With no walls to obstruct light or views, open-plan spaces usually have a great sense of flow. But large rooms demand just as much care in the planning as small spaces. The working part of the kitchen in particular needs to function ergonomically. Where possible, adhere to the classic work triangle between sink, fridge and hob to cut down on footwork, using an island to help shorten these distances where necessary. White hi-gloss units work perfectly in this modern open-plan, monochrome scheme. When it comes to style, built-in stainless-steel appliances have a professional look, while fully integrated models are concealed behind matching cabinet doors for a streamlined effect. Consider noise levels and looks when choosing appliances, and look for appliances with decibel levels under 39dB. Keep worktops clear and hide clutter away with clever storage solutions.
Never pay a deposit of more than 25% of the total contract value and ensure you have a written schedule for further payments. Don't pay in full until you have received delivery of your goods. The KBSA (Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association) has these guidelines for choosing your kitchen company: Visit a company that has a showroom so you can inspect the quality of the product and the standard of installation. Choose a retail member with a track record of good installations and ask to speak to some previous customers. Be careful about paying in full for your kitchen in advance. You shouldn't pay a deposit of more than 25% and as it's likely that you'll be asked to make an interim payment, ask for a written payment schedule. Make sure you have a written quotation that covers every aspect of the job including fitting, flooring and any structural alterations you have discussed. Don't sign anything unless you are prepared to honour your side of the contract.
Many people these days want a family hub where everyone can come together for meals, but still have room to do their own thing – be that unwind on the sofa, catch up with TV, browse the internet or fit in some homework. Even if you don't have masses of space, having somewhere in the kitchen to enjoy a glass of wine or supper with friends will allow you to be part of the conversation while preparing the meal. When it comes to the functional part of the room, a good layout will make the most of the available space and keep everything well organised, with the most regularly used items to hand. But it's not all about storage. Flow is an important consideration. Especially in an open-plan space or where there are several doorways or an island to work around. Using the layout to steer traffic away from dangerous hotspots and towards user-friendly areas instead, such as a drinks fridge or seating area, will ensure that your kitchen is a practical, safe and sociable space for all its users, including guests and children.
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