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Top tips for planning your dream kitchen

PUBLISHED: 11:55 16 September 2014 | UPDATED: 11:55 16 September 2014

Chichester kitchen hand painted in limestone, Kit Stone, £15,000.  0870 7770099; 
www.kitstone.co.uk

Chichester kitchen hand painted in limestone, Kit Stone, £15,000. 0870 7770099; www.kitstone.co.uk

Archant

A new kitchen can be one of the most expensive purchases in the home, but it's also one of the best investments. Property renovator Tony Davies offers his advice

They say the best parties are in the kitchen, but today’s kitchens are more than the place for nibbles and vino – it’s now where we work and rest as well as play. As a result, house developers now tend to refer to kitchens as “multi-functional living spaces.”

According to Jason Collier of Colliers Kitchens, based in Worthing, “Anyone with a little training and a basic CAD software can plan a kitchen, but if you want your kitchen properly designed then you are better off going to an experienced kitchen specialist. The qualities needed to be a good kitchen designer are patience and the ability to listen to the customer. It is important to see the kitchen through from initial ideas and design to final installation.
“The trend towards open plan living means that the kitchen has become the hub of the house, and there is a lot of potential to design in that wow factor. A well designed kitchen will add value to any house so long as it is a good quality kitchen which has been properly installed.”

A new fitted kitchen represents one of the most expensive purchases in a home, but it will also reflect its value if and when you decide to sell. So approaching the task with time and attention will pay off.

01903 210101; www.collierskitchens.co.uk

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Top ten tips for planning your dream kitchen

1 Know what open space you can create, which might involve the renovation of existing rooms.

2 Review the market and visit showrooms to gain ideas and discuss your design requirements with experts who genuinely care about you.

3 Make sure you have empathy with your designer and that he/she will provide great customer service.

4 Obtain at least two designs at different budget levels, as you may be surprised by what you can afford. This way you’ll get a clearer picture of what is 
right for you.

5 Remember that quality is not always skin deep. When looking for a new kitchen, the appeal is probably the appearance. It is natural to look at and touch the kitchen cabinets and worktop, but this can be a risky strategy. Look at the quality of the carcasses, especially the density and thickness, the types of drawers and drawer runners, the type of hinge, the type of backs of cabinets etc.

6 Deal with a supplier with an established track record and a solid reputation, as well as a solid kitchen! Ask for references and to see an actual installation. Reputable firms will have no qualms about giving you the names of satisfied customers.

7 Buy from a firm with its own fitters - if there’s an after sales service issue under the guarantee you want one contact point to go to - the kitchen designer you employed – and no blame-game between supplier and fitter and vice-versa.

8 Don’t be fobbed off by firms who can provide only standard cabinet sizes that may not exactly fit your room. There are plenty of designers who can tailor-make your units to fit perfectly. You could be surprised that the cost differential between standard and bespoke may not be great and made to measure units will always look more appealing.

9 Be realistic on timescales - the amount of time it will take to supply your kitchen will vary depending on its size and the products you choose – be suspicious of anyone who promises a very quick, or indeed very slow, turnaround.

10 Recognise that the true cost is not just the kitchen units, worktops and appliances. Allow for floor and wall coverings, curtains, lighting and, of course, the painting and decorating.

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