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Planning a New Kitchen

While Planning your Kitchen Design or Layout is a task not to be taken lightly, it’s also not necessarily a task that has to be done by a professional. Follow some simple rules and it’s completely possible to plan your own kitchen and have your installation go completely smoothly… on the flip side of course, should you ignore rules or cut corners when measuring, you can create your very own kitchen nightmare. The guide below is a jargon free, step by step guide to planning the kitchen of your dreams.

When sizing up the job, I can’t stress enough how much emphasis should be placed on pin point accuracy. Take measurements in millimetres. Measure once, do it a second time, then a third. If any one of those measurements comes up different, start again.

Annoying? Try having to rip out your beautiful new units because you’ve not properly measured them against the worktop- I’ve watched this situation unfold before my eyes and the image of a grown man actually steaming through a combination of seething anger and exhaustion is not a pretty sight and will stay with me for years to come. Be sure to take careful note of window and ceiling heights, particularly sloping ceilings, and take into account existing gas/water/waste pipes, radiators and electrical sockets/supplies.

Think about positioning of sink and appliances. The ‘work triangle’ of kitchen planning is the area defined by your sink, hob/oven and refrigerator. Keep this triangle of design compact and you’ll limit travel time between these key appliances. Place a sink under a window, but never a cooker. Place your dishwasher next to your sink for ease of plumbing. Extractor fans are available as Recyclable or Extracting, if you choose Extracting make sure you position the fan against an external wall.

When decorating remember the little details that make a kitchen function properly, using vertical or metal blinds instead of curtains for example will mean your window treatments stand up to the humid conditions much better.

The last thing you will need to plan is the lighting arrangement. A kitchen will need a good variation of both ambient and task lighting. Spotlights over areas where food is to be prepared is always a good idea, as is fringe lighting underneath or on top of the units which act as low level navigation lights when the main lighting is off. If you intend to include a dining area in your kitchen, a ceiling hung pendant light that can be pushed up and pulled down will give you more control over the mood of your mealtimes; a dimmer switch would also be a good idea.

When it comes to choosing a style for your kitchen, really make the effort to look online, visit showrooms and pick up magazines in order to get some inspiration and also to familiarize yourself with the average cost of certain items and brands as this sort of knowledge will really help when it comes to bartering for a good deal. Remember, you do not need to purchase your kitchen as a complete package, host units are almost invisible when everything is in place so saving money in that area will leave you with a little extra when it comes to finding doors and a worktop- just make sure they measure up!

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