Expert advice on buying a new kitchen

Kitchen design by ICE Interior

What are the most important considerations when buying a new kitchen?

As one of the biggest purchases you will ever have to make, don’t compromise on the quality.  Going through an established, reputable independent retailer like ICE Interior in Lymington, Hampshire, who specialise in kitchen design and interior design, will ensure you will get the very best in fittings and products.

Don’t fall short on furniture quality – family activity centers around the kitchen and your kitchen will suffer regular wear and tear so your kitchen will need to be robust and hard wearing.  The kitchen is the heart of the home and is possibly the most important room of the house.  It’s also the room you’re likely to spend the most of your time in, particularly if it is a kitchen diner and living space all in one so choose your supplier wisely.


Why invest in a new kitchen?

Professional kitchen design when planning a new kitchen is an absolute must for anyone seriously looking to boost their home’s value and it could add considerably in your enjoyment, and potentially the value of your home.  Always remember it’s one the first thing a potential house buyer will probably look for in the future.  Also you should consider remodeling or extending your home as an ideal investment if you need more space or to open up the main living areas to create a spacious kitchen diner.  Improving and not moving seems to be the modern answer to acquiring more living space.  We would also say that buying quality can actually save in the long term, and as the old saying goes ‘buy cheap, buy twice’!


What style would suit my home?

There are no hard and fast rules but generally people choose a contemporary kitchen for a modern home, or something more traditional for a period property works, and keep in line with the overall style of your property.  At ICE Interior we aim to listen first and then make suggestions based upon the clients wish list, and we know that one size does not fit all.  Also conducting your own research into kitchen styles from lifestyle magazines, social media and the internet will give you a wider idea of what may suit you best.  Some of the most popular designs include kitchen islands, peninsula’s and open plan kitchens do not seem to be heading out of fashion anytime soon, but the options do depend upon the space available. You can get some ideas from the ICE Interior kitchen projects portfolio.


Where do I start?

The whole kitchen design process with ICE Interior begins with a design consultation to discuss your requirements, the overall style and ideal kitchen design.  We will discuss how you use your kitchen and the ergonomics to maximise the kitchen including the storage of consumables and non-consumables, preparation, cooking and cleaning zones.

We suggest that before you even start looking for appliances or cabinets, you need to think about your project, set a realistic budget, and decide on a preferred style.  Kitchen planning need not necessarily be too expensive or tiresome, but having some clear ideas and objectives can save a lot of wasted time.  It is always best to assess what you need, what you want and how much you want to spend beforehand but being flexible with your budget may enable the designer to show you what is available at different price points.


How do I get the most cost effective kitchen design?

A top kitchen design tip is that the wider the cabinet the more cost effective your kitchen may end up.  You can fit much more into wider drawers, particularly if you include internal storage components such as pan drawer fittings, carousels and wirework, sometimes referred to as ‘Smart or Clever Storage’.  Also taller wall cabinets can be more cost effective than standard height wall cabinets for the same reason (as long as you can reach the top shelf!).

Check the number of drawers and storage solutions your new kitchen design provides, and make certain that you have enough for your requirements.  Try and ensure that you are making the most of the available space.  Internal storage or drawers do allow you to maximise the usable storage, possibly meaning fewer cabinets are needed within the design, however a drawer unit is likely to be at least double the cost of a standard unit, so getting the balance right is important in achieving a great design and matching your budget.

We also recommend not compromising on quality appliances and for instance did you know that leading appliance brand Neff has four core range designs?  The N50 series are offered at their entry price point but still offer superb cooking results, where the top N90 series are aimed at the serious home cook, but there’s no point in specifying fancy features like ‘sous vide’ that you may never use.  A professional kitchen designer would be able to guide you in making the best appliance choices for your lifestyle.


What makes a great kitchen design?

Essentially a successful kitchen starts from the inside out.  Too often the kitchen designer considers the position of the sink, cooker and refrigeration but often will overlook the critical location of utensils, small appliances and critically packaged goods.  Avoid frustration and compromise at the end of the project by spending some time at the planning stage to ensure that your specific storage is easily accessible and sufficient for all of the differing activities taking place in your kitchen. With help from a professional kitchen designer you can be as satisfied with the end result as ICE Interior’s customers.


ICE Interior are based in the New Forest in Lymington, Hampshire and service not only the local area, but also further afield, and we have recently undertaken work in the Home Counties, Oxfordshire. Don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss your requirements.

kitchen design examples