Your Perfect New Kitchen – Planning Tips

We find that many of those who are planning a new kitchen and who visit our kitchen and bathroom showrooms in Abingdon, Oxfordshire are pleasantly surprised at the size of the showrooms and the choice of kitchen styles and the obvious quality of the kitchen ranges available from our luxury kitchen manufacturers, including the acclaimed Arredo3 kitchens range.

We know that making a decision about which kitchen to choose can be very difficult, so if you are in the early stages of thinking about replacing your existing kitchen or fitting out a completely new kitchen, then here are some useful tips that may help your decision making.

Also take a look at our Oxford Kitchens for Oxford Living page for more information.


1 Set a Realistic Budget

It may sound obvious but you would be surprised how many people start looking at new kitchens without thinking about what they really can afford. That can quickly lead to unrealistic expectations and ultimately disappointment. So do some calculations before you start looking at the beautiful kitchens that are available. Also make sure that this budget figure will cover the whole cost of the project, including any building works or remodelling of the internal space.

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Once you think you have your budget figure set, add a 15% contingency to it for those almost inevitable unforeseen issues that crop up, or your uncontrollable desire to add a couple of extra bits as the project develops!


2 Decide what the kitchen has to do

Thinking carefully about what you actually need and want from your new kitchen is a crucial part of the planning process. If you don’t spend the time to really consider this aspect then you may be heading for frustration and regret once your new kitchen is installed.  How do you want to use the new kitchen -is it going to be a place where you simply store food and cook meals or is it going to be a significant living area where you not only cook but eat, socialise and generally hang out even when food isn’t being prepared?

The answers to these questions will have a major impact on how you plan and design your new kitchen. Make sure you think hard about what storage you are going to need and what appliances and accessories will need to be accommodated. Not providing enough storage space will mean either frequently having to leave the kitchen to get stuff or access appliances, or cluttering up your lovely new worktops with assorted electrical items, crockery and accessories which you would rather have hidden away.

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Will you need somewhere for people to sit and chat or take informal meals? Do you want a breakfast bar as well as more formal seating arrangements?

In this initial thought process try to separate what you need from what you want.  Put the essential ‘must have’ things on one list and create an “I’d really like” list for the other stuff. There is nothing to say that you can’t have everything from both lists – but you must make sure you secure everything off your ‘must have’ list first!


3 Are you changing the layout of the kitchen?

Once you have a better idea of what you need and want from your new kitchen, think about your available space. Are you planning to put your new kitchen into the existing kitchen space with the same arrangement as your existing kitchen or are you going to start knocking down walls and moving services like water, electrics, gas and extraction?

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Think carefully about what you really want in your new kitchen and try to visualise how your dream kitchen – the cabinets, worktops and appliances – might fit into the available space. If what you really need to have looks like it won’t fit consider if it’s possible to modify and expand your kitchen to create the extra space you need?


4 Who will use the kitchen?

In your planning make sure the kitchen is suitable for everyone who is likely to use it. If you have young children it’s a good idea to make sure the surfaces they can touch, such as cabinet doors, will clean easily and that they won’t have to stand on a stool to get their favourite snack out of the fridge.

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5 Design around You.

You should spend a bit of time just thinking about how you move around your kitchen. Your new kitchen should be designed around you and how you work in it. There is no excuse these days for a poorly designed kitchen – one that constantly has you trotting from one corner to another as you go about your standard food preparation and cooking activities. A kitchen designed ergonomically should allow you to move gracefully and serenely from task to task, like a swan on a calm lake, rather than a frantic duck thrashing against the current.

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6 What is the rest of the house like?

Seeing a kitchen display in a showroom like ours allows clearly allows you to get an idea of what it will look like in-situ. You will have a vast choice in styles, colours, finishes; from traditional wooded farmhouse or country kitchen style through the functional shaker style to the ultra-modern designer kitchens designs and finishes.

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When considering your new kitchen you should of course consider how your new kitchen is going to work with the rest of the house. Will an ultra-modern style of kitchen look out of place? Will a country kitchen look strange in a new built city apartment?


7 Plan for the future

A high quality kitchen should last many years and consequently it will have to cope with your changing lifestyle as time progresses. Children being born, getting older, getting married, having children themselves will all have an impact on how well your kitchen will cope. For example we are aware of people who, having bought their ideal kitchen once their children left home, would not have made the choices they made at that time given that the rapid arrival of grandchildren. Their kitchen planning process had not factored in any anti- toddler features!

A little forward planning will mean that your kitchen will be just as practical and enjoyable as the years pass by.

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8 Stay with the Plan

Once you have made your decision about what your ideal kitchen is going to look like and it ticks all of the boxes then you are ready to sign on the dotted  line. But before you do that just make sure that you understand what you are signing up to. Make sure that the kitchen supplier you are going to use is going to give you all that you need in the supply and installation process. If elements are missing then getting the gaps filled during the installation process could prove extremely frustrating and potentially expensive. By the same token changing your mind about the design, or looking to add additional items will add time and costs to the project.

We hope that these tips will help you plan your perfect kitchen. If it all seems a bit daunting don’t worry, our experienced kitchen designers are here to help you. So please come and visit us – we would be delighted to discuss your ideas and share our knowledge and experience with you to help you achieve your ideal kitchen.

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