Does your kitchen need a refresh? Take this quiz to find your dream kitchen style and we’ll tell you how you can achieve it for less.
Whether you love to cook or it’s a purely functional exercise, walking into an outdated kitchen is hardly inspiring. But with the kitchen being the most expensive room in the home to renovate, many people are stuck with what they’ve got, inhibited by the hefty price of replacing units and appliances.
The first step to planning a new kitchen is determining the style. Is your style modern or rustic? Luxury or more casual? Some people have a clear sense of what their unique style is and have no trouble choosing colour schemes, features and fixtures. Others might not be so sure. When planning out an entire room, like the kitchen, it’s easier to break it down into smaller segments. Here are a few questions that can help you find your dream kitchen style.
Choosing a colour scheme sounds deceptively simple. As most of us know, something that looks good on the paint swatch might not look quite so appealing on the walls. A colour scheme should enhance the space, working with shape and lighting to create a style that flatters. Smaller kitchens work better with light colours, as darker shades tend to make a room look cramped. Larger kitchens have a bit more freedom in this department.
Light doesn’t necessarily mean white. Cool shades of ice blue or pale green will still have the desired effect. Warmer tones also have their role to play, in contrast to the cooler shades. Using a colour wheel to see which colours go well together is a helpful way to plan a colour palette.
Take inspiration from styles you admire. Look at the colour palettes they use. For example, modern Scandinavian style often contrasts monochromatic colours with soft pastel shades. While more luxury kitchen styles use elegant metallic tones such as copper or stainless steel combined with rich shades such as forest green or plum.
When planning your colour scheme, take the features into consideration. What colour are your appliances? If you’re planning an integrated kitchen, this doesn’t matter so much as they will be hidden away in your kitchen units. If your appliances are white, painting the rest of the kitchen white might make it look too sparse and clinical. You might be considering replacing your appliances. If so, decide on the ones you want before planning your colour scheme. If you have a kitchen diner, think about how your colour scheme will go with your table and chairs.
Don’t be afraid to go bold with your colour choices. If bright colours and striking patterns are your preferred style, roll with it. Just be sure they’ll stand the test of time before you dive in paint brush first.
A key step in determining your style is to consider your personality. How would your loved ones describe you? What inspires you? How do you want to present to the world? Perhaps you are bold and like to make a statement. Or maybe you are more peaceful and reflective, and yearn for a sense of calm. Does nature inspire you? Or technology? Use your kitchen as a canvas to show off your unique personality, making it truly your own space.
Finally, think about your kitchen’s purpose. Aside from cooking and washing up, what do you intend to use your kitchen for? If you love experimenting with new recipes, baking up a storm or delighting your friends and family with your latest concoction, ensure your kitchen allows you maximum space for your creative cookery pursuits. Many people use kitchens as a space for entertaining, with the rise of kitchen diners and big open plan kitchens. Perhaps you love to host people. For constantly busy people, the kitchen might be a place to escape, to enjoy some peace and quiet away from the noisy living areas. Whatever you use your kitchen for, take this into consideration when planning your style.
Of course, there are other considerations such as space to take into account. But most styles can be applied to kitchens, regardless of shape and size. All it takes is a little imagination.
Hopefully, you’ve got a better idea of your kitchen style. But what’s the use if your budget won’t stretch that far? Here are a few simple ways to save money on a new kitchen, meaning you won’t have to break the bank to achieve your ideal style.
1. Buy graded appliances
One of the biggest ways to save money on a new kitchen is by buying graded appliances. Graded appliances are brand new appliances that have been rigorously tested for safety and functionality. Graded could mean anything from the box the appliance came in was damaged, to a minor flaw on the surface of the appliance. But when a minor scratch could save you hundreds of pounds, it might just be worth it.
2. Use what you’ve got
You don’t need to completely rip out your old kitchen to achieve the kitchen style you’re after. Instead of tearing down old cabinets, replacing the doors and handles might suffice. Indeed, custom cabinets are the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel. Your counter might have seen better days, but refreshing with a new coat of paint or tiles might do the trick instead of paying hundreds for a brand new worktop. By working with your existing kitchen layout, you could save thousands.
3. Do it yourself
Labour costs make up one of the biggest outlays for a new kitchen. DIY where you can, always observing safety, of course. You can find plenty of online tutorials to teach you, from installing worktops to replacing door panels. For more complex tasks, such as wiring, plumbing or making changes to the kitchen structure, it’s safer to call a professional tradesperson.
Planning a new kitchen is no easy task. From choosing a style to setting an affordable budget. Hopefully, these tips will help you design a kitchen that suits your home and lifestyle, at an affordable price.