchen ‘work triangle’. This is formed by placing the units and kitchen appliances, with appropriate work surfaces, in a position that allows the user to work in a logical sequence throughout the major work areas (food storage, preparation, washing / cleaning, cooking, serving). Ideally, when added together, the three sides of the triangle should be between 3600mm and 6600mm.
And with a kitchen there are always plenty of opportunities to add more fun and stylish touches, such as:
Flowers, flowers, flowers
Even a kitchen space stripped back to basics can benefit from a quick fix. Fresh flowers are the simplest way to bring some seasonal cheer and whether bunched together or used sparingly around the kitchen, flowers create an immediate homely and welcoming impact in any room… not to mention a gloriously fresh smell!
Set a colourful table
Think florals and bright colours, complimented with fresh fruit. These seemingly small touches can help create an ambiance perfectly akin to summer. Your dining table is a precious space, shared with friends and loved ones. Let your decor reflect this.
Update old furniture
Consider painting some features of your kitchen. From your dining table and chairs, to your island and cabinet, adding a bright colour to your decor can make your kitchen come alive. Chalk paint is huge in the DIY world right now as it’s so versatile and user-friendly. Just remember to sand down first!
The devil really is in the detail when it comes to a kitchen refurbishment or redecoration project. Meticulous planning really will make all the difference when it comes to carrying out the work, which is why we have just launched the Dream Doors visualiser. This is a new kitchen design tool that allows consumers to plan their perfect kitchen, from door style and colour to different wall colours and flooring.
It can sometimes be hard for people to get a feel for how different colours and styles will go together in their kitchen, but the visualiser will make doing so much easier. Best of luck with your kitchen update!
About the author
Troy Tappenden is the MD of Dream Doors, the UK’s biggest kitchen makeover firm that transforms kitchens by by replacing doors, draw fronts and work surfaces.