Image: Ger Cooney Design
This article appeared previously as part one of a two part blog in a collaboration with Lee Reeve, kitchen Painter. Part two available here.
When dealing with clients I am often asked where the best place to start with a new design scheme is. Choosing a new scheme for a kitchen can be at first a daunting but ultimately exciting process. Possibly this may be the starting point for the rest of the house, a change in direction for the key room in your home. The kitchen really is the heartbeat, the engine room that serves the majority of our needs. Kitchens are multi-purpose spaces and while they need to be functional they should also be aesthetically pleasing. There are a few points to consider when embarking on your design journey.
Image: Ger Cooney Design
Where to Start? – Your High Cost Items
Flooring, furniture, worktops, tiles and window treatments, are crucial elements in any design scheme and especially for kitchens. Whether you are renovating or starting from scratch, making key decisions for flooring for instance will heavily influence the remainder of your scheme. Ideally these should be decided upon before starting selections on colour for walls and kitchen units. Think long term, style over trend, versatility is key which will enable you to introduce a variety of colour schemes over time without the necessity of changing flooring or worktops for example.
What style are you trying to create?
A good starting point is to think about the overall style you are aiming for. Be it traditional or contemporary there are so many options out there. Look at options that are easy on the eye and fit in with your personal style or that of your property. Researching options online is a good start as you may find yourself drawn to similar options which will reinforce that you are on the right track. For longevity, choosing style over trends is a way to ensure your kitchen stays relevant and doesn’t date.
How will the space be used?
An important consideration when starting out on a new scheme is to look at how the space is currently being used. Does it work for your lifestyle or family? If not, then it might be time to look at other options in terms of layout. Kitchens are now such multi-functional spaces. Examining other activities such as reading, homework for the kids, maybe even a space for an occasional home office is worthwhile to explore. When dealing with clients I always ask how they would like the space to be used, as in many cases there is scope for improvement.
From a designer’s standpoint
From a designers perspective once we collate all the information for the brief we then go to research and develop concepts. For my clients I tend to produce a concept firstly in a digital format to gauge their initial reactions and to ensure I am on the right track. Then I start to introduce tactile samples to create a more accurate impression of what can be achieved for the scheme. This ensures the client is introduced to the variety of samples, styles and finishes available to help make a more informed choice.