Things to consider when designing a luxury kitchen
Today’s kitchens are often the heart of the home. Therefore, careful planning is required to ensure a kitchen that’s both beautiful and highly functional. Rachael Burgess, Creative Director at Contour Kitchens, shares her top tips to consider when designing your dream kitchen.
Designing the perfect kitchen can be like trying to find the perfect job, car or even holiday – there’s a lot to consider before you start and everyone is unique.
Traditionally, the kitchen was viewed simply as the room at the back of the house where cooking takes place, with the ‘living’ room designed as a social space. Now though, the kitchen is considered the ‘heart of the home’ – a place where friends and family gather not just to eat, but also where people gather to socialise and relax.
In planning the perfect hub, it’s important to consider a number of key points, like space, quality and theme. Each of these will ultimately lead into the other, so firming up the basics can help in the planning process, resulting in a luxury kitchen designed just for you.
Consider what you need from your kitchen and what you want it to offer you. A kitchen should be practical as well as stylish. Create a wish list, down to the smallest details e.g. how you would like to access storage space, do you prefer pull outs or lemans corners, where would you like things to be positioned within the space etc.? Perhaps a run of drawers is preferable to floor cabinets? Starting with a list of your key aims can be hugely beneficial in the first stages of the design process as you develop a kitchen that works for you.
Quality is important. During your initial consultation, ask about finishes, brands and the best storage solutions and your designer will be able to demonstrate these for you to give you a better understanding and help you make up your mind. Once your wish list is finalised, many designers will use these considerations to produce an upfront quote, covering all the costs involved.
Of course, one of the biggest factors affecting the design of any kitchen is space but whether space is on your side or not, by utilising every inch of your kitchen, and maximising the available space by designing the correct layout, you can have the kitchen you want. A good designer will work to the space they’re given, so don’t be put off asking for things, even if you think space is limited.
Layout is also very personal to the client. For example, some people may want a relaxation area as well as a more formal place in which to eat – others may be happy with this being all one space. Or perhaps storage or the cooking zone is important and therefore a substantial island or peninsular is required? A good designer will be able to show the best possible layout for the space available.
It is important to include both functional lighting as the kitchen is such a utilitarian space, however ambient or mood lighting helps to create a pleasant atmosphere in which to unwind once all the hard work is done.
As previously mentioned, over the years, the kitchen has become a place of socialising and relaxing so, for many, choosing the style and theme of their perfect kitchen is the most important, and the most exciting part of the design process. Yes, there are always new and popular trends in the kitchen world, but there is no right or wrong style, so don’t be scared to infuse your kitchen with your personality.
The use of texture adds opulence and elegance. This could be in the form of a wood, stone or even something dramatic like a living wall or internal planting cabinet for keen cooks who like to use fresh herbs.
If you aren’t confident about using colour choose your kitchen cabinets in complimentary neutrals which will act as a canvas upon which to showcase pops of colour. Choose colourful accessories such as cushions, crockery and art work on the walls, this way it can be very easily changed.
Finally, a designer will want to know your timescales – another crucial factor in luxury kitchen planning is making sure these are realistic.
We often see clients wanting to fit their kitchens when there are still substantial building works taking place. A major downside of this though, is that it increases the risk of your beautiful kitchen getting damaged by other tradespeople or tools. The kitchen should be the ‘icing on the cake’ – even though it’s a very difficult room to live without, there’s nothing more disappointing than seeing a brand new kitchen covered in dust or scratches before it has even been properly used.
Redesigning any part of your home is an exciting journey, especially the kitchen. With ever changing interior trends, the possibilities of creating a luxury kitchen that’s designed around you are limitless.
A good designer will listen to and work with customers to ensure they receive an elegant, bold and hard-working design, unique to them. So, look around. Ask questions and let the designer know exactly what you want – after all, it is your kitchen.