Few of us want to have to redo a kitchen for at least a decade, and in our case we were simultaneously doing an expensive side return extension, so the pressure was on. I wanted a warm, functional, beautiful kitchen, with a worktop that wouldn’t chip or stain, and appliances that would hold up.
My husband wanted more prep surface and an inviting space for entertaining. Not to mention enough storage for a family of three, plus two cats, which would also suffice and fit in a decade when my son is a hungry, clumsy teenager, bringing home other hungry, clumsy teenagers. and swarming like grasshoppers.
Thinking time is key
Independent kitchen designer Mioko Fujisaki (cuisinebeedesign.com) says spending a lot of time thinking about the future is absolutely crucial. “When I design a kitchen, I expect it to last 15 to 20 years, so you have to know how you live and how you want to live,” she says. “When I ask people what frustrates them in their kitchen, they say ‘Everything!’
But you have to go into the smallest details and analyze it step by step – maybe the lighting is not good, there is not enough work surface or you need a place to sit with your kids while they do their homework. All of these problems can be solved. It’s a bit like a counseling session,” she laughs.
Before we started, we invited ourselves to the homes of friends and neighbors who had recently completed kitchen renovations and extensions, carrying a tape measure and poring over their architects’ designs. (We also benefited from their bitter experience – these kitchen tours helped validate our decision to go with Crittall-style French doors. After seeing several faulty bends and sliding door tracks blocked by tiny toys, simple hinges seemed a safer bet.)