Re-modelling or designing a new kitchen is a daunting task as it involves planning, decision making, choosing designs, aesthetics and meeting several challenges. To understand these aspects and to be able to function appropriately in terms of activities concerned in the kitchen, here are some good questions to start with.
|Asking questions is vital to determine what type of kitchen will suit your space|
Questions to ask yourself:
- How do I want to use my kitchen? What is my lifestyle? Do I like to cook and entertain in the kitchen?
- How many people use the kitchen and who are likely to be in the kitchen at the same time?
- How often do I use my kitchen- daily basis or occasionally?
- Will I need space for dining? Do I want somewhere to eat in the kitchen- a table or breakfast bar? Do I want to hold dinner parties there?
- Where will my work triangle fit in?
- How can I maximise storage space?
- Do I need to match or connect to the existing house or the adjacent rooms?
- Do I need more sunlight and natural warmth? How do I want the orientation of sunlight in my kitchen?
- What’s my budget?
- What’s the size of my kitchen floor space? Is there room for an island? Does space allow for a prep sink? Where can I squeeze in extra storage? This will determine what layout will suit your kitchen.
- Is anyone in my family elderly or disabled?
- Apart from cooking and preparation, what else is my kitchen used for? Bills, checking mails, homework, entertaining?
- What style would I like my kitchen to be? What colours, flooring and wall coverings do I prefer?
- How much storage do I need? Do I want open shelving or closed cupboard space?
- What kind of appliances do I want?
|Your floor size will determine what kitchen layout is apt for you|
Questions to ask an architect: If you need help to start, hire an architect or directly approach the retailer who will be able to guide you. Having an architect lessens most of your burden about the project because they will assist you from the beginning till the end.
- Ask your architect his/her previous installations, how many projects have been completed, the portfolio of the kitchen projects completed, how long has their company been in business? Or what sets their firm apart from other architects with similar experience? What are their signature styles, thoughts on design philosophy, and what inspires them. Once you get answers to this, you will get to know whether the architect’s style appeals to you or matches your expectation. You will also know whether the architect is experienced enough and get guidance on what style can be implemented for your kitchen.
- What’s popular right now? Asking your designer what’s trending now will help establish their level of knowledge and enthusiasm for design. If you want a very on-trend kitchen, you’ll need a designer who’s up to date with the latest styles and who can help you pick colours, materials and accessories accordingly. Similarly, if you’re not interested in the latest trends, your designer should be able to suggest suitable alternatives. You could ask them what features contribute to a timeless style of kitchen and how best to create a look that will last.
- How do I choose the right style of kitchen for my home? A kitchen design must work with the rest of your home’s interior. If you want to complement your home’s existing style, let your architect know this so they can work towards this goal. Whatever your end goal is, it’s essential you let your architect know, so they can create your ideal kitchen.
|Architects can guide you to meet your kitchen needs|
Questions to ask the retailer or kitchen brand: When you visit the kitchen showroom, first thing to do is disclose your budget so that you can achieve the look you want using materials, finishes and options within your budget. Setting a budget and sticking to it is important.
- Ask to check for quality. Look at showroom cabinets and inspect how sturdy they are. Don’t be afraid to pull open drawers and doors and inspect areas that receive the heaviest wear, such as edges and hinges. Find out what the carcases are made of.
- What are my choice of range, colour and material? Whether it’s cabinets, appliances or worktops, there are many material options to choose from. Your architect should be able to advise which is best for you. They should also guide you through the options, recommending the best ones to suit your needs and budget. You may have to choose a finish that’s fairly similar, or go for a slightly different cabinet style that does come in your finish of choice. Be flexible and ask your architect to help you select the best possible combination.
- Once you book for the kitchen design, ask them who will be your everyday contact? Good communication is crucial to a successful project. Make sure you keep in touch often and also meet your architect too to check on the work.
- Ask for care and maintenance manual as well as 3D drawings. Reading a standard two-dimensional plan can be confusing. Ask them if they can show you 3D images that can be rotated and viewed from multiple angles. Also ask for images to see how the design will look in real life.
- Does the company have its own installers? This is always the best solution because it will give you peace of mind that your new kitchen is in the hands of people who are knowledgeable about that particular product and know how to install it efficiently.
- How much time do you need to make my kitchen? Find out when the kitchen is due to arrive and how long will it take to install. Get a written estimate for extra peace of mind. Duration vary between companies. If you order a kitchen from a European company, it will generally take longer, because the kitchen has to be exported. Bespoke designs also take longer. If you know the time scale for each phase of your project, it will help you plan for it and ensure it all goes smoothly. Getting an estimated completion date from the point of order is also a good idea.
- What kind of documentation will I receive when the project is done? Getting a full set of mechanical photos before insulation is installed, the operating manuals for installing equipment care for things such as counter tops and tile and a well-marked electrical panel is important. Confirming that you will receive these things before you get started will help ensure that you finish the project with all the information you need.
|Drawings help you visualise what your kitchen will look like|
Make sure you do your research before taking any step. Asking the above questions and getting answers will help you meet the challenges that come throughout your kitchen journey. We wish you the best.