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You have to make a lot of choices when building a new home. But perhaps none of those decisions have quite as much pressure as getting the kitchen ‘just right’. And from the layout, to the fixtures, fittings and finishings - there’s no end to the various elements you have to decide on.
But while the final say is yours alone, we do have some tips up our sleeves to help make the journey to the final result less overwhelming. (And just as a side note, if you build a home with us, our experienced team is always on hand to guide you through this process.)
Before considering how you want your kitchen to look, you want to get yourself in front of the best people for the job, says Errol Hotham - a building consultant at our Tauranga branch.
It’s about speaking to the experts in kitchen design, who can understand your budget, your ‘must haves’ and where you can compromise. Because from layouts, to natural light, sculleries and so much more, there is plenty to be thinking about! And those who work in kitchen design day in and day out will know what it is you can look to achieve.
Whether you want it to be the showcase in the centre of your home, or you’re looking for a modest yet practical space, layout is crucial to get right from the start so it can be included in the plans being drawn up by the team. One of the first things Errol insists on for kitchens is that they have good flow and functionality - so that is looking at things like the entrance point, whether it is a standalone island or connected, and ensuring any voids are filled, with every space usable and easily accessible.
Errol says that designing your kitchen is no different to building your house. It’s about having a wishlist to present to the experts, so you can work through it together and they can guide you on the options available. Is it going to have a walk-in pantry? Will there be top cupboards for extra storage? Will the island have an access in the front of it instead of just a plain panel?
And while there are plenty of areas you can choose to splurge (like having a stone benchtop and strip lighting), there are also many things you can choose to save on, in order to spend more when it comes to things like appliances. It’s all about your own preference and how you will use the kitchen.
While gathering ideas is great, having too many that you’re overwhelmed with choices is not.
Remember that what is important to you may not be as important to other people - and vice versa - so it’s worth your time simply concentrating on the experience you have with the person designing your kitchen. They will ask you questions that relate to how you specifically want to use your kitchen, and can explain what the various choices will mean for the overall design.
“Our allocated suppliers are those we know who truly understand our clients and can accurately guide them through their decision-making process. It’s taking a holistic view of the house, and working your way through the options to fit that vision,” says Errol.
So this may be about allowing space for a wider fridge and double oven because you have a large extended family. Or choosing gas appliances because of the way you like to cook. And just because everyone else is going with black tapware - you don’t have to!
Colours can also be a tricky one, but at Classic Builders our colour consultants are with our clients at every step. Typically you will be considering the design of the home itself, and look to fit the kitchen into that overall scheme. But that doesn’t mean you can’t choose a splashback in your favourite colour, or a spectacular pendant light to hang over the island bench.
At this stage of the design process, you will have locked in how the kitchen will be in terms of layout, with all the big items ticked off the list. But make sure you think about the ‘little things’ which can actually add up to a whole heap of convenience when it comes to using the kitchen - like power outlets for benchtop appliances, charging stations, lighting over prepping stations, and where the rubbish/recycling bins will sit.
Asking the right questions is the key to Classic Builders success, says Errol. The homeowner is the person who signs off that they are happy with the selections made, and we get them to that point by qualifying them early in the process.
“We are able to meet the individual needs of our clients because we have more than 25 years of experience - it’s something we do everyday, and I don’t think you can beat that kind of knowledge.”
Interested in our design and build service? Click here to learn more.