Keep the feel relaxed with a large, sleek and glossy island unit. This prime example sits serenely at the centre of its light and bright surroundings, complementing the modern kitchen scheme beautifully. The island provides a welcoming place to sit, eat and talk, with its extended bar and matching dark-chocolate seating. Keep your island worktop clean and uncluttered and add a pop of colour with bright lampshades suspended above. If you've got the space, why be afraid to use it? At the heart of this spacious open-plan kitchen is an immense island with a glossy white worktop and dramatic dark grey Shaker-style cabinetry. This multifunctional unit has everything, including the kitchen sink! There's infinite space to prep food, abundant storage and even an integrated dining area. If you have a generous kitchen that craves a show-stopping centre piece like this, think big, useful and above all, striking.
Granite, composite and solid surfaces are all good investments as they are tough, durable and will give your kitchen a luxurious finish. Next, make sure your cabinets are of good quality. Don't be tempted to skimp on thin carcasses, as they'll not last very long. You want at least a 15mm thickness all round – if not more. Think about savings on your choice of doors. We can't all afford rich wood veneers, so why not recreate the same look with a laminate or PVC foil finish instead? Even hi-gloss doors come in different price brackets depending on whether they are lacquered or laminated. ‘While they all essentially look the same, a lacquered kitchen can cost considerably more than the laminate equivalent,' explains kitchen designer Paul Bagguley from In-Toto Batley. Spend wisely on appliances, too, buying the best oven and hob you can afford – but perhaps consider a less expensive brand for the laundry and do without the coffee machine and wine cooler. It's all about compromise if your budget is under strain, so make sure you spend on the things that matter – you can always add luxury small appliances and accessories in years to come.
Some terms and conditions have expensive cancellation clauses. When using a KBSA retail member, don't forget to keep your insurance certificate in a safe place and if you haven't received it within a few weeks of paying your deposit, contact your retailer. Set your budget. Always be honest about your budget so that your designer can help you decide where to save and where to invest – even if you haven't got large sums to spend. Open shelving is less expensive than closed cupboards, for example, while capacious low-level, pull-out storage may mean you need fewer wall units, which saves on cost. It's easy to get giddy when faced with a wealth of shiny appliances with countless programs and functions, so only invest in things you think you'll genuinely use. And don't forget to include installation fees, as well as the kitchen itself. Finally, make sure your budget includes a 10 per cent contingency fund, to cover any unexpected extra costs. If you're is a bind about where to splash the cash, here are our top tips on where to spend and where to save: Always go for the best worktops you can afford, as they are one of the most hardworking elements of any kitchen.
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