Why Taking Time Over a New Kitchen Design is Always Worthwhile

When it comes to Kitchens, everyone knows they are one of the most well-used rooms in the home. They need to be functional for cooking and eating, but they’re also required to fulfil other requirements – depending on each individual family.

In some properties, a larger open plan kitchen serves as the heart of the family home. In others, it’s a food prep, dining and work space, for some it is a well-organised and designed cooking haven and in still others, it is the best place for storage. And, while the kitchen is expected to accommodate one, some or all of the above, most of us want it to look good too!

“A lot is often expected of kitchens and it can be hard to get it right, particularly as your needs may change in the future,” said Marylebone estate agent,Kubie Gold Associates. “The key to getting the design of your kitchen right is to take your time and consider all your options.”

How to Make the Most of Your Kitchen

If you’re planning a kitchen makeover – big or small – then give yourself enough time to speak to professional or two (or three!), have a few visits from different, recommended kitchen designers and chat with friends and family who’ve had their kitchens updated in the last few years. Even if you don’t like what you hear from some people, that’s still helpful as it means you know what you don’t want!

As well as taking advice and looking around at what’s on trend and available, a helpful exercise would be to make a list of what your kitchen will be used for. Some examples include:

  • Regular food prep and cooking.
  • Dining and socialising.
  • A room for the family to spend time together, not watch TV.
  • Working – for the adults and children.
  • Somewhere than can be opened onto the garden in the warmer months.
  • To fulfil a need for additional storage.
  • A bit of a showroom for guests.
  • Pet friendly.    

“Kitchens really can be the most important, most well used room in the home, which is something you might not realise until you write down all the ways in which you already use it, or plan to use it after making some changes,” said Assetgrove. “When you look at it in those terms, a few more weeks’ research to find the perfect design and style will definitely pay dividends.”

The Options for Your Kitchen are Almost Endless!

While style and trends change, there’s always a wide array of kitchen cabinets, colours and finishes available. If you really can’t find what you’re looking for, then there’s always the bespoke option. Of course, it might cost that little bit more to get exactly what you want, but it might not be as expensive as you think. And besides, if you want one room to fulfil numerous roles, surely its worth that little bit more?

Think about it from your perspective – you’d expect to be paid more if your job role expanded beyond the initial title. If you really don’t want to spend more or have a strict budget, most kitchens have so many options that they will fit to any design you choose and provide you with exactly what you need.

“You don’t have to spend a fortune to get the kitchen you want, it might take a bit more planning, but the options from off-the-shelf kitchens are pretty broad,” said Plaza Estates. “Getting the design and fit of your kitchen right is important, so don’t listen to those who say you’re taking too long over it – take all the time you need to create the perfect kitchen for your home.”

Alternative Ways To Organise Kitchen Utensils

UtensilsLayoutKitchen utensils can slowly begin to take over your cooking space if they are not organised properly. You might have a handful or an armful or maybe you need specialist tools for baking or cooking specific items, but either way, they are most efficient when organised correctly.

There are many ways you can store your kitchen utensils, from displaying them proudly to keeping them out of sight in a drawer. There is no “best way” to keep them, it all depends on your kitchen space, personal preference and how you can work most efficiently.

It is also key to note that what you think will be the best method could turn out to be the worst idea when it comes to preparing your next meal. Don’t feel like you need to change your habit or refit your entire kitchen; just adapt your storage method. It isn’t set in stone that you must use a particular type of organisation technique and some people find that they prefer a combination of ideas for utensils they use regularly and those they might only use once or twice a month.

Drawers

If you have got the available drawer space, this can be great for keeping your utensils hidden if you don’t like to clutter up your sides. Make sure you can get easy access to the drawer when it comes to cook, possibly in a drawer close to the oven or your food preparation area.

You can also divide your drawers us with boxes or inserts that help keep your drawer space tidy too.

Over The Door

An over the door storage solution is best for clearly things away quickly and you are free to decorate it with labels, ribbons and other embellishments.

Stylish Display

These are best when hand made to accommodate the amount of utensils you need it to hold and can be created with your kitchens colour scheme in mind.

