Plan your new kitchen

Kitchen Decor Ideas

In the current economic climate, many of us may opt to improve rather than move. Of course, after your home or a car, a new kitchen could be the most expensive purchase you‘ll make, and - if done well - even in a falling market can also add value to your property. 

The costs, upheaval and complexity of a kitchen job may well ensure it’s a ‘once in a lifetime’ purchase, and therefore important to get right.

Details make all the difference!


1. Budget

Before you even start looking for your kitchen work out how much you have to spend. The budget will help guide your kitchen manufacturer to the appropriate ranges in units, worktops, accessories, and appliances, and in turn, helps avoid unnecessary disappointment.


2. Kitchen Use

Assess the use of your kitchen: who uses it, how it’s used, what needs the new kitchen should serve. This will help guide you not only on the type of appliances, accessories, units and so on, but also how best to distribute your budget.


3. Your Shopping List

You need to think about:

  • Range (to determine door fronts and colour)
  • Handles (colour, orientation and position)
  • Carcase colour (unit sides aren’t always the same colour as door fronts)
  • Plinths (the panel which runs along the floor beneath the units is usually available in all carcase colours, door colours, and stainless steel. For a free-standing look, the plinth can also be a frame on metal plinth legs, so long as there are no wet appliances in the run).
  • Cornice (usually the same colour as the carcase, the trim above the wall units is not always specified)
  • Light trim (usually the same colour as the carcase, this is used under the wall units to prevent glare from fluorescent lighting)
  • The door fronts you select affect the overall cost significantly, so do take care when choosing these. Whilst cornices and light trims are extra, handles, plinths and carcases are usually included within the overall cost of the units.
  • Decide what type (drawers, internal mechanisms etc) and the number of units you need.  To keep costs down, opt for plain cupboards rather than fancy mechanisms such as pull-out larders, wirework shelves and baskets.

4. Worktops

Worktops range from glass, granite andcCorian at one end of the budget scale to laminate and maia at the other.

Granite, glass, corian and luxore need to be templated after the kitchen units have been fitted, so that the worktop is custom-made for your kitchen.

You’ll also need to decide on the profile of the front edge of the worktop, as well as optional extras such as back panels, drainer grooves, built-in trivets and so on.


5. Accessories

You’ll also need to select your:

  • Sink – how many bowls, what material, positioning.
  • Taps – material, how controlled, extras like a drinking water tap.
  • Unit & worktop lighting – halogen, fluorescent or LED lighting, and the switches for them.

6. Optional Extras


Waste bin – freestanding, integrated or fitted within a cupboard. There are options now with recycling functions too.

Water softener –especially recommended for hard water areas, and if you’ve opted for a dark granite worktop where sadly limescale build-up is more noticeable.

Hanging rails for utensils, textiles and so on.


7. Appliances

You’ll want to consider cooking, refrigeration, dishwashing and laundry but obviously appliances vary hugely in cost. If you want to keep costs down, opt for freestanding white goods rather than going for integrated, as not only are you paying extra for fascias, but the appliances tend to be more expensive too.