Designing kitchens

A Schuller kitchen - is this really us?

A Schuller kitchen – is this really us?

You’d have thought we would have had SOME ideas of what to do with a clean slate. After all, we’ve spent the last 20 years considering the failings of our last attempt at designing a kitchen. Surely we must have learnt at least something from that?

Hah! No chance.

So while we wait for responses to our tender from various builders, we are settling down to a boxful of kitchen brochures and wondering how far we can get before calling in a designer.

We started off thinking it would be quite straightforward – design the ideal layout then add some colours and textures. Job done.

Kitchen design using IKEA software

Kitchen design using IKEA software

I went hunting for on-line kitchen design software and discovered that one of the better tools to use was on the IKEA website. You set up the room to the right size, add in the units you want, choose the materials and click, you have a 3-D picture you can zoom around. OK so the colour rendering isn’t the best but it did confirm that we were possibly on the right track with it.

It also helped us realise the space we had to fill was pretty big – over 4 metres across beneath the window and nearly 6 metres the other way although we have to fit in a dining table as well in that 6 metres. In other words over 7 metres of worktop broken only by the sink and the hob. Gulp.

So far, so good if not very inspired.

Now for the colours. We were planning to complicate things by splitting the room into two sections with slate tiles in the kitchen area and wood in the dining area. That meant the peninsula would have to work with both slate and wood. White doors then. Then a wooden worktop, and some coloured tiles as the splashback. Finished. On to the bathrooms.

Our last attempt at kitchen design in the house at Barnfield Rise

Our last attempt at kitchen design in the house at Barnfield Rise

Or not.

It all felt rather familiar.

We realised we’d simply duplicated our last kitchen. While 20 years ago we thought we were ahead of the curve when we put it in, now we’ve all moved on a bit and surely we could do better. Or have our tastes simply been beached in a middle-aged comfort zone?

So back to the drawing board. After much toing and froing we went to talk to a designer over in Warrington who didn’t seem too fazed by the prospect of delivering a kitchen to Scotland. We had a good chat and took away some Schuller (expensive, German) brochures. We also went over to John Lewis (expensive, British) and picked up their stuff.

We scoured all the other brochures, mainly looking for ideas and combinations of colours and materials. We’re finding it quite bewildering. Usually when you’re replacing a kitchen there are some limitations on what you can do. The building itself more or less tells you what goes where, and what colours are likely to work. But without a physical house to look at we’re having to invent it more or less from nothing.

A Schuller kitchen like this would do the trick - maybe! But not with that floor ...

A Schuller kitchen like this would do the trick – maybe!
But not with that floor …

As ever, its easier to say what we don’t want than what we do. Glossy cupboard doors are out (fingerprints) as are those on-trend curved doors (they’ll date quickly, we think). Wood everything is likewise out (just too much with a wooden floor) and all white will be too clinical. Or too industrial. Or something.

But that’s today’s thoughts. Tomorrow we’ll have flip-flopped again.

So we’re gathering pictures and creating mood boards and colouring in diagrams with coloured pencils. Watch this space!

  • Magnet 4

    We’re getting through a lot of crayons …

  • Magnet 3

    We’re getting through a lot of crayons …

  • Magnet 2

    We’re getting through a lot of crayons …

  • Magnet 1

    We’re getting through a lot of crayons …

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