5 Things You Should Know Before Planning Your New Kitchen

Organised Kitchen Pantry Shelves

If you’ve got plans to redesign your kitchen soon, you need to read this post!

Getting a new kitchen is an amazing experience. But it can also be highly stressful and exhausting if you don’t know what to expect beforehand. There are a million and one things to consider; if you haven’t planned out a kitchen project before… it can be a minefield!

So, Let Me Help You!

I’m going to give you a guide to what you should expect from your kitchen design experience, straight from the designer’s mouth! Starting with the following five things you should know before planning out your kitchen.

Kitchen with Mosaic Splashback

1. Expect the Process to Take Longer Than You Think.

A kitchen is just a few units stuck on a wall with some appliances and worktops, right? How long could getting one sorted take?

Truth…. quite a while. From the first design consultation, through to the installation, there is so much to consider and sort out, that you need to expect there to be a lot of time between both steps.

The design process should not be rushed.

If you are asking a professional kitchen designer for help then it is important to spend time going through the process. Your designer should not want to rush this process either. They should insist that you put your time and thought into getting your future kitchen design and layout just right.

You will have to live with this kitchen for a long time and it will be a large – worthwhile – investment for you. So don’t rush it! Enjoy it too!

Rustic Kitchen Table

Once your design process is complete and you are happy with how your future kitchen looks, you need to expect the next step to take time too. The kitchen needs to be ordered and there will be a lead time. (Whether you are going for flat pack or rigid furniture in your kitchen and the type of manufacturer you choose will determine the lead time you should expect.)

If you have chosen to have a gorgeous painted kitchen then expect the lead time to be longer again. But it’s worth the wait… just look at my Pinterest board of painted kitchens if you don’t believe me.

Then comes the fun part….

The installation!

I don’t wish to put you off this exciting process, but I do wish to prepare you… expect a little chaos.

If you’ve chosen to have the kitchen installed by one company or you have opted to have several separate contractors undertake the transformation, (or even if you’ve chosen to do the refurbishment yourself – ya’ll be crazy!), chaos will ensue over the coming weeks.

Always take the estimated time of installation with a pinch of salt.

Hopefully, everything will go as planned! Hopefully, every item of your new kitchen will arrive on time, in perfect condition, with all your workmen on site, ready to work together to make your kitchen installation flow like a dream! But…. life is rarely that simple. Components can sometimes turn up damaged or electrician’s can be waylaid on another job, delaying the plasterer, delaying the joiner… and so on.

It happens.

And in those situations, however frustrating they may be, the common factor for every kitchen project is that the length of time they take only gets a little longer. If this happens to you, don’t worry, you’re not alone and the project WILL get finished.

industrial feel kitchen

Then comes the cleanup and finishing touches.

Please know, my friend, that you are going to be finding dust throughout your ENTIRE house for days after. No matter what you do to ensure you keep your home clean during the kitchen installation, no matter how pristine and careful your fitters are, no matter how many dust sheets are spread and how many times Henry the Hoover has popped out to have a quick tidy up…. dust for days.

No, weeks. You will not believe where that stuff gets.

I will write a blog post that goes more in depth through the whole process of a kitchen installation soon. It will cover all the stages, but if I can emphasise anything to you today, it’s to expect your future kitchen dream to take time.

brick tile kitchen splashback

2. Do Your Research

Now, I do not expect you to become a kitchen designer and have your entire space planned out to the millimetre. I also don’t expect you to know the exact colour you want before you’ve seen your options in person.

BUT.

If you walk into a kitchen showroom with absolutely no idea what you like or want… you will be faced with an overwhelming amount of choice. A good designer will help you make decisions on what you need for your perfect kitchen lifestyle, but if you already have an idea of what style of kitchen you like, it will help your design process start off on a great footing.

Use Pinterest and Google to help you discover styles and trends, colours and layouts that you like. And that you really don’t like.

rustic farmhouse kitchen

Let your designer know what you’ve found when you go to look around showrooms and they will be able to show you what they have to offer that will suit your tastes.

Check out my Pinterest for some great ideas and styles of kitchens.

gas hob rings in worktop

3. Know Your Appliance Needs

This may seem obvious. Again, I’m not saying you should be able to recite the exact appliance brand, model number and energy rating of every (or any) appliance you might want. But your designer will ask you how you will be using your kitchen and your appliance needs.

Think about what size of fridge and freezer you will need. Will you be needing a dishwasher? If you have a big family then a standard size dishwasher will be necessary, but if there are only one or two of you living in your home, a slimline dishwasher will be ample size.

Do you love to cook and host large parties, or have all the family around over the holidays? Maybe a double oven is the perfect option for you… a lot of people are now asking for two single ovens! Think about these kind of things as you prepare for your first venture into the world of kitchen showrooms.

Talk with your partner or family about the priorities for this room. It is the heart of the home and must be as functional as possible, whilst looking awesome.

oak kitchen wortktop and chopping block

4. Beneath the surface

The surfaces you want to have in your kitchen is an important decision too. The worktops will get the most use and wear in your kitchen, so choosing something that works for you and your lifestyle is vital. Check out my blog post all about the three most popular worksurface types and their pros and cons.

large traditional kitchen

5. Set a budget

This is oh so important.

Too many times I’ve had an initial consultation with clients, asked their budget for the project and they’ve responded with a frustrating and confusing:

“We don’t know really.”

Here’s why this is the wrong approach to planning out your kitchen project.

Your budget is a vital part of choosing the style, layout, appliances, worktops, installation….. well, every other part of the kitchen planning really. Without a budget in mind, you will be like a pilot trying to fly a plane without any navigation system.

A good kitchen designer will not ask you your budget just to be nosey and see how much money they can get out of you. They will ask because they do not want to waste your time or their’s designing a kitchen that looks amazing but is completely wrong for you on a financial level.

This can work both ways. If your budget is £20,000 of your hard-earned and saved up money, but you don’t tell your designer this, they could design you a £8,000 kitchen that doesn’t meet any of your dreams or style requirements and you could feel very disappointed and underwhelmed.

If your budget is £8,000 but you don’t tell your designer, they will again be flying blindly as they potentially design a kitchen that has all the mod cons you’re not that bothered about and that add up to a total of £25,000.

Telling your designer your budget will also help them tailor your consultation to you. They will be able to show you the options that best suit your needs and budget, rather than show you things that are not suitable for you.

Your Budget Should Include…

You need to consider installation costs, building materials, kitchen units, appliances, worktops, splashbacks and flooring with your budget too. When talking to your designer, ensure they clearly explain what their design and quotation does include and does not include. They should be able to give you a clear indication of how much service their company can provide, whether it’s just supply or supply and fit.

Decide if you want to tell your designer your full budget and let them know this includes all of the above, or whether you want to keep back a certain amount for installation and materials.

kitchen larder shelving

As I said at the beginning of this post, there is so much to think about when considering a change in kitchen design. But don’t let that put you off. It is an awesome experience too, and the end result of your dream kitchen is worth all of the effort.

Your kitchen designer and installers should be able to help you with all your decisions and all of the steps.

And now there’s me too!

Over the coming months I will be sharing lots of tips, advice and insight into the process and what you need to know to create your perfect kitchen. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss anything!

If you want to see me answer specific questions, or address a certain topic let me know in the comments below and I’ll be sure to look at it! Or, drop me an email if you have a question and I’ll help you find your answer!

Kim

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