North East kitchen experts offer great advice
PUBLISHED: 16:20 14 January 2011 | UPDATED: 20:40 20 February 2013
The kitchen is often said to be the heart of the home, so it's important to make sure you get the right advice from one of the North East's great kitchen suppliers and designers
Your kitchen can be the most important room in the house. Many people spend more time in the kitchen than in any other room. And the move towards open plan kitchens and diners means that its often the space where families get together.
So when youre planning a new kitchen, or refurbishing an old one, you need make very sure it does the job you want it to do.
Family kitchens will need a different approach to that for a modern singleton. You need lots of useable storage space, and many kitchen designs now incorporate great storage solutions which can be tailored to the life you lead.
Are you a wine buff? Wine fridges and racks can be added in. Like to do lots of cooking? Chopping boards and knife racks can be integrated. Tight on space? A built-in breakfast bar can be an answer.
But the important thing is to plan. A good kitchen - with appropriate lighting, flooring, appliances and units - can cost more than a lot of other rooms in the house and you really want to avoid
Most good designs will start with sink, dishwasher and drainer, as they are the biggest set of units to fit in. Getting that right - in the right place and the right size - can dictate what comes after.
Its important to think of how everything flows. Plan the main areas - sink, food preparation and hob - close together, so that youre not turning making a meal into a marathon, walking up and down the length and breadth of the room.
And think of the location - are you left or right handed? Would that make a difference to where the hob and the food prep areas is. And wheres the light coming from? Do you have natural light? Or is it artificial? Good
directional light is really important when youre cooking.
A good kitchen specialist will plan maximum storage for the space at different heights, depending on the weight of items and the size and ability of the main user.
Think about things like ventilation points and electricity sockets. Do you use a lot of small appliances - mixers, blenders, electric knives? The points need to where you have good working space to be able to use them easily. They need to be where its convenient and makes sense to the overall layout and use of the room.
Flooring is really important too. It needs to hardwearing, resistant to spills but not hard on the feet - we spend a lot of time standing up in a kitchen. Think carefully about colour and how that blends in with the rest of the dcor and the units.
Have a good look at all the great styles available, and dont make sudden decision before taking lots of advice.
And whatever look you choose for your very important room, make the design is exactly as you want it before you start. Mistakes in the kitchen can be costly in more ways than one.