With some fantastic showrooms in Olney, a trip here to look for your ‘dream kitchen’ is really worthwhile. Park on the High Street and you have two wonderful shops almost opposite each other: each offering something quite different!
Cut out ideas from a magazine: it is so easy to flick through brochures and fall in love with everything. But work out if a contemporary, minimalist style suits your home, or if a handmade country kitchen is more in keeping. Try and avoid really cutting edge items: like the trend for Mexican tiles a few years back, these can date your kitchen quite quickly. For most people, a kitchen should have a timeless quality to ensure it lasts, say the teams from JS Designs. Creating a ‘mood board’ of cuttings from instagram or interiors magazines will help you convey your ideas too.
Visit showrooms: A good design team will translate your ideas into what works for the space and budget you have. But do a research visit to the showrooms so you can try the drawers, feel the worktops and look at how things like corner cupboards work so that you can be sure an end design will suit you. David James sells accessories and homewares too, so this enhances the feeling of what the real kitchen will feel like.
Is this is a home hub, a functional space or for socialising? Unless money is no object, Julian and his team at JS Designs say it is worth thinking about how you or your family want to live: is socialising important and if the kitchen is the hub of the home to think about where a table will go or is the priority on storage for a busy family to minimise clutter. They focus on visiting the home and getting these important questions answered, almost as much as what handles people want, as it ensures the room’s flow works for the people who live in a house.
The measurements: David James Kitchens are all handmade and bespoke and so there is a lot of effort placed on making sure the instructions for the hi-tech machine tools and the joiners in the workshop are spot-on so that everything is built for the space. Don’t compromise on this, as fitters need cupboards that are meant for a space to avoid gaping and fixes that spoil the end result.
The seen and the unseen: Where do you want to focus your budget? JS designers say for some, the quality of the units is paramount, others will spend their money on the worktops and handles because they are the bits on show. Being clear about that when matching your budget to the kitchen will help you get a kitchen that really is the dream.
Don’t understimate lighting: there is a reason that interiors magazines and tv programmes are so well lit as this is a key component of a kitchen. Think of a light above work units, or a kitchen table and ensure the areas where the food preparation will happen have really good light for all times of the day.
The flooring and tiles: these must work with the style of a kitchen and it is worth getting designers to help you with these too as it can influence the success of the end result.
Appliances: you do not have to replace all your appliances unless you choose to, but do take images of those that are staying to ensure you imagine them in your new design.
Fitting: the experience of getting a new kitchen fitted will be made easier if you can plan how you will manage during the process. The work teams have helpful advice for how this can be managed, and good fitters will ensure things are tidied every night.
If you have ordered from David James you can see your kitchen being made in their workshop; while JS Designs keep customers updated on the status of a handmade kitchen or one being shipped from their European brand partners.