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Creating a kitchen space that's perfect for you

Whether you're in your forever home, or you want your property to sparkle when it goes on the market, having that perfect kitchen is important. Kitchens can be a social space, a homework place and a hive of cooking activity, so great design is really important.

Need versus want

Just like kids always “need” rather than “want”, so do many adults when it comes to a dream kitchen. The question is: Do you really need a top of the range hob if you single-handedly keep the local restaurants in business? Is it more important to have a lot of counter top space for when friends call round for a drink? Be realistic when you list your kitchen “wants” and “needs” or you could end up spending money on “must haves” that you never actually use.

Bespoke or not bespoke – that is the question

There's a lot to be said for choosing a bespoke kitchen. If you have Masterchef aspirations, you can get all of the modern appliances and utensils fitted just the way you want them. Working with a bespoke kitchen designer is also a better option if your kitchen has a difficult or unique shape, as an “off the shelf” design most likely won’t fit. There are a couple of things you need to think about though; what can you actually afford and is the next owner of your home going to have the same taste as you? If you know that you want to sell at some point, stick to the basics, clean lines and neutral colours and you should end up appealing to the majority. You can still choose a bespoke design but don't go too “out there” or you may end up losing out on sales.

The kids factor

Let's face it, once you have kids, your life and your home are never the same. Kids can end up taking over in the kitchen, whether it's helping you bake, doing their homework or just telling you about the latest fall out with their former best friend. Making sure your kitchen is kid friendly is important. Think about keeping hobs, microwaves and kettles away from tiny hands but make sure that older kids can reach everything they need; especially if they need to fend for themselves sometimes.

Island paradise or not?

This is a question that causes debate up and down the country. Islands aren't for everyone and even if you love them they may not be best suited to your home. Every island needs to have at least 42-48 inches of walking space around it and should be at least two-foot long. A tiny island is no use whatsoever and one which you have to squeeze past is not safe. No matter how much you want a kitchen island, you need to be realistic about whether it's the right thing to do. An island can be a great selling point, in the right kitchen. It can also be a deal breaker in the wrong one.

The kitchen triangle – what's it all about?

You may have no clue what the kitchen triangle is, especially if you use your kitchen more for socialising than cooking. If you are a keen cook then you'll know that it's the route you take from the sink to the stove and the refrigerator, and it needs to be really easy to navigate. Even if this doesn't bother you, it could be a major concern for any future buyers of your home, so it's something to consider.

Counter tops that work

Are you really going to spend all of your time thinking about what material your counter tops should be made from? This may be important but it isn't going to matter as much if you forget about how much space you actually need. Generally speaking, if cooking is your happy time, you need plenty of counter top space to use. This can include an island if you have one. Think about everyone in your home when you're having counter tops designed. Do you need any lower level space for kids, or someone in a wheelchair, to use?

Enjoy creating and enjoy cooking in your perfect kitchen!

Article written by Ella Hendrix for Bristol Property Centre