If you’re wondering whether you can justify the expense of a new kitchen, a recent report might help you decide…
According to the 2017 Houzz UK Kitchen Trends survey, more than a third of those questioned say they have led a healthier lifestyle since carrying out renovations on their kitchen – and that includes eating more fruit and veg, cooking more meals at home, ordering fewer takeaways and having more sit-down meals. That can’t be bad!
The research also revealed that open-plan living remains popular, with more than half of kitchens opened into adjoining rooms as part of the works. Neutral colour schemes are still preferred in the majority of kitchen upgrades too, with white (50%), grey and beige the top three wall colour choices.
It’s obviously survey season at the moment because Pilkington United Kingdom Limited, manufacturers of Pilkington glass, have also been questioning people about their kitchen renovations. Their findings broadly tally with Houzz’s but what stands out in their findings is that almost a third of those questioned named granite worktops as their number one must-have, followed by built-in appliances, a kitchen island and a boiling water tap!
In with the new
Once you’ve decided to go ahead with a new kitchen, there are so many designs out there to choose from it can be difficult to know where to start. To make things that bit easier, Schmidt Kitchens (which has a showroom at 20-24 Grosvenor Road in Tunbridge Wells) have become a one-stop shop. As well as offering a good range of furniture and cabinetry in both contemporary and classic designs, they can also provide the latest built-in appliances, statement extraction and feature lighting.
Their new Groove collection is made from affordable melamine but has an attractive wood-effect finish. Shown above right  in Tobacco (it’s also available in 14 other shades too) alongside a piece from their Bolero range in a zesty Tangerine lacquered MDF. Even the Fabrik metal chairs and bar stools are available in four colours from Schmidt.
The wonder of wood
Many people feel you can’t beat the natural warmth and attractiveness of wood in a kitchen and the beauty of oak is nicely captured in Caple’s new Winford Oak kitchen, part of their new in-frame furniture range which is characterised by high-quality, lacquered oak dovetail drawer boxes.
The Winford Oak can be combined with any of 18 on-trend and classic colours, including Mussel, Bone, Cotton and Pewter, in the Winford Painted collection. A vast selection of cabinet sizes is available and, for further versatility, curved and concave curved doors can be incorporated. There’s choice of handles and accessories too, including decorative chrome or blackened copper butt hinges.
And talking of choice, LochAnna Kitchens has just added 18 brand new ranges to its portfolio, taking the total to an impressive 64 kitchens designs, British made but with a European influence. Their new Mala collection, for example, shows off modern Italian styling at its best, with a robust ultra-high gloss finish in a series of seven contemporary tones, combined with copper accessories and antique handles.
They’ve also now teamed up with Artis to offer a good range of laminate worktops with a choice of thicknesses and textures, in more than 50 colour options.
After a kitchen with a professional feel? If a kitchen is good enough for a Michelin-starred chef, it’s surely good enough for even the most committed of foodies? The Roux Kitchen from Moores has Michel Roux Jnr’s seal of approval, no less. It’s shown centre right in Nouvel Dust and Vintage Oak and features ingenious storage as well as integrated lighting.
If, like many of those questioned by Pilkington’s, an island is what you dream of having in your new kitchen, Harvey Jones has two lovely versions in its latest Linear and Shaker ranges. As well as looking great, islands are ideal for housing integrated appliances – and are also a good way of adding an accent colour to a basically neutral space.
Adding the finishing touches to a new kitchen is half the fun. Installing shutters at your kitchen windows, for example, is a stylish way to control the level of natural light but you may prefer them to blend in rather than stand out as an accent and, to that end, Hove-based Shutterly Fabulous now offer a colour-matching service to ensure new shutters are in keeping with the overall look of your room.
And finally, if – unlike all those people in the Houzz Trends survey – you don’t feel the need to have boiling water on tap (pardon the pun!) in your new kitchen, how about filtered, chilled still, semi and sparkling water on demand instead? Grohe’s Blue Home is the latest addition to the brand’s popular Blue® drinking water system range.
Thanks to its compact design, it can easily be installed in nearly any kitchen (kitchen cabinets with a width of 30cm are sufficient). The slim taps feature a colour-lit touch activator and are available in chrome or SuperSteel as well as with three different spout types to match any sink and kitchen layout. And Grohe say that by installing one, you could save as much as 60% on buying leading bottled water brands.