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    A recipe for the perfect kitchen


    So, you want to re-design your kitchen? Perhaps you have just moved house and have found the previous owners either suffered a terrible lack of taste or simply had no interest in the most important rooms of the house. Or maybe you have finally reached a stage where you can update your own kitchen to fit that dream you have of a spacious, well-planned area where you cook up delicious dinners and baked goodies in a state of domestic bliss. Here are a few things which may help you combine the character you love with the practicality your space allows.




    Style


    There are so many kitchen styles to choose from and whether you want the modern look with stainless steel everywhere or the more traditional wooden finish, this is usually the first stage of kitchen design. If you’re looking for practicality with counters which are easily cleaned, try marble or lacquered wood, but you may be happy to substitute this for the incredibly homely appearance of reclaimed wood surfaces and dark, rough edged timber.

    Layout

    The layout options available to you may depend on the size and shape of your existing kitchen. If you are short of space, the L shaped kitchen is the usual choice since it creates a useful appliance and cooking area with room for moving about the room. With a bit of extra space, especially if the kitchen is open-plan and joins the dining room or living area, you can add a breakfast bar which gives an extra preparation surface and an area to sit, eat and chat. If you have a very large kitchen to play with, a central island is a fantastic option and could incorporate both a cooking and seating area. Alternatively a dining table as a centre piece is ideal for social gatherings and feeding the family while keeping an eye on the food. You will also need to consider whether you have open shelving units, closed cupboards or a combination.




    Colour scheme


    Unless you are going for monochrome or keeping it chic with shades of white or cream, you may wish to consider adding some colour to your kitchen. This can be done by painting one or more walls in your desired hue, or by adding splashes of colour with zany appliances (matching toaster, kettle sets are easily found) while coloured glass splashbacks can add character to modern stainless steel kitchens. Perhaps you would prefer to install coloured cabinets or floor tiling while keeping the walls plain.

    Furniture

    You will need to decide whether you add chairs or stools to the room, depending on space and whether you have a central table, cooking counter or sidelong breakfast bar. Again metal or wooden furniture will determine the character of the room, and seat cushions are another area to add colour if desired.




    Fittings and appliances

    Nowadays a fitted kitchen is the most popular choice for its ease of use and smooth appearance. Appliances to consider include your fridge/freezer, an oven and grill, stove (gas or electric), cooker hoods (essential for ventilation), and additional items you may wish to fit in such as a microwave or dishwasher. These items can all be personalised to suit your overall style, so there is truly nothing stopping you creating the perfect kitchen.

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