Getting the kitchen right can be no small feat of engineering; all that complicated kit, plus gas, electricity and water to connect. Not to mention the major inconvenience while work is in progress. Here’re some basic dos and don’ts of kitchen decor which I’d like to share:
o Remember to keep your oven and grill quite separate from the fridge. This is not to save confusion after a few glasses of wine – it’s actually much more energy-efficient.
o Employ a well qualified fitter to connect the gas, a qualified electrician to deal with all your electrics and a recommended plumber to sort your water supply, waste and drainage.
o Ensure any wall-hung units are securely bolted into something super-solid that can take the weight, like a brick or wood. You can’t hang cupboards on plasterboard.
o Invest in the best possible worktop you can afford. It has a lot of visual impact and can make or break the room. This is not the place to skimp.
o Buy a dishwasher – Life is too short to wash up!
o Plan for plenty of sockets on the walls above your worktop. Perfectly positioned for appliances, you’ll never regret having too many.
o Go mad for wall-hung cupboards in a narrow space, as they’ll instantly make it seem even smaller. Try open shelving instead.
o Carpet the kitchen. Just like bathrooms. This is a potentially wet-mess zone. Your flooring needs to be hard-wearing, hygienic and practical.
o Position your dishwasher miles from the sink. It’ll be a lot easier to install if it’s next to the sink’s plumbing and you’ll have less floor to drip on if you rinse before you load.
o Hang wall cabinets above a hob or oven, or place your hob or oven directly under a window. You should never give your self a reason to reach across a hot hob, so no putting your utensil rack on the wall behind either!
o Have fussy window coverings in the kitchen – they’ll be dirt magnets. If privacy allows, do way with curtains altogether or opt for blinds.
o Forget storage. Neither glistening stainless steel or fancy gadgets will compensate for inadequate storage. Allow a minimum of one cupboard or set of drawers for each of the following: everyday crockery, everyday cooking utensils, additional crockery, additional utensils (e.g. cake tins and juicer), dry food, cleaning products/buckets etc (this can go under the sink).