Maple Leaf Home Improvements

Kitchen Installations in Maidstone and Kent

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How Do I Start Planning A New Kitchen

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  • 07-09-2022
How Do I Start Planning A New Kitchen

How do I start planning a new kitchen? Find out how to plan a kitchen layout and where appliances should go in the kitchen.

How Do I Start Planning A New Kitchen?

Kitchen planning is exciting, working with designers to clear your old kitchen and create your dream space. Whether your kitchen layout is modern and simplistic or you want a more traditional look, working with a kitchen designer can help save you time and money.

Unsure of what to do with your existing kitchen? Keep reading as we outline the steps to change your home for the better. 

Designing Kitchen Layouts

The design process of a modern kitchen is one of the most exciting parts of the process. Many different types of kitchen styles are available, with worktops and kitchen islands able to accommodate varying lifestyles and locations. The key is to take time to envision your dream kitchen and work backwards, understanding how the kitchen walls, lighting, furniture and appliances can affect the space.

Bear in mind how you, your family and your friends use the kitchen, as you must ensure there is enough counter space for cooking, cleaning, and perhaps doing homework. Our advice is to take it slow and follow the below steps, not being afraid to take inspiration.

How to start planning a new kitchen

Where to begin with good kitchen design? Looking at the same space you've had for many years, wondering how to change it into something new: our expert advice is to start planning as soon as possible. 

 How Do I Start Planning A New Kitchen?

Research Kitchen Layout Ideas

The perfect balance of planning and building comes from research and understanding what you're looking for. While your kitchen is a blank canvas right now, and that could be daunting, you have all the time in the world to start assessing great ideas and finding what works for you and your budget.

Using Instagram, Pinterest and other websites, you should start finding kitchen cabinets, wall lights, dining tables and breakfast bars you find appealing. At this point, you should let your imagination run wild as kitchen ideas come and go: the more design inspiration you can find, the easier the entire project becomes.

For example, start by asking if you want an open-plan kitchen or something more traditional. Some people find that differentiating between different living areas helps them stay productive, while others want the rooms to blend. Find pictures that inspire you and keep them together.

The key consideration is to ensure your research is relevant to your property type. Traditional kitchens will be better suited for Victoria terrace houses, whereas larger spaces can afford open plan kitchens and perhaps unique lighting schemes. Don't underestimate the power of lighting, though, as you will need good ambient lighting, especially when working with hot dishes and sharp knives.

Once you've started collating your ideas through research, you can work with an interior designer. Kitchen designers have experience blending the various elements of a kitchen, ensuring you find the right built-in appliances, kitchen flooring and receive expert project advice throughout the renovation. 

What is your Budget

When considering your budget, you may have to make some sacrifices. Depending on where you want to stretch said budget, you may need different kitchen units, smaller worktop space, or perhaps different kitchen floors entirely.

This is where careful planning and collaborating with designers helps, as you can find kitchen companies that accommodate your budget.

Here are the main things you will have to budget for:

Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen Worktops

Kitchen Appliances

Kitchen Installation

For a small kitchen with enough space for preparing food, storage and entertaining a few guests, you should spend between £2k-£10k. You should be happy with laminate worktops, lower-end brand cabinets and budget-friendly appliances: meaning you may have to compromise on that dream coffee machine or dishwasher you want!

As the budget increases to £20k, you can start working with a more expensive kitchen company, receive higher-quality cabinets, mid-range stone worktops and even recognisable brand appliances (Bosch, Siemens, Neff, etc.).

For £50k and upward, the choice of natural stone worktops is your own, designing an open plan space with bespoke kitchen lighting and working with professional kitchen fitters to install all the high-end appliances you dream of.

While you want to save money during your kitchen extension and renovation, it's always worth having a 10% contingency on your budget, as there will be snags in the project and an item you desperately want. 

If your kitchen is one with your living space, you will want to ensure you have enough to make it all flow. Unsure of where to start with your budget? There are countless online buying guides to help you, offering suggestions you may not have realised.


Kitchen Design

Once you've established the type of kitchen you like and your budget, it's time to work on the kitchen design ideas. If you're working with a designer, they will spearhead the majority of this stage of the project, but you can do this yourself. Begin by measuring the room and sketching the space out.

Be sure to measure all the walls, doors, windows, ceiling height and all fixed appliances like the boiler and fuse box. If you are new to measuring rooms: don't worry. Use graph paper and be sure to measure in metric measurements, as many manufacturers will use this. When measuring the walls, measure along the floor and halfway up the wall.

The ceiling should be measured at three points across the wall from the floor to the ceiling: the more thorough, the better. Understanding how your new kitchen design will work and flow as a space, where the focal point should be, if you will include a dining area, and where the electric sockets are best being placed can all be challenging.

This is why we recommend working with a designer or enlisting a managing director for the project when you start planning a new kitchen. While you may have a wish list full of kitchen islands and know precisely how you want to utilise natural light, receiving expert advice is always a wise suggestion

 Not only do they have years of experience in creating bespoke kitchens, but they know how to make the best design come to life without spending all of your budget. Many kitchen companies have services that can be tailored to you and your requirements. Consider visiting a kitchen design showroom, as this can help open your eyes to new possibilities and styles.

