When it comes to updating your home, the kitchen is one of the biggest investments you are likely to make. We believe the mark of a long-lasting kitchen is not about having the latest on-trend gadget but ensuring your money is spent on the right layout, materials, fixtures and fittings will stand the test of time. We all want the ability to live in our own homes comfortably and independently for as long as possible, which makes quality, convenience and longevity all the more important.
1. Buy the best appliances you can afford
We source our appliances from premium brands, including Bosch, Siemens and Miele, all of whom are known for their high quality standards. When it comes to appliances, durability matters if you want them to work just as well in 10 years’ time. Working with an experienced kitchen designer will ensure your appliances are positioned to maximise the efficiency of your working area.
Related reading: Why Use a Professional Kitchen Designer?
If you’re looking for ways to add more functionality to your kitchen, boiling water taps, warming drawers and induction hobs are all huge timesavers. Likewise, integrated microwaves and coffee machines keep your worktops clear and create a more unified look.
2. Stay flexible
A skilled kitchen designer will look for ways to create a flexible, adaptable space in which day-to-day tasks can be carried out with maximum efficiency—not just today but in the future. Over the course of a decade your needs may change or you may wish to make an impression on potential buyers. A kitchen that is intuitive as well as aesthetically pleasing will enable you to enjoy a comfortable cooking experience, with counters and appliances stored in areas that make sense and are practical for day-to-day use.
Most modern dishwashers have an energy-efficiency setting that can save up to 20% of energy by using less power to heat the water.
3. Embrace sustainability
Reduce your impact on the environment by opting for a sustainable kitchen that is made to last. While A+++ appliances are more expensive at the outset, they will save you money over time by reducing your energy usage. Most manufacturers offer a warranty between one to five years that you can choose to top up with an extended warranty.
High-quality products and materials that don’t need replacing every few years will protect your budget, as well as the environment. Additionally, consider LED light fittings over halogen, fluorescent or incandescent—they make particularly good spotlights and dimmable lights and last 25 times longer on average than incandescent lighting.
4. Plan functional lighting
When we’re planning a kitchen renovation, lighting fixtures are often left as an afterthought, but they’re actually an important part of the overall look and feel, not to mention practicality. Poor lighting can be a health hazard, as well as affecting mood. There are three layers to consider for optimal illumination: ambient, task and accent lighting.
Ambient lighting provides an even distribution of light and is the main source of light in a space. Ceiling downlights are a modern and popular form of ambient lighting. Task lighting is made up of smaller fixtures used only as necessary, such as under-cabinet lights for preparing food. Accent lighting makes a statement, highlighting specific areas of a room and forming part of the overall aesthetic. Pendants, chandeliers and wall sconces are all examples of accent lighting.
Related reading: How to Choose Lighting for Your Kitchen & Bathroom
5. Choose timeless cabinetry
Unless you want your cabinets to steal focus, opt for soft colours that form part of the backdrop. Clean lines and neutral tones never go out of style and fit well into almost any home. Hand-painted finishes are increasingly popular and a great practical choice for anyone who likes to mix up their decor now and again, with endless colours available.
When choosing handles, opt for smooth handles or touch-to-open cabinets that minimise sharp corners, which can catch on clothes and are painful to bump into.
6. Emphasise hardwearing materials
While all materials have their strengths and weaknesses—stone can stain, steel can scratch—going for something durable and hardwearing will extend the life of your kitchen worktops and make them easier to keep clean.
Some of the most popular materials for kitchen worktops include laminate, granite, solid wood, quartz, glass, composite stone and stainless steel. Granite and quartz are among the most durable, and in addition to marble are generally low maintenance and hygienic.
Related reading: What to Consider When Remodelling Your Kitchen
Quartz is harder than granite and thus more durable, but it can be damaged by excessive heat.
7. Reject the latest trends
The most beautiful kitchens have three things in common: symmetry, proportion and simplicity. If there’s one thing we’ve learned it’s that trends come and go—the black walls and gold finishes of today could easily become the barn doors and Moroccan tiles of tomorrow. If you want to future-proof your investment, stick to timeless design that will look just as amazing in 10 years’ time as it does now.
Related reading: 15 Luxury Features to Consider For Your Contemporary Kitchen Remodel
8. Get clever with storage
Storage is an essential part of any kitchen—and you really can’t have too much. Even if you have more than you need, we all tend to accumulate more kitchenware as time goes on. Whatever the space you’re working with, think carefully about the practicalities to make the most of every cupboard and drawer.
Ideally, you want to keep your worktops clear of clutter to make the room feel more spacious and orderly. Drawers are a great way to make cupboards more accessible—so you don’t have to fight your way through a barricade of tins find what you’re looking for at the back.
9. Employ a qualified kitchen fitter
For most of us, installing a new kitchen is not a DIY task—especially if you want a professional and lasting finish. With years of experience and technical know-how, you can expect a swift and polished turnaround without the headache of planning it yourself or making costly mistakes. We work with expert kitchen designer Karen Beecroft to deliver stunning, bespoke kitchens that will work for you and your family for many years to come.