Choosing a Style

Your Needs

The architecture of your house is important when considering your choice of kitchen style. Many homeowners want to follow the house style into the kitchen. If your house is an older house you will want to go with traditional styling. A fancy, old world-style kitchen, would look out of place in a sleek, modern home.

Consider the following points when choosing your style.
– It is important to understand how open your kitchen is to nearby living spaces as this will influence its style. The trend in recent decades toward great rooms that include the family room, breakfast area and kitchen has led towards uniform styling throughout. As a part of the great room, the kitchen often sets the tone for the rest of the space. If your kitchen is set apart from living spaces as is often the case in older houses, you will have more freedom to choose a different style.

– If you have a formal house and you are looking for a breath of fresh air in the kitchen, you could do it up in the contemporary style you fell in love with on your honeymoon. You can also add elements of a different style without committing to unusual or quirky cabinets and expensive surface materials. You can achieve a lot of style with paint and accessories that you can reverse if you decide to do so.

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If you want an entirely new kitchen, think about the layout and how you use your current kitchen. Ask yourself these questions:

-What elements do you want to be close to together, such as the fridge and cooking station, so you don’t have to make too many trips around the kitchen?

-Where will you want most worktop space? Next to the hob and oven?

-How much storage do you need? Think about whether you need more than you currently have and what you need to store.

-Do you use your kitchen for dinner parties or do you have kids to accommodate? Do you therefore need space for a table or for someone to sit to talk to you while you cook?

-Where do you want to keep the utensils, dinnerware etc that you use most?

-Do you have a lot of gadgets, and will you want these out so you can use them quickly or stored away

-What appliances do you want, and will there be room for them? For example, you might want an American-style fridge freezer instead of a slimmer fridge?

-Where will I be standing while cooking? Would I like to be positioned to see the garden?

Thinking about how you use your current kitchen now and how you want to use the new one will help ensure that your day-to-day needs will not get overlooked in the planning process.You should also look at the constraints in your kitchen, such as size and the positions of doors, windows and sockets.

Design Planning

How to measure your kitchen
Map out your current kitchen layout (or empty kitchen if you plan to start from scratch) on graph paper using metric measurements as this is what kitchen manufacturers use.

1 Ceiling and floor

Take measurements from the ceiling to the floor and across each wall. It is worth taking the measurements of the same wall or floor at a few different points, as rooms can be slightly asymmetrical and not completely square at every point.

For the width across the walls, measure along the floor, half way up the wall and near the ceiling. For the ceiling, measure at three points across the wall from the floor to the ceiling.

It’s a good idea to note down the measurements for each wall individually and name them, for example ‘wall 1, wall 2 etc’. Make a note of any architectural features, such as cornices.

2 Windows and doors

Note the location and size of windows and doors. Add in the distance between them and the floor and each other. When measuring windows and doors, you should include the door or window frame in the measurement so measure out from these.

Also make a note of which way they open and how much room they will need to open fully. Name all the windows and doors too for example ‘window 1 and window 2’.

3 Existing kitchen units

If there are any kitchen units you want to keep, add these to your plan with their measurements – width, height and depth – and distances between them and the walls and floor where it makes sense. For example, if a unit is on the floor in a corner, you would only measure the distance to the other wall, or if it’s a unit fixed to the wall, you would want to include measurements to the floor and other walls.

4 Electric sockets and waste pipes

Highlight where the electric sockets are, the cable routes from them to the switch unit, and where the plumbing and waste pipes are. Moving these will add to the costs so plan to keep them where they are if possible.If you can measure the height, width and depth of these too, and ideally how far they are from other walls, the floor and ceiling. Make sure you note anything else that is a fixed feature, such as radiators or a boiler.

5 Boiler

If you have a boiler in the kitchen, highlight where and what type of boiler it is.

6 Walls

Mark which kitchen walls are external or internal.

Kitchen planning checklist

If you want to add detail to your measurement plan, or use an online planning tool, it’s worth keeping these factors in mind:

Keep the work triangle distance (see image three in the gallery above) between the sink, fridge and cooker at 7m or less. This makes cooking easier, as you’ll have shorter distances to travel.

Allow for a 40cm clearance between an open kitchen door and the nearest opposite unit. Ensure at least 120cm clearance between parallel runs of kitchen units, so that two people can move around at once
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Standard 60cm-deep units will be a tight squeeze if your kitchen is less than 180cm wide from one wall to the other. Solve this by looking for slimmer 50cm-deep units.

Leave at least 40cm clearance between the worktop and wall-mounted cupboards. Most unit doors open up to a maximum of 60cm.

Dishwasher doors usually open by 60cm and oven doors by 50cm. A typical worktop height is 90cm, although this will not be ideal for everybody. Ensure that elbow height is a few centimetres above kitchen worktops.

Kitchen storage
Central to the design of your kitchen are your storage requirements. Assess your needs by defining what do you need to store and how much storage space will you therefore need? What do you use regularly and what do you use less often? Of the things you use regularly, where would make most sense for them to be stored?

For example, if you like to try new recipes and experiment with spices, having cookbooks and a spice rack to hand near the hob would be useful. Or if you’re a seasoned baker, storage for baking utensils and ingredients might be best placed by the area you’ll do most preparation.

