Whether your kitchen is in need of a remodel or it’s time to update your decor, kitchen renovations are always top of the list for UK homes. As one of the few places where modern families head to relax and unwind en masse, contemporary kitchens should be busy spaces. Yet our stock of historic properties here in the UK means we don’t always have kitchens which suit our needs.
The kitchen is certainly the heart of the contemporary home and a dream kitchen makeover has the power to transform how you live within your property. Ideally, we all want our kitchen to be a beautiful, multi-functional, clean living space that’s cosy and full of light. How do you ensure your kitchen renovation delivers?
Use this comprehensive kitchen renovation guide to find all the answers you need to plan and design a beautiful kitchen that’s a joy for the entire family to use.
From where to start, to which materials to choose and how to plan for success, here are all the interior design tips and ideas you need for the perfect kitchen remodel.
There’s no doubt that a full kitchen remodel is a huge undertaking. Even if you only want to make a few updates to your kitchen, deciding where to start and which to make can feel daunting. Today we have huge expectations for our kitchens, with kitchen renovations potentially able to add, according to thetimes.co.uk, up to 15% to the value of your home – if executed right.
Speaking to idealhome.co.uk, Angela Wallace, Divisional Sales Director at Purplebricks, said kitchens which add the most value to a home in the UK are ‘modern, sleek, and neutral in colour’. Add ‘decent’ ‘integrated appliances and clever kitchen lighting’ and you could add an estimated £10k onto the value of a family-sized home.’
Indeed, if you live in North London, Central London and other parts of the capital, return on investment for a high-quality kitchen renovation can be particularly good.
With so much at stake, where should you start your kitchen renovation?
Begin your kitchen renovation by standing in your kitchen and thinking about how you and your family use your kitchen at present. Then consider how you would like to use it in future. Think about aspects of the space which do work as well as those which don’t.
Explore how you could change elements which aren’t suited to your needs? Maybe you need a longer worktop or a worktop in a different position? Are you desperate for a bigger oven? Maybe you dream of having room to dine, entertain or look out over the garden as you cook.
Think too, about how you feel in your kitchen now and how you want to feel when it’s finished? Note all these desires and goals down as well as elements you want to keep.
Map where fixed features of your kitchen are. Utilities, sockets, doors, windows, pipework and architectural features such as sloping walls, will all affect where you can position appliances, cupboards, worktops and the sink.
Create a mood board of ideas, styles and colours you like so you can begin to decide on a colour scheme and overall style for your kitchen remodel. Keep a photo of your existing kitchen on your mood board as well as your map of fixed features so your plans and ideas remain rooted in practical designs that will work in the space you have.
With the beginnings of your plans in place on your mood board, you can now begin to think about the types of materials you want to use in your new kitchen. Materials are an important choice, as well as complementary surfaces and textures remember to consider how practical each will be for you and your family.
Although there is so much inspo around, try to look for inspiration from kitchens of a similar size to your own so the ideas you gather are more likely to work in your kitchen space. It’s also vital you take some time to think about how your kitchen redesign will fit with the decor and styling you’ve used in the other rooms in your home.
One of the biggest factors which will affect the success of your kitchen renovation is having everything fully planned before taking any action. More than any other space in the home, the kitchen is a room which needs to be carefully designed so it properly suits your many needs.
Not only are there numerous tasks to perform in your kitchen, there also essential appliances, storage, dining facilities, worktops and more which must all fit into the space perfectly.
With limited space to work with as well as doors and windows which must open plus family members who don’t want to be tripping over each other, there’s a lot to consider. It’s for these reasons so many people turn to the services of an expert interior designer.
Experienced interior designers, can look at your space with a fresh and informed perspective, providing you with lots of creative and innovative solutions to make better use of the space. Interior designers are also able to help you develop your ideas, draw up precise measurements and plans for you which bringing in great contacts to elevate your final design with things like bespoke furniture which perfectly matches your needs.
Once a plan is in place, you’ll need time to experiment with your ideas and see how they work in practice. Lots of aspects of kitchen design are bespoke and works need to be carried out in a certain order so there’s lots to get right before renovations begin.
We, for example, offer a 3D design service so you can see exactly what your finished kitchen will look like before commencing any work.
