Looking through websites and brochures filled with fitted kitchens can cause even the most enthusiastic kitchen buyer to lose interest.
Corner cupboards, drawers or shelves, built-in or freestanding…the list seems endless. With so many layouts and design features to choose from, it can seem overwhelming.
Do fitted kitchens really have to be this complicated? Here at , we have come up with some tips and tricks to help you choose your fitted kitchen. No headache necessary.
Before looking at fitted kitchens, look at your lifestyle
This is the vital step that many people miss before heading out to the shops.
Think about how you use your kitchen. Is it just you who utilises the kitchen to make a quick breakfast before you head out to work? Do you only cook when there is absolutely no other option?
Or do you make big family meals on a regular basis?
Note down how often you use your oven. How many times a week do you go to the shops?
Answering all of these questions will enable you to start building up a picture of how you actually use the space in your kitchen.
If, for example, you tend to pop to the shops most days after work to buy what you need for dinner that night, consider whether you really need a large, built-in fridge-freezer.
However, if you cook for your family every day but only go shopping once or twice a week, this will probably be an essential piece of kit.
Likewise, if you prefer to eat out or buy takeaways, a dishwasher may not be a necessity. For someone who cooks almost every day, a dishwasher may be higher up on the list of priorities.
Storage, storage, storage
For most people, having somewhere in the kitchen to store pots, pans, plates, glasses and dried foodstuffs, such as pasta and rice, is essential.
Before designing fitted kitchens, it is important to consider how much cupboard space you need and whether this would be better used as drawers or shelves.
If you enjoy baking, it can be easier to store baking goods such as flour and sugar, in drawers rather than on shelves, so that you can reach them easier.
The same goes for tins.
Look at what you have in your kitchen and decide whether it would be better stored in drawers or on shelves.
Worktops in fitted kitchens
Carefully consider what type of worktop you want in your fitted kitchen. Ensure that it goes with your lifestyle.
Wood worktops, for example, can look great in a country-style kitchen. However, be aware that wood requires maintenance if you want it to last. This usually involves re-oiling it every 3 months.
If you know that you are unlikely to want to do this, it is best to steer clear from worktops that require this kind of maintenance.
All worktops have pros and cons. Research your chosen material carefully before committing yourself to buying it. This can help you to avoid costly mistakes.
Save money on fitted kitchens
The price of fitted kitchens can vary wildly.
If you want to keep costs low, consider opting for laminate kitchen surfaces. Not only can these be great value, they require very little maintenance, other than cleaning.
The time of year you buy your kitchen can also have an impact on the price.
If you can wait for the sales. Buying fitted kitchens after Christmas can result in some really big savings.
Research shops and their prices online, before heading out to the high street.
Do you really need to replace everything?
If you do not like your kitchen or it is starting to look old and tired, it can be tempting to rip everything out and start again.
New fitted kitchens do not come cheap.
Consider whether you could just replace the worktops or paint the kitchen cupboards.
A whole new kitchen may not be necessary to achieve the look that you want.
Inspiration online for fitted kitchens
When it comes to finding inspiration for your new kitchen, you no longer need to leave your home. Websites such as can be a great place to start.
Browse through pictures then write down a list of ‘likes’. Then separate this out into ‘must haves’ and ‘wants’.
This, together with your ‘lifestyle’ criteria, will provide you with the foundations you need to build the perfect fitted kitchen for your home, minus a headache.