Once you’ve thought about what you want to store and where it makes most sense to place things, have a think about the different types of storage available: kitchen islands, open shelves, pull-out units, corner storage racks, hooks, freestanding units such as dressers, floor-to-ceiling cupboards, plate racks and wine racks (built-in or freestanding).

A lot of kitchen brands sell kitchens pre-assembled, ie to a standard size, so they’re not built bespoke to your room. If you have the budget, consider getting storage made to your home’s exact specifications.

Even if you don’t go down the route of having something made bespoke, many kitchen companies have design services to help you come up with the best design for you and your lifestyle, including which types of storage could work best.

Cost

The cost of a new kitchen can vary greatly, and will depend on three main factors: the size of the kitchen, material quality and the various features in the kitchen like island design,drawers, wine rack, glass doors etc. It should be no surprise to learn that that kitchens vary in price dramatically from brand to brand, and even between each company’s different ranges.

Work out roughly how much you need to spend and then decide on a budget before you start your kitchen research. Studies have shown 22% of shoppers will go over budget and only 9% come in under budget. To get a realistic idea of costs before your final order visit one of the large kitchen departments of BandQ, Homebase or Ikea. You will get an idea of their top, middle and lower-spec kitchen ranges which will give you an idea of how much you should expect to spend on a new kitchen. Ikea offer planning, delivery and installation services via approved partner companies. Installation costs are based on the per-unit cost of each individual kitchen.

Prices for a basic, standard set of eight units for a small kitchen start from ar€800 to almost €8,000 excluding installation and appliances. The majority of kitchens cost between €1,800 and €8,000 excluding installation and appliances. The average cost of a fitted kitchen and applicances starts at €2,500 for a basic kitchen and can go up to €30,000 for a bespoke design depending on size, finish and details. The worktop surface material,the inclusion of an island in the design also significantly increase costs. A basic high-gloss kitchen for example, might cost €4,800 including delivery and installation.

Appliance Prices

The recent popularity of cookery and baking TV series has seen the increasing popularity of using commercial-style appliances, usually in stainless steel. Because of their classic styling, stainless steel appliances work well in a lot of style settings and seem to be welcome in almost any kitchen. Such appliances allow a kitchen with traditional styling to follow the house’s architecture while providing the stylish, modern conveniences that many home cooks require. Costs can quickly mount up if you’re planning on replacing many kitchen appliances during your kitchen refurbishment. Do your research on appliances -there are lots of discussion blogs and advice/supplier websites like www.which.co.uk on choosing and comparing appliances.

A typical list of appliances for a kitchen, including a washing machine, built-in oven, hob, cooker hood, dishwasher and fridge freezer, will cost around €3000. An American-style fridge freezer, dishwasher, range cooker and hood will cost around €4,000. Installation is an extra expense on top of the kitchen itself and could be anything from €500 for pre-assembled units up to around €1,500 depending on the size of your kitchen and what is being installed. Your kitchen’s plumbing, electrical wiring and waste water pipes also have a bearing on the overall cost. The more pipework and wiring you need to move, the higher the cost of your kitchen improvement will be. Most firms charge an all in price for delivery and installation.Many kitchen companies offer an installation service, at extra cost.

If your budget is tight and you don’t need an entirely new kitchen, there are simple changes you can make that will transform your current kitchen without costing too much.

Paint – refreshing your walls or kitchen doors with a lick of paint is less expensive than replacing the whole kitchen, and a great way to add colour. You can do this yourself although make sure you use oil-based or latex (water-based) paint and prepare the surfaces, such as with a primer, as instructed for the type of surface.

Create a feature wall – this is an ideal way to add character to your kitchen and make a statement. Use colourful or patterned wallpaper (specially designed for kitchens), tiles, or a distinctive splashback to create a focal point.

Update worktops and doors – there are builders merchants, local kitchen manufacturers and specialist companies that just supply new kitchen unit doors, drawer fronts and worktops, refreshing your kitchen and at a fraction of the cost of an entirely new one. Doors can cost upwards of €100, but you can get them for as little as €50, and worktops start at around €100. First consider the style you want to emulate, then choose from there.

Lighting – careful lighting can change the feel of your kitchen, especially if it’s a small room. Spotlights or lights under the counter can add a modern touch, while pendant lights bring a country element to a kitchen. If you’re rearranging your lights, as opposed to just getting new shades, speak to an electrician first to find out what is possible.

Flooring – if your floor is old, replacing it can lift your kitchen. Again, your choice of flooring can affect the feel of the room. Vinyl flooring is generally the cheapest, starting at around €25 per square metre, with natural materials such as stone and wood being more expensive.

Tiles– inexpensive tiles as a splashback behind the cooker or around the entire kitchen could lift an old look. Be savvy with price – you can get cheap tiles for less than £15 per square metre, and using bold or colourful ones sparingly, say running alongside plain white ones, will create a striking look.

You can buy a second-hand kitchen at a bargain price check out www.adverts.ie www.donedeal.ie, but it’s vital to check it all fits well and that care has been taken to avoid damaging the kitchen when units are removed from another building.