Tuesday, 13 September 2011

What’s New in Kitchen Design?

The housing market may have slowed down slightly, but the re-modelling market is booming. Rather than moving house, more and more people are improving what they already have – revitalizing their bedrooms and modernizing their kitchens with the latest in plumbing, floor-to-ceiling units, and stainless steel undermount sinks, or ceramic undermount sinks for those that prefer a more classical look.

Islands are in

One of the biggest trends in kitchen design these days is the use of islands. In many homes, the kitchen is "big enough", but the amount of usable space is far from sufficient. While opting for stainless steel undermount sinks instead of traditional overmount sinks will allow you to reclaim a few inches of counter space, an island will reclaim a lot of empty floor space for your use as a work surface, and can act as storage too.

Low Divide Sinks

Another trend that’s gaining popularity is low divide sinks. Many kitchen designers are finding that they’re now more popular than single bowl sinks. There are some charming ceramic undermount sinks that come in a large bowl/small bowl configuration with a low divider, perfect for those who want to retain the flexibility of a single bowl, but want to separate some of their washing.

Discrete filters

Water filters are one of the first additions that many homeowners make to their kitchens, even if they aren’t going to be re-modelling on a grand scale. An under-sink water filter, connected directly to the cold tap, can remove the need for a separate faucet for drinking water. There are filters that can last for one year before they need changed. They’re discreet, hassle free, and great value for money.

Floor to ceiling cabinets

Floor to ceiling cabinets are gaining practicality for several reasons. Firstly, they remove the hassle of having to dust the top of the cabinet (which, let’s face it, is a horrible chore). Secondly, they maximise the amount of useable space, and make the kitchen look much neater.

Kitchen redesigns should not be entered into lightly. While it’s easy enough to move around the furniture in the living room, or even in a bedroom, kitchens are more permanent, with plumbing and wiring to be considered. If you hate your kitchen, every mealtime will turn into a chore. So, before you invest in stainless steel undermount sinks, floor-to-ceiling cabinets, or any other major changes, think about what you use most in your kitchen, and what you’ll need easy access to on a day to day basis.

It may be that you need single bowl ceramic undermount sinks, because a double-bowl sink wouldn’t fit your wok. Or, it could be that you’d rather have an island kitchen than one with floor-to-ceiling cupboards – or, perhaps you spend so much time in there that you need both storage solutions! Don’t let your kitchen designer talk you into something fashionable just because everyone else in the neighbourhood has bought it. It’s your kitchen, and it should be designed to fit your needs.

This post was written by James Harper on behalf of the Kitchen Appliance Centre. James writes on subjects relating to home improvements and interiors.