Choosing a Quality Kitchen

by Stacey Sheppard in Kitchens

The kitchen really is the heart of the home – it probably seems like a cliché as the expression is somewhat overused but nevertheless in most households, it’s true.

With this in mind it’s worth investing in a good quality kitchen that comes in at the top end of your budget. Not only is it the social hub for most families but it is also a key selling point when looking to move on.

Image: Bespoke kitchen in Highgate by Tim Moss

Bespoke is best

Tim Moss is a sought after kitchen and furniture designer and he recommends choosing a bespoke kitchen when looking for real quality. ‘With total freedom from the restraints of mass production, the design is tailor made for the space and to exacting standards of craftsmanship,’ he says. ‘When buying a genuinely bespoke kitchen the overall quality of design and build should be of the highest standard. A badly designed kitchen will not look nice, feel nice or work well.’

Image: Plain framed kitchen with tulip wood doors by Tim Moss

Consult past clients

In order to ensure that you are getting the most for your money Blanca Sanchez, Director of Halo Design Interiors, says: ‘Getting to know your local kitchen companies can be a useful way of ensuring that you get value for money and a good service, as it is in their interest to ensure that they maintain a good reputation locally. She also suggests asking to speak to recent clients that they have completed kitchens for.

Choose materials that last

For Sanchez, good design is at the core of a quality kitchen followed by good materials. ‘Do not underestimate the value of a good worktop,’ she says. ‘It is a key element in the look and practicality of a kitchen. Quartz worktops, such as Caesarstone offer a vast variety of colours, beating stone in terms of evenness of finish and also hardiness.’

Read expert advice on using natural stone in your kitchen

Quartz is a popular material choice for Moss too but when it comes to the carcasses he uses veneered blockboards as he says this is a far superior material to MDF or chipboard. For door frames and framing however he prefers to use solid wood (usually Liriodendron tulipifera) and says that if you use good quality wood you can expect the kitchen to last a lifetime.

Image: Curved bespoke kitchen in Muswell Hill by Tim Moss

Feel the quality

Most designers agree that you should not to be afraid to touch and feel the products that you are considering using. Interior designer Kia Sunda does this when choosing hardware. She says: ‘Firstly it is really important to make sure that draw box mechanisms work smoothly and consistently throughout the kitchen. My best way of checking this is to fiddle. I go through the showroom and open everything. I will close it roughly and pull it open quickly to find out if it still runs smoothly or if it slams.’ Moss agrees with the importance of touch and says: ‘There are nearly always cheap alternatives but when you hold the real thing and its cheap counterpart the choice becomes obvious.’

Light the space

Lighting should not be underestimated in the kitchen. ‘Lighting can make or break a design,’ says Moss, explaining that this is sometimes trickier in a kitchen where you need strong task lighting as well as softer ambient light. ‘It’s important to have directional lights in the ceiling and pendants above an island and dining table enhance the overall feel.’ Anita Kohn of Living in Space recommends the use of LED lighting under wall cabinets and at skirting plinth level to create a great feature.

Image: Contemporary kitchen in Belsize Park from Living in Space

There really is no substitute for quality and the only way to guarantee a well-crafted, long lasting and durable kitchen design is to invest wisely and choose the best components that your budget will allow.

 

Tim Moss Kitchens – www.timmoss.co.uk

Halo Design Interiors – www.halodesigninteriors.com

Kia Designs  – www.kiadesigns.co.uk

Living in Space – www.living-inspace.co.uk


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