Installing a Kitchen
Have you ever helped your mom or grandmother cook something when you were a child? Many of us have fond memories of idyllic days spent in the kitchen with a relative, usually our mothers, and helping to make something nice like cookies, snacks or even a full-course meal.
To most households, the kitchen is the most important room in a home. It is the heart of your home, because it is the place where food is prepared by somebody who cares for your health and nourishment. It is the place where homework sessions, late-night talks and casual celebrations happen in a natural way. Indeed, the kitchen is the place where memories are made.
If you spend a considerable amount of time cooking, then you must also have been thinking about getting your dream kitchen (if you do not already have it, that is). Maybe your cupboards are falling apart, your sink is busted or perhaps you just wanted a nice place to work on. It is only natural for you to feel that your kitchen should be comfortable, efficient and beautiful, to inspire you to make wonderful meals for your family. But where do you start?
Assess your current kitchen
Take a look at the kitchen you are using at the moment and think about what you like and don't like about it. Are the appliances or storage spaces worn down? Do need a bigger space for preparation? Do you like the atmosphere of your kitchen, but your equipment do not work properly anymore? These are just a few examples on how to assess your current kitchen.
You will definitely be getting tons of advice about kitchens from your friends or relatives, but it is recommended that you discuss installing a new kitchen with professionals first before doing anything. Before giving you any advice, these professionals will first ask you question to determine what kind of kitchen is right for you.
Prior to a discussion with a professional, however, it helps to have a pocket folder containing photos of kitchens you would like to have. This will help them understand your needs and taste. Buy magazines, window shop or visit websites that offer kitchen and design products to help you find out what is available in the market and estimate how much your dream kitchen will cost.
Think about how you really live. Do you and your partner like to entertain while cooking? Then one sink may not be enough, you may require preparation space good for two people or a place to sit for whoever is watching and talking to you while you cook. If you have grown up kids or if you come home late from work but still want to cook, then you might need a reasonable-sized microwave oven near the fridge or oven. Your kitchen designer or architect will help you design the best kitchen for you by asking you questions about the way you live and use the kitchen.
Do not forget to check your plumbing and electricity. Ideally, you should do this before any re-plastering is done. Most of the appliances in your house are concentrated in the kitchen, so it is wise to check if the existing wiring in the area has the ability to cope with the load during busy periods.
How much are you willing to spend on a new kitchen installation?
Instead of merely upgrading your equipment, it is better to concentrate your budget on really good design services. You can always upgrade to luxury surfacing later on, so it is best to invest on a design that has got the proper floor plan and essential elements. For example, the outlets of your kitchen island should be in the right place. If you do not like the laminate countertop, then you can change that later. Having the outlets in the wrong place will be more costly in the long run, compared to just buying a new countertop.
What kitchen size is right for you?
The size of your new kitchen is ultimately dependent on space available in your house. If your house is not brand new and unfitted, you will more likely have to work out how much of the existing kitchen you want to change.
If your current kitchen space is too small for you, then try to borrow some more space from an adjoining closet or pantry. You can even try getting a few feet from the next room. If any of these is not possible, then you can enlarge a window, put in a skylight or even break through an interior wall into an adjacent family room or dining room. The easiest way is to choose white with a blue tinge for your kitchen colours, and to avoid any timber or busy wallpaper furnishings. These last options will help open up the space in your kitchen and make it look larger than it really is.
If you like to cook and entertain at the same time, then a larger kitchen will suit you. You will need a space where you can prepare the food right in front of your guests, and your guests will need a place to sit, watch and talk to you.
Determining the right kitchen style
If you have a look at the magazine clippings inside your pocket folder, then you more or less already know what style of kitchen you want to have installed. Most designs are either country-style or modern/sleek.
Whether the style you want is country or modern, it is advised that the elements in the design will make your kitchen functional and fit the way you actually live.
If you prepare the meals yourself, then you would naturally want a kitchen where you can still interact with your guests while you toss a salad or get the dessert from the fridge. Key features like a breakfast nook, counter dining and an "eat-in" kitchen would be perfect for you.
Installing a new kitchen will be a breeze, as long as you carefully plan how to do it with the help of professionals.
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