There’s no doubt that a kitchen can totally transform a home – whether updating a small space, or embarking on a larger scale renovation project. Ruth Lavender, design expert at Benchmarx Kitchens and Joinery, explains how you can create your perfect kitchen design, even on a budget:
“Sticking to a budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise on your perfect kitchen. By choosing clever combinations of worktops, cabinetry, appliances, and lighting, you can create a beautiful kitchen without overstepping on costs.
“The majority of popular styles and finishes featured in high-end kitchen designs are available from more accessible kitchen suppliers, making your dream kitchen completely attainable.
“In addition to picking beautiful cabinetry and accessories, there are other features you should think about incorporating into your design to take it to the next level. These budget-friendly features will have a huge impact on the functionality and enjoyment of your space.
“Choosing open shelving can create a stunning visual, whilst injecting personality into your space. The flexibility in design options are endless, and they can be incorporated to make as much or as little impact as you like. You can create an open, airy feeling in a smaller kitchen, showcasing a minimalist and rustic style, or you can go all out by filling your shelves with your favourite accessories. Clean lines and simple crockery can communicate modern sophistication, creating a relaxed, scandi scheme.
“Open shelving also enables easy access to your everyday essentials such as dishes, glasses and cookware. You can use them to store cookbooks, display house plants and showcase decorative vases; making them very versatile and easy to re-style when you fancy a switch up.
“The impact lighting can have on a kitchen design is often overlooked, but it can have a huge effect on the overall feel and functionality of the room.
“Start by thinking about the main lighting source in the room and how it can be best maximised. If you’re opting for spotlights, consider the placement of each light to ensure they aren’t blocked by cabinets or walls. Pendant lighting is also great for adding focused illumination whilst adding a point of interest. Under-cupboard lighting is a budget-friendly alternative to introduce an additional lighting source to your design.
“Planning your lighting in this way can also help you zone your kitchen, establishing different areas depending on functionality. This is particularly important if you plan to use your kitchen space for multiple purposes – such as cooking, working from home, entertaining friends or spending time together as a family.
“Seating nooks are an ingenious way to maximise space and provide additional seating in your kitchen. They can be installed in awkward corners, under bay windows or built into cupboard storage, which means they don’t take up a lot of room.
“They offer a brilliant space for children to sit and play whilst you prepare dinner and can double up as an additional entertaining space when you have visitors. Designers often include this feature if the kitchen is a multi-functional space, as it creates a more informal area for dining and relaxing, while doubling up as an area to work from home or complete homework. Storage space can also be incorporated under the seating to help keep the zone tidy.
“By picking fabrics and soft furnishing that complement your kitchen design, you can seamlessly tie the seating area in with the rest of the space.
Larders and pantries
“Kitchen larders and pantries have been a kitchen necessity for centuries but are becoming less common because of the misconception that they require a lot of space and are costly to incorporate. This is far from the truth, especially when cleverly designed.
“For a sleek and tidy aesthetic, carry through the same cabinets and work surfaces from the wider kitchen, as this will blend the two spaces together. If you’re stretched for space, pull-out storage solutions offer a great compromise.
“Kitchen islands are, unsurprisingly, a must-have in many people’s dream design. There was once a perception that an island unit must be of an impressive size, and carry an impressive price tag. Some people also believe that you need a kitchen of endless proportions to match. However, with clever planning, an island or peninsula can be installed in many kitchen spaces – within reason!
“The great thing about an island is that it offers a focal point to a kitchen and allows you to introduce a mixture of worktop and cabinet textures and heights, giving your design an individual edge.
“If you want to create the kitchen of your dreams, but don’t know where to start, I’d always recommend speaking to a kitchen designer, such as the experts at your local Benchmarx branch. They will be able to discuss options within your budget and perhaps suggest ideas you may not have considered.”
To order a brochure, book a free design consultation, or use Benchmarx’s handy kitchen visualiser tool, click here.