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How to Design Your Dream Kitchen

Sep 5, 2008
You've got your eye on that luxury wooden kitchen and you've got savings set aside, but you don't know where to start with planning your new kitchen. You hate your present kitchen and know that you need a different layout but what? It is important to plan a kitchen carefully - you don't want to spend thousands of pounds on something that looks great but just isn't functional.

Some kitchen companies will come round to your home, draw a floor plan and advise you on the best layout for both the room size and shape, and your needs. If you are going to have a handmade wooden kitchen, the company will be able to accommodate any needs and room size, and will even be able to make custom cabinets for odd shaped alcoves. It's good though if you have thought things through before they come to the house. Think about how you use your kitchen and what function it needs to fulfil. Here are some considerations to help you with your planning:-

1.Style - When choosing a style of kitchen, think about your house. A modern kitchen with brightly coloured cabinets and lots of stainless steel may not suit a thatched cottage or period home. Think about your style too. There are so many styles of units, appliances,work tops, sinks and handles to choose from that you are bound to find the perfect match. Companies that offer custom handmade kitchens will easily be able to find something that matches your style and the style of your house.

2.Entertaining - How is your kitchen used? Just for you and your family or do you entertain frequently. Think about your lifestyle. If you hold frequent dinner parties, you will need lots of work top space, a good size oven and hob, a dishwasher, a decent sized fridge/freezer or a large fridge with a freezer in a utility room or garage. Some people even have a second dishwasher! If you have a large kitchen and parties always end up in the kitchen, you may want to incorporate a central island for a bar area or seating area which can be used as a breakfast bar when you're not partying.

3.Storage - How much storage you need will depend on your individual habits. If you have a large dishwasher, you will have extra crockery, glasses and cutlery to use when the rest is in the dishwasher. If you love cooking and baking, you will probably have an extensive collection of bakeware, cookware, utensils and gadgets, all requiring storage space. There are many storage solutions - pull out larders, corner carousels, deep drawers for pans, crockery display units, ceiling mounted pan hanger/herb drier, racks on the inside of cupboard doors etc. Think about how storage solutions can be incorporated into your kitchen design.

4.Cooking habits - If you love cooking, you will want a kitchen which allows you to pursue this hobby. You will want a good sized sink, plenty of work top space for preparation, a large hob and oven and you may want a large American style fridge to house all your fresh ingredients and a freezer if you cook in large batches. You may also want to think about incorporating items like spice racks into your kitchen.

5.Shopping - Are you the kind of person who does a big shop once or twice a month or do you shop a few times a week? Thinking about your shopping habits will enable you to plan the right kind of kitchen. If you do big shops, you will require a freezer and a large fridge and lots of storage space for cans and jars. If you do small, frequent shops, then you may not require as much storage space.

Thinking about all of these considerations will help you to plan a kitchen that will not only look great, but will also be functional and practical for your lifestyle.
About the Author
Dominic Bulstrode is an author and web designer who specialises in home decor and designer kitchens. Dominic represents Benchmark Interiors (http://www.benchmarkinteriors.co.uk), one of the leading designers of bespoke kitchens in the UK. In addition to full bespoke fitted kitchens, Benchmark offer a range of free standing kitchen furniture made from wood sourced from renewable forests..
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