The temptation to spend a small fortune on a new or renovated kitchen is hard to resist. But a configuration that works hard and looks good need not be out of reach.
The key is to plan your layout, customising in places and saving in others.
Opting for quality cabinet fronts can elevate an off-the-peg kitchen to something special, while high-end handles and tapware can transