KITCHEN DESIGN : NOW AND THEN
Barbecue season is well and truly over. Last month our family pushed our luck and made the most of the last of the available sunshine and grabbed the opportunity to flash fry our steaks (tuna and beef) and to (almost) burn the veggie sausages but probably for the final time this year.
Winter creeps upon us and we’ve headed back to the warmth of the kitchen for slow-cooked lamb, warming vegetarian stews and fragrant roast chicken dishes prepared in the comfort of our relatively new and beautiful kitchen; it’s become quite a haven.
Kitchens are not what they used to be. Often the smallest room in the house a kitchen in the past did not need to be a place to entertain neither did it need to be a particularly nice space to work in. Originally all water-based activities like washing or preparing vegetables were done in the scullery so a kitchen only needed to have a range cooker to function.
How far they’ve come. Our own kitchen extension was completed early this year; we pushed out the corner of our home to create a generous space of 7m x 5m by removing a side wall and ‘squaring off’ the whole building. This has afforded us the luxury of a kitchen design that also incorporates a soft seating area for those waiting for their meal lovingly prepared within almost a performance-space setting; oh how we all love the ‘Theatre of Cuisine’ now don’t we?
Where are the cameras, Greg Wallace, Marcus and Monica? I’m sure I sent them the invite!
KITCHEN DESIGN IDEAS : WHERE TO START?
However, returning to reality… Instead of hiding at the back of the house cooking alone, we now welcome in our guests to share the whole meal experience. Therefore kitchen design and installation has become arguably the most important cost expenditure when developing a home as the space it relates to is now the most important part of our home, where we probably spend the most time with the whole family (when we’re able to, and no more so than recently).
And as far as choices for kitchen designs there is now a myriad of firms bending over backwards to entice us to fit out our kitchens with their latest designer styles and finishes; the likes of Tom Howley, Mark Wilkinson and Neptune are at the top end while the entry-level trade firms like Howdens and Wickes scrap it about to compete for the attention of self-fit builders and kitchen installer firms.
I encourage our clients to go with our preferred suppliers (after we’ve designed the kitchen layout and the extension usually) who currently meet our high expectations but remain cost effective. There are two firms we mainly use here in the South East currently and, alongside our kitchen design ideas and our kitchen worktop suppliers (who we deal with independently from the kitchen unit manufacturers to ensure a unique kitchen design is achieved), we can provide traditional-style kitchens hand painted with detailed cornicing and skirting (very similar to Neptune and Tom Howley, but at a fraction of the cost) or more modern and cost-effective versions of kitchen design with bespoke handleless doors, solid colour panelled custom fronts and industrial-style finishes.
DEVELOPING YOUR KITCHEN : WHAT'S MY BUDGET?
Our recommended budgets range from £6k up to well over £20k for the material costs. Items that will ensure you’ll part with more cash than most people would be comfortable with include Corian worktops, steam ovens, downdraft extractors, boiling water delivery faucets and halogen hobs. For families living in terraced or semi-detached Victorian homes sticking a £30k kitchen into the rear of the building, over and above the works for an extension, might seem a little indulgent. Certainly the cash laid out would not be returned in the new value of the house after development and installation so our approach is a little more fiscally rational for this kind of home.
The current average cost of a kitchen fitted and installed in a typical family home in Brighton or Hove is £15k to £20k ex VAT. This would include all integrated appliances, solid wood or stone worktops, built-in oven or free-standing range cooker and, obviously, the cost of fitting. Naturally, should there be the need to splash out on genuine granite or a snazzy white ceramic sink then you may need to consider a bit more but £20k ex VAT really should be enough for something that will be practical and impressive and a solution that should last for many years. In fact, most kitchen installers guarantee their work and the manufacturers’ product is usually backed up by a long warranty so as long as it’s fitted correctly a kitchen should last for many years.
LOCK DOWN HOMEWORK : GET READY FOR 2021
During these extraordinary times we’ve all been staring for too long at our homes and wondering how best to improve them. You could do a loft conversion, build a garden room or install a conservatory but if your kitchen’s looking tired and it doesn’t give you pleasure to cook or entertain in then I’d suggest you spend your cash there first.
We provide kitchen designs and building design solutions that meet the requirement of the clients we’re designing for; each kitchen design is therefore entirely unique and the most cost effective way of getting what you need.
Expect your preferred contractor to be busy now until at least Spring so let’s start with the design now and you’ll be ready for when they are. Get in contact here to begin your transformation.
...AND FINALLY : LATEST NEWS
And latest news… I’ve been approached by an highly reputable firm, one of our preferred suppliers, to consider working alongside them in creating kitchen designs for private homes. Thankfully the position is part time but I’m very interested in joining them on their journey to scale up what they already provide very well. Their approach is unique and incredibly cost effective and I’m excited to bring some of my own expertise to their established business model. Watch this space!
And any queries about kitchen design or any property issue you might be having please call directly on 01273 769282 and we’ll do our best to help.