Once parts are in it’s too late to change your mind so investing in time to plan and adapt your design before you start is the best way to guarantee you’ll end up with the practical, beautiful kitchen you desire.
Your needs and goals for your finished kitchen should be a major part of planning. Keep them at the forefront of your mind to help you prioritise and make sure your kitchen makeover turns out to be the dream space you wanted.
• Which appliances do you have already and will you be adding any more? Remember each of these appliances will need its own space. Where will they go and do you have enough room?
⦁ Where are your sockets and pipes? These features and others will restrict where you can put appliances and how much flexibility you have in how you use different parts of the kitchen.
⦁ What’s your budget? How many tradespeople will you need? The number of tradespeople you need will affect the final costs of your renovation because you will need to pay each separately. You also need to plan the order in which works are carried out. For example, plumbing, electrics and flooring need to be done before the cupboards go in and tiling after. Remember too, that storage costs will also be high.
⦁ What about ventilation and lighting? Flooding your kitchen with as much light as possible is essential. Are there any big changes you need to make to the space to add more natural light? For example, floor to ceiling windows, patio doors, a skylight or roof lantern will allow lots more natural light into the space.
Your goals for the space are equally important. What do you want to achieve long term? For example: Do you need more space? Will you need to add an extension? Do you want to add tangible value to your home? How might your family’s needs change in a year, 3 years, 4?
You might want to include a breakfast bar, dining space, lots more storage or a view across the garden. Add your goals and needs to your mood board so you can stay focused on what you really need as you plan.
The layout you choose for your kitchen will be central to the success of your design. It’s crucial you can both move around the space easily and create a place you enjoy being in. That means planning a spacious kitchen layout with plenty of room for the family to manoeuvre around worktops and cabinets with ease.
Check doors and kitchen cupboard doors will have ample space to open. It’s also important to consider how you will fit in enough worktop space and storage whilst utilising views across the garden. The layout you choose should enable you to move easily between the fridge, sink and cooker.
Zones will help you make the most of the space with areas for dining (formal / informal or both), relaxing and cooking as well as office space if you choose.
Use broken-plan living space ideas to create a home office with its own private area through creative use of integrated dividing structures. Similarly an island and/ or breakfast bar helps to add extra space for food preparation or casual dining. You may find a u-shaped kitchen layout works well.
For smaller kitchens, galley kitchen layouts can create a cosy place for food prep with lots of options for making innovative use of the rest of the space. Place tall kitchen cupboards along one wall to generate more room. You can also use this layout in larger spaces to create a snug work space.
Invest in a quality stone worktop that will withstand heat, scratches, drops and spills. A granite or quartz worktop will stand up to contemporary living whilst providing a high-end finish which requires little maintenance. Granite worktops are ideal if you want a natural stone finish whilst quartz is unrivalled for striking block colour.
Flooring too must serve dual roles in the modern home so choose a robust surface which will also complement your decor. Sealed stone or wooden floors remain popular for kitchen renovations. Delivering a natural, light coloured surface natural stone or wood work perfectly with minimal decor whilst ceramic tiles are a good option for pops of colour or patterns.
Whilst performing a practical function, splashbacks can be an opportunity to add a tiny pop of colour, print or even an interesting texture. For a slick addition to neutral styling, stainless steel, glass, natural stone and even textured plaster splashback are all top options, each leaving you with room to play with coloured or interesting finishes.
Storage is critical to how much you will enjoy using your kitchen, it will also help to keep your kitchen neat and tidy. Plan carefully how much storage you will need and the range of items you need to store. The right storage design will add value to the space and finish the look.
Consider bespoke storage which will deliver innovative, personalised designs which perfectly fit your needs and keep kitchen equipment cleverly hidden away. A sleek finish is essential for a high-end look so remember to avoid bulky handles and integrate appliances where you can. For maximum light, open shelving allows additional natural light to filter through.
Finally, plan to include stylish lighting which will elevate the space whilst adding important functionality. Most kitchens use a mixture of pendants over worktops and dining areas plus spotlights, accent lighting for features along walls or floors and even track lighting at times. Always opt for ergonomic warm lighting with dimmable features to protect eyes from harsh white light and create cosy, well-lit spaces.
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