So you’re thinking about investing in a new kitchen design, where do you start? Kitchens are packed full of functionality and provide many opportunities for moments of joy, whether it be in a beautiful material, a playful display or having just what you want, on hand, when you want it.
Building your team
Kitchens are a significant project in terms of time, money and energy so working with a team you trust to give sound advice and have your best interests as their priority will improve your experience as well as the final outcome.
There are many people on the team that takes a kitchen from dream to reality — builder, electrician, plumber, tiler, flooring installer, interior designer and maybe an architect.
Start with someone you trust and ask them for recommendations. We all have experience working with others in our local area and often one foundation team member can help you find other people that work to the same level of quality.
What do you look for in a good designer? We would suggest proven experience at the level of quality you are aiming at, good communication skills, ability to produce drawings and presentations that help you understand what you are getting and a track record in delivering a style you like OR a range of looks adaptable to the brief. Testimonials attesting to positive relationships with past clients are a valuable endorsement.
You no doubt want to make sure your investment adds value functionally as well as bringing you joy from a fresh look. Is there space that is not utilised or a layout that doesn’t flow well? Does your space need more light or a variety of light sources for different situations? Are there annoying corners or cupboards you haven’t seen the back of for 10 years?
Better overall and internal cabinet planning can add to your storage yield whilst keeping to the same footprint. There are many handy corner unit solutions or could you access that unreachable corner from the other side of the cabinetry?
Start with a list of problems you want to solve or irritations you could do without, then capitalise on the expertise and experience of your team to identify opportunities in your space and help you to realise these.
Getting what you want
Doing research helps build confidence in a new kitchen design plan, especially if you find it hard to visualise or imagine how a space works.
A designer will help translate what you respond to into a single, cohesive design and if they know the sorts of things that bring you joy, can give you a gentle nudge to be brave and create the right kind of Wow for your home.
How do you brief your designer?
- Do your homework. Look around, visit friends’ kitchens and take note of layout or features you like.
- Take notice of how you currently use your kitchen. What functions does it serve? Who uses it? What works and what doesn’t work?
- Gather inspirations. Look online (Pinterest is an endless source) and pull together references to what appeals to you. Images are really useful to build a shared understanding of the overall vision as well explaining desired features and handy details.
- Inspiration may not always be found in a kitchen. Is there a cafe you love the vibe of? You may like some aspects of another space but not all, maybe just a colour or a cupboard style, all these things are worth throwing in the mix.
- Don’t be concerned if your image collection looks like a bit of a mixture, a good designer will be able to identify the consistent themes, edit, focus on the priorities and bring it all together.
- A detailed brief will get into the nitty gritty of what your kitchen needs to contain. For our kitchen design clients we have a handy checklist and we map out all storage down to what goes in each drawer. It’s not uncommon to tweak joinery details to ensure the extra large crockpot fits at the bottom of the pantry or the feature Le Creuset piece fits in that open shelf.
(For a full-project brief, here’s a link to Top Tips to Brief Your Interior Designer which can be used to guide you with your kitchen design and where to start.)