Kitchen’s are often referred to as the heart of the home, and more and more are becoming the main focus for buyers when looking for a new home. We thought it might helpful to get so frequently asked questions answered by a kitchen expert before anyone pulls out the sledgehammer! Nick from Kitchen Artillery in Waterloo Street was the man for the job. With over 20 years design experience as an independent kitchen specialist, both installing kitchens from scratch and refurbishing existing kitchens. Many people are surprised to find out that 50% of his work is refurbishing existing kitchens. Nick recently opened Kitchen Artillery - a complimentary business that is an exciting emporium for both professional chefs and keen cooks. Here’s what he had to say:  

  1. When buying a new house, how easy is it to refurbish an existing kitchen? 

Potentially not difficult to refurbish an existing kitchen but my advice would be to live in the property before making any quick decisions.  If you do elect to refurbish an existing kitchen, the integrity of the existing kitchen is key.  It may be that refurbishing is the best option for you or alternatively it may be a false economy.  Consider that a kitchen can be a sensible long term investment in terms of the overall value of the property.  It is worth considering how long you may live there.  A kitchen is often described as the “heart of the home” and is deemed to be one of the main selling points when marketing for future sale.

  1. What is your top recommendation for a homeowner when considering installing a new kitchen?

Seek advice from at least three kitchen specialists.  This will enable you to balance aesthetics, budget and practicality.  There is no exact science to installing a kitchen, as there are so many variables, and this approach will enable you to filter a range of ideas and options to ultimately secure the best kitchen for you.  Identify the contractor with whom you feel you can establish the best rapport.  They should listen and work with you to devise the optimum solution.

  1. What is something you believe every kitchen needs?

Practicality should be a priority - consider how much you use the kitchen - are you keen cooks, do you entertain or alternatively is the visual aspect of the kitchen more important to you?.  A good sink, enough working space and adequate extraction system is worth considering but again all kitchens should work for the unique lifestyle of the homeowner.

  1. Are there any kitchen trends that you would advise homeowners to stay clear of?

There are no right or wrong decisions but again adequate research is key before committing.  Budget may be the deciding factor and exploring how you can best maximise this by understanding the range of products available enables you to have the best finished kitchen.  

  1. What do you believe makes a successful kitchen?

A kitchen that works on a practical level and put simply, remains a space that the owner continues to enjoy.

  1. What is a common mistake you see homeowners make with kitchens?

Not giving enough time to researching all the options.  If a new kitchen is being considered as part of a larger refurbishment of a property it is sensible to seek separate advice from a specialist kitchen expert rather than solely relying on advice from an architect and/or a builder.  A kitchen is a unique space in a home and should be regarded as such.  Think twice about a very high fashion kitchen in the “in” colour.  This is more likely to date quickly than a classic kitchen that will stand the test of time.

  1. Any other advice you would give?

The customer is the person who will be paying, and ultimately living with the finished product, so remember that you are in the position of control.  Seek advice but have the confidence to make your own decisions.