Lockdown has given many of us the opportunity to scrutinise our homes and consider how we can best enhance our living space.
With lockdown measures easing and tradespeople now permitted to enter people’s properties, homeowners can now turn their attention to more significant enhancements.
Here, Andy Briggs, resident interior designer and head creative for Optiplan Kitchens, offers his advice on the first five essential steps you should take when embarking on a kitchen renovation project.
A new kitchen is a significant investment which, when done well, can add real value to your home and greatly improve your living space. For this reason, it is vital that you begin with a detailed and well-considered plan.
1. CREATE A WISH LIST
Start by mind mapping and scribbling down all the features of your dream kitchen. This is the place for blue sky thinking. Which design style have you been eager to embrace? What appliances or luxury gadgets do you crave? Write down everything you’ve always longed for. You should also reflect on what isn’t working for you in your current set-up.
2. GET INSPIRED
Fine tune your wish list by perusing sites and social platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram for interior design inspiration. Magazines and brochures are useful resources too, furnishing you with the latest home decor trends. The more you see, the more you’ll begin to get a feel for the style of kitchen you prefer, whether it’s country classic or modern minimalism.
3. SET YOUR BUDGET
How far you can go with your wish list will then depend on your budget. You need to establish how much you can realistically spend on the project. The average kitchen renovation today ranges between £8,100 and £11,700, depending on kitchen size. Alongside the kitchen itself, be sure to include allowances for plumbing, wiring, lighting, appliances, flooring, decorating, labour and skip hire, as well as for any finishing design touches. You should also add a further 10% as a contingency for any unforeseen costs.
Want more kitchen inspiration? See The future of kitchen design – how everything may change
4. CONSIDER THE TIMEFRAME
For this initial stage of planning, you can spend as long as you like. However it is also sensible to think about the scale of your project and how long it is likely to take. For instance, it will take far longer to complete a renovation which requires demolishing a wall or moving plumbing and drainage. Or if you live in a listed property, you may need to seek planning permission. Generally though, a standard kitchen redesign will take between six to eight weeks. Factor this into your planning, with a little added buffer, and decide upon the best time to get the project rolling.
5. GET PROFESSIONAL ADVICE
Once you are clear on what you want to achieve and how much you’re willing to spend, invite a professional kitchen designer to advise on a workable plan. It is often the case that they will offer creative ideas and solutions you will never have even considered.
Find a kitchen designer. See Our favourite kitchen designers – to help you on your way to creating your dream kitchen
Following this approach for planning your new kitchen should enable you to embark on an exciting renovation project, fully confident you’ve considered and pre-empted all the necessary elements.
After all, it’s one of the biggest changes you’ll make to your home. It’s important that you feel happy at each stage from hereon in; and proper planning will stand you in good stead when it comes to installation.