What You Need to Know
There is no question that the kitchen is the most important room in your home. The kitchen is versatile because it serves many functions. You don’t just prepare and store food in the kitchen, but you actually put the family together.
The kitchen is also your most substantial investment in the house. Therefore, if you do not make the time to plan your new kitchen properly could be a very expensive mistake.
This simple guide is a great way to keep the highlights of what you need when you are planning your first kitchen. There are so many choices to be made when planning a kitchen, so at Orienta Home we have put this guide together to make your planning as seamless as possible.
Here are some Introduction Tips that you should keep Handy
- Browse through as many kitchen magazines as possible and earmark the kitchens which you particularly like. You will have an emerging pattern of the style you would like to go for. Put them all them all together on a scrap book.
- Start collecting colours and finishes which appeal to you most.
- Look at Pinterest for more ideas and get inspiration from other people too.
With these basic tips out of the way, we can start with your specific needs.
#1 Assessing Your Needs
This may sound obvious but actually the function of a kitchen to many families is more than just food preparation, cooking and storage.
For many young families the kitchen is also a very social space and the area where most of the family congregates, chats, snacks, and even works.
So there are some considerations to make which are the following:
- Are you single or is this going to be a family kitchen?
- Will you eat in the kitchen as well as cook?
- How much seating are you going to need if you eat in the kitchen?
- Do you have young kids – whom you may want to supervise whilst cooking?
- Does the kitchen double up as a TV room?
- The kitchen storage is a big decision. Think of consumables, groceries, crockery and cutlery. Over the counter small appliances may also need to be stored sometimes to make space.
- If you are going to cook, remember that you will need to have great preparation area and therefore think of the empty counter space you need. Do not over clutter.
#2 Some Considerations When Buying Your First Kitchen
Here are some tips that you may be taking for granted but which will make a huge difference in your kitchen experience.
Who will be using the kitchen mostly? Is it your or your partner? Depending on your answer you need to have a look at the height of the kitchen counter. Although there are standard guidelines, the kitchen base and legs are adjustable, and should be sized according to your height. The bottom plinth can be anything from 10cm to 16cm and every centimeter make a difference on the pressure on your back when you are chopping, cutting and cooking. So consider the height of the person using it carefully.
Think of the location of your appliances. Are they going to be comfortable? Think of your oven space carefully. Don’t make it too high as boiling liquids could spill on you if you cannot see what you are pulling out. Likewise, do not make it too low – as heavy dishes could really damage your back if you have to lift heavy stuff out of the oven.
The Golden Triangle is still the best way to design your kitchen. Think of the rotational movement you must make between your tasks. You need to pivot from cooking and your stove, to chopping and washing in your sink and finally accessing storage in your pantry and refrigerator. If you stop to think about it, this is the triangular pivot that you use constantly in your kitchen.
#3 What is Your Budget for Buying a New Kitchen?
Kitchens can cost anywhere from a few thousands to tens of thousands of euros. So when you are setting out to look for a new kitchen you should stick strong to your budget because it can really go out of proportion.
The rule of law is that you should never spend more than 10% of the value of your property on your kitchen – even if you are a real foodie and your kitchen is going to be your natural habitat.
Remember that kitchens are prone to a lot of wear and tear and they also date. It is quite normal to want to change your kitchen after 10 – 15 years and therefore you need to budget properly.
Do not be swayed by glossy adverts and smooth selling sales-people, as your budget can really fly out of the window.
You can get a functionable kitchen from as little as €3000 including appliances or spend as much as €30,000 for the same space.
When you visit our showroom @Orienta Home, you can ask for different tiers of kitchen budgets and find a tier that suits your purpose.
#4 What are the Additional Costs that Need to be Considered?
What kind of appliances are you going to buy? Appliances are subject to a lot of wear and tear and have a life span which is shorter than the kitchen. If you are matching handles and styles, bear in mind that you may need to change one of them at a later stage.
We recommend that you choose good brands which are within your budget. Once you have decided – you then add this cost to your overall budget.
When it comes to tops you can go from budget laminates – to cold tops such as composites, quartz or marble – to seamless tops like Corian. The prices really vary dramatically, and you should be advised well ahead of time to include this in your budgeting costs.
Installation of the Kitchen
Ask for the installation of the kitchen upfront. The larger the kitchen, the more expensive the installation especially if you have hanging cupboards. Whether the kitchen is low budget or high budget the installation does not vary much as most installers charge per running meter.
Splash back – Tiling and Plumbing & Electrical Works
You will need to decide whether the kitchen top and the splash back are going to be the same materials or whether you are going to consider tiling the upright wall adjacent to the kitchen top. Get your costs for the tiles or material upfront.
As far as plumbing is concerned – this is very crucial. As soon as you are satisfied with the design of the kitchen, you will need to prepare the plumbing as well as electrical points. Consult with the plumbing company and ensure that all points are prepared exactly according to the plans as there is no space for error here. Get a full quote and add it to your budget.
Always allow a 5% contingency between your total cost and your real budget as you would be surprised what you could be overlooking.
#5 Deciding on Layout and Your Kitchen Efficiency
There is no question that the biggest deciding factor when you are designing your new kitchen is the size and shape of the room.
The main types of layouts for kitchens are the following:
- Single walled (for very small spaces)
- L- Shaped
- L- Shaped or U-Shaped with an Island.
Try to avoid putting the fridge next to the oven because the heat from the oven will reduce the efficiency of the fridge.
If you are considering a built-in fridge and freezer – make sure that you choose a model that will allow ample ventilation at the top. This is especially so in hot and humid countries.
#6 The Design and Style of Your New Kitchen
As you can imagine when you take all the above considerations – buying a new kitchen is not a quick job – nor it is a cheap investment. Therefore, you need to be very comfortable with your choice.
As such an effective kitchen design embraces the combination of a great layout, good hardworking surfaces, appliances and of course cooking space.
The styling is really a matter of very personal taste – but the style should of course be cohesive to the mood of your entire home.
If you lean towards a classic taste, then door moldings are going to play a very important part in your styling. Whereas, if your tastes are for minimal, then glass and flat doors with hidden handles are going to be more appealing.
Buying Your First Kitchen – Get Plenty of Advice
At Orienta Home we have more than 500 square meters of footprint dedicated to versatile kitchen models. Trained and specialized staff are ready to sit with you and help you take the guesswork out of the equation.
We always recommend that you call for an appointment on +35621445733 and our staff will advise you of what are the basic requirements. These are a standard floor plan of your kitchen, and important layouts such as windows or doors that may alter the basic design.
From that point on, we will be able to come up with a 3D design of your dream kitchen so that you can actually feel it before you buy it.