In my view, there are four key elements in kitchen design: appliances, cabinetry, worktops and flooring. Lighting, sinks, fixtures, and accessories are also very important.
Good kitchen designers are aware of the latest trends and the most popular kitchen look. They can create something unique or a kitchen that will appeal to a broader customer base. I would not, however, just ‘outsource’ kitchen design to anyone but would rather be actively involved in all stages of a kitchen project.
Recently a friend of mine decided to redo her kitchen, with a bit of help from an interior designer. She focused on getting the four essential elements to work together in creating an upper end of the market kitchen. She also set strict budget constraints within which she was determined to work. She opted for high end market appliances from Buyers and Sellers in Portobello, cool abstract white cabinets and a built-in fridge-freezer from Ikea, and a trendy basalt worktop with matching basalt tiles for the floor from Stoneville. The stainless steel tap and sink were by Frankie. For the lighting, she chose square shaped halogen lights.
She splashed out on a chimney hood and a ceramic hob by Miele. She then got a cooker and a dishwasher by Neff, and a washer dryer by AEG. Miele appliances were chosen for their quality, as well as design and brand appeal. Neff oven was chosen for its good size that could easily accommodate a turkey for Christmas. The integrated dishwasher and washer dryer she chose were relatively basic but with good noise control properties.
Ikea abstract white units were chosen for the high gloss finish and the colour which is both classic and modern. They were also good value for money. The grey colour of the basalt complemented the white colour of the units and went very well with the stainless steel of the fan extractor, the cooker, the tap and the sink, as well as the aluminium handles of the cabinets.
It is very important to get appliances, units and flooring right. I would say that hobs and hoods are the most important kitchen appliances because they fulfil not only essential functions in the kitchen but can also serve as design features. It is worth going for top brands, budget permitting. Worktops can be made of granite, marble, basalt, wood, glass, and agglomerate. There is a large variety of materials for the floor, including porcelain, wood, glass and natural stones. They come in a large variety of colours and textures to suit various tastes and requirements. Cabinets come in even more colours. Alno Kitchens, for examples, offers any NCS colour for their cabinets, i.e. any colour shade there is.
It is important to consider various options and elements in detail but it is also advisable to stay focused on the essentials which contribute most to the overall design.