Baskets & Containers

Baskets  can be attached to walls and doors and containers offer a storage solution that can be simply placed on your counter top. A good tip for these is to have separate spaces for different items, such as wooden spoons and metal utensils.UtensilsSide

How Much Energy Does Your Kitchen Really Use?

Research has recently shown that around one in five appliances don’t live up to their energy-saving claims, with the same portion of manufacturers giving misleading information regarding an appliance’s energy-efficiency.

Whilst there are many energy-saving appliances on today’s market, its important to do your research before buying to ensure they live up to their claim. Look for appliances marked A+ and above, and check consumer watchdog information for news and reviews of the best-performing models.energy-use-kitchen

Above all though, it might be useful to work out just how much energy your kitchen is currently using, so you can be sure to only replace the appliances that use the most energy.

What appliances do you have?

We use so many kitchen appliances daily – it can be hard to notice how much energy we consume. Most kitchens will include large appliances such as:

  • cookers and stoves
  • ovens
  • microwaves
  • fridges/freezers
  • Dishwashers
  • Washing machines
  • Tumble dryers
  • Hot faucet taps etc.

small-appliance-energy-useBut there’s also all the smaller appliances that we probably don’t think about, such as:

  • Hand blenders
  • Juicers
  • Toasters
  • Kettles
  • Coffee makers
  • Ice makers

We also mustn’t forget things we take for granted, such as kitchen lighting and ventilation fans.

How to calculate your kitchen’s energy consumption

To calculate the yearly energy consumption for any one appliance, first find out its wattage (or if its a gas oven or stove, find out its cubic feet/metre usage). You can normally find the wattage or CCF on the bottom or back of any appliance, or within its user manual.kitchen-energy-use

The formula for testing an appliance’s energy consumption throughout the year is as follows:

(Wattage x hours used per day) / 1000 = daily kilowatt hour (kWh).

Note that a kilowatt is equal to 1000 watts.

Also, you’ll want to divide the number of hours that a refrigerator works at its maximum wattage by 3. Fridge/freezers switch themselves on and off in cycles, so aren’t continuously running at their maximum the whole year through.

Once you total up the number of kWhs for all of the appliances in your kitchen, you’ll know how much energy your kitchen is using on a yearly basis.

Bear in mind however that the wattage listed on an appliance is the appliance’s maximum. If you regularly switch settings during different usage periods, its good to go from this. If you only ever operate the appliance on a lower setting however, you may need to do a further calculation (or just check online).

Some appliances, particularly electrical ones, will still use up energy even when they are on stand by or turned ‘off’. You can avoid this by unplugging the appliance when not in use or at night.

Calculating the cost of energy consumed

To calculate the yearly cost of an appliance’s energy consumption, you’ll need to find out the rate per kWh from your electricity provider and the rate per cubic feet/metre from your gas provider (the latter will depend on what kind of gas appliance-standbymeter you have – imperial or metric).

The formula for calculating the yearly cost is as follows:

kWh for appliance x utility provider’s rate per kWh

(or for gas appliances: kWh for appliances x utility provider’s rate per cubic foot/cubic metre)

You can also use an online calculator tool like this one from UK Power, to calculate how much your yearly energy bill is likely to cost.

How to check your energy efficiency

According to consumer watchdog Which?, a low-user will use 2000 kWh of electricity for the whole household, along with 9000 kWh of gas.

A high-user, meanwhile, will use around 49,000 kWh of electricity for the whole household and 19,000 kWh of gas. But this is a guide only and it is much better to work out your actual annual usage to figure out whether you are a low or high energy user.

The online efficiency tool on the Which? website can help you by offering a dedicated calculator for each household appliance. It also enables you to search for a specific brand or model.

Becoming more efficient

You can save energy in your kitchen by…

  • Switching to LED lights or low-watt energy-saving bulbs (just contact a dedicated light supplier for advice)
  • Only buying appliances that are graded A+ standard or above (having checked a few different reviews and responsible consumer guides to make sure)
  • Unplugging all appliances at night and/or when not in use.