Is the kitchen the heart of your home? Do you love yours or are you still searching for your dream kitchen? Kitchens are always a big selling point when it comes to selling and buying a house. I struck lucky with my flat as it has such a big kitchen that I can fit everything that I need to in but it does worry me that when I do eventually buy my own home, my things wont fit inside the kitchen as I doubt it’d be as spacious as this one! Still, if I find a home that I love but the kitchen isn’t how I’d want it to be, as long as its liveable, I could always save up to redo the kitchen at some point, adding in more storage and changing the kitchen layout. I’ve written a post all about how I’m making my rental apartment a home while I’m saving to buy which you might find interesting if you’re in the same position as me or you’re considering moving out and renting rather than buying.
Storage is vital to make sure that as much as possible is easy to access but away out of sight to keep the space clean and tidy. The layout of your kitchen is really important too and if you’re designing a kitchen then you should always consider cupboard space above where you’ll keep your kettle, cupboards for condiments and pans, etc near your oven and plenty of work space next to the hob for chopping veggies before adding them to the pan when you’re cooking etc. I think a lot of kitchen designers keep these things in mind when they’re creating kitchen designs these days as its what most people want from their home but if you’re in an older property and the kitchen isn’t to your taste, although its expensive, takes time and can be messy, at least its something that you can change.
The number of people opting to renovate and improve their homes, rather than move, has been on the rise over the last 12 months for sure. The number of planning applications rose by 3% in 2018 and recent research carried out as part of this year’s home improvement month revealed that almost 6 in 10 homeowners had plans to carry out renovations worth some £50.89 billion over a six month period.
The reasons why people are opting to stay put and invest in their home, rather than move house, are varied, ranging from a slugging property market, fears about economic uncertainty especially with Brexit, and high stamp duty charges. Popular TV shows such as DIY SOS and Love It or List It, hosted by Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer, have also helped boost rates of home improvements and give people food for thought. My boyfriend and I are looking to buy a home together so we’re currently selling his flat. If it were a house rather than a flat, moving in there would have been an option but there’s just not enough space for us, especially if we want to start a family in the future so selling and buying together is our best option. One things for sure though, we would have definitely had to put a new kitchen in as the one in his flat is so small with very little cupboard and counter space. Its a shame we’re having to sell it though because his flat would make a great rental property if we were to put a new kitchen and bathroom in but we just haven’t got the extra funds to be able to keep it, do the work and buy a new one.
So many people think of the kitchen as the heart of their home and its often the focus when it comes to home improvements in the UK. Investing in your kitchen not only drastically improves your home environment as you cook and enjoy eating meals in there as well as entertain but improving your kitchen also pays dividends if you do come to sell your home in the future as it is a key feature that attracts buyers.
If you do decide to go ahead with a home improvement project, taking time and care to consider the layout of your kitchen and dining space is important. Online layout tools can be really helpful in bringing your ideas to life and allowing you to play around with different options. These are even good if you’re just looking to buy new furniture and arrange it in areas of your home as many websites have planning tools where you can input the dimensions of your room, where the windows are etc so you can see exactly what will fit in and where.
Pinterest is a great source of inspiration for a home, as well as taking note of what friends and family have done in their homes. I love interior design and seeing how other people organise, store and decorate! When it comes to your kitchen, talk to as many people as possible about their kitchen design to understand what works well and what they would change if they were to pull it all about and start again. Think about the overall feel you want to create be it homely and cosy, modern and sleek, traditional or minimalist, and set a colour scheme and look for cupboards, sinks, appliances and accessories that will help you achieve that look. Perhaps you might like an at home bar if you love entertaining, in which case you can get plenty of inspiration from my blog post all about how to create your own at-home bar on a budget.
In addition to thinking about the colour scheme, materials and style, it’s also worth thinking about the placement of key appliances. As you move around your current kitchen, take note of how you use the space and your appliances at the moment. Are there certain appliances that need to be close to each other to complement the way you cook? Fisher and Paykel has been designing home appliances since 1934 and it suggests that a range cooker could be the perfect centrepiece for a functional and show-stopping kitchen. What do you think? When considering redesigning your kitchen, it’s worth starting out by mulling over the oven and hob you want, where you would place it, and working out from that point to design the rest of the kitchen around this lynchpin to make sure that you’ve got enough cupboards to store things where you need them and enough counter top space for your smaller appliances and for workspace when chopping, etc.
It also makes sense to have your sink near to your hob, either opposite it or in an L shape like mine is so that it is easy to get to when you’re carrying a pan of boiling water, perhaps to drain your pasta for example. Make sure that there’s nothing in the way of it to obstruct your path so that you don’t bump into anything and potentially burn yourself.
I guess whether you’re looking to buy a property or to carry out home improvements, its essential to actually have a good idea of what you want and whats important to you before you start looking or redesigning. For me, space for a separate washing machine and tumble dryer is paramount as the combi washer dryer that I have in this flat is next to useless and I have to take everything back to my dads house to wash and dry. Space for a dishwasher is important to me too as I want my hands to stay super soft and I haven’t got time to faff on washing and drying dishes… at least that’s my excuse but in all fairness, I’m one of these people who uses every pan in the kitchen when I cook so a dishwasher is needed!
Working out a budget is key too and while it might be tempting to splash out on a fancy toaster and kettle, I’d really suggest putting more money into the quality of the cabinets as these are very expensive to replace if they don’t last and also in your appliances because its likely you’ll keep them for a good decade and you’ll be using them on a daily basis, especially your fridge, freezer and cooker.
I’m really happy with the kitchen in my flat, I definitely struck gold but I can’t wait until I have a home that I own so that I can design my dream kitchen to my chosen colour scheme!
If you have any tips for home improvements or any advice for getting a new kitchen then please leave them in the comments below so that we can all help and learn from each other!