Many have free design and quote services, meaning you can collect different designs from different people and choose the best parts for yourself. Many use digital editors and online platforms to create your space virtually, meaning you can easily move things around.

Experiment with different colours and styles, seeing what works for you before investing to it in the real world.

All in all, the design process is going to take a few weeks. Kitchens can take between 8-10 weeks to manufacture, and you may need to acquire planning permission during this stage too. 

Create a Timeline

Now you must begin planning and deciding on a timeline of events in order for the kitchen to come to reality. This is typically done in conjunction with your builder, discussing how long it'll take for countertops, electrical goods, and other appliances to be installed and introduced into the space

 If you are working with one kitchen supplier, this may make the process easier. Still, you must ensure each department involved in installing your new space is aware of their timeline and order of events, especially when installing challenging and expensive materials.

If you are making structural changes, it's always good to have a clear idea of the best layout and order of events before beginning work. If you are keeping some of the original features from the current kitchen, you must ensure enough space is left for installing and renovating other aspects.

This is where working with a managing director is crucial, as their experience with designing a kitchen through to construction will ensure all structural work remains cost-effective without becoming time-consuming. When ordering items online, schedule plenty of time for them to arrive and be sure they are delivered when needed.

If they are delivered too early, however, they could be left at risk on the worksite from being damaged or stolen.  


Start Building work

Now comes the building process: what you've been preparing for! If this is your first time changing your kitchen, you should not panic. Start by preparing yourself for the change because the building work could take a few weeks to a few months, depending on the scale of the project.

Consider establishing a temporary kitchen in another one of your rooms or living spaces in the house. You could be without a working kitchen for a long time if you are renovating a large kitchen. Knowing you can still microwave food or boil the kettle for tea and coffee will make the process much easier, especially while saying goodbye to your old kitchen.

At this point, all the plumbing and electrical wiring will be ripped out and removed, perhaps some walls being partially knocked down and the floor being pulled up. New kitchens require everything to be taken apart before new furniture, lighting, seating, and appliances can be introduced.

This prep work is essential, as the space must be prepared before installing kitchen cabinets. Ensure you have clear kitchen plans to show to builders and you know where everything is going: which is why we emphasise spending a lot of time on the planning stage. Top-down and elevation views of your new kitchen will help indicate where everything is going. 

Begin Kitchen Installation

This is the part of the process where you can start getting excited as you see the various elements come together. Kitchen cabinets can be installed, and the room begins to take shape. Most cabinets arrive assembled (unless otherwise stated), so it can take between 2-7 days for the cabinets to be installed, excluding assembly times.

Depending on the material your new work surface is made from, this can likely be installed immediately. Laminate, timber, and real wood are more straightforward than real stone, especially granite or quartz, as these will require a specialist installation.

Slowly but surely, your kitchen will come together. You may have to compromise on using certain parts for a time, like your prep space may not be done until the worktops are installed, but you could have a working fridge or dishwasher, depending on the timescale.

Hopefully, at this point, you can start cooking again (if your oven and hob are ready), or you have to continue eating takeaway meals! 


Where should my appliances go in my kitchen?

Fundamentally, your kitchen is used for cooking and preparing meals. Whether you live alone or have family and children, you want to prioritise the efficiency of cooking food. This is the first thing to consider. The best design of your kitchen allows you to move between the oven, prep station, fridge and sink without going too far.

Looking at the kitchen from a cooking perspective and ensuring the "kitchen triangle" is maintained will ensure the appliances are installed in the best place.

If you can decide where the fridge, sink and oven are to be located (the main elements of the triangle), you can start planning where the dishwasher, wine fridge, microwave and other appliances should be installed.

If you can reduce unnecessary movement in the kitchen by up to 25%, you will be better off utilising the space for preparing meals.

If you have a larger kitchen and perhaps a larder, you need to consider how close that is to be to the cooking stations. You need to store food and chilled goods against sunlight and pests, along with any prying hands of your kids. For smaller kitchens, finding the perfect balance between the number of cupboards and maximising the rest of the space is crucial, as you can ensure both.

If you are hosting dinner parties, you want to ensure you can entertain your guests while remaining productive in the kitchen. Open shelving is a popular option for many homeowners, allowing them to grab the essentials such as cooking oils while chatting to guests.

Freestanding kitchens in a Shaker Style can be utilised for storage and allow you to move around while maximising counter space. Fitted kitchens are fixed into place and work for most people, but you can always consider a freestanding one.

The most important thing is to make sure the kitchen is practical. You can keep costs low by ensuring you prioritise this. Planning a kitchen redesign or renovation can be time-consuming and challenging, but it's also enjoyable. If you are stuck for ideas or want a professional's help, our team is at the end of a phone call for you, ready to guide you through the operation. 

We hope this information is helpful! If you require kitchen fitting in Maidstone or Kent ask our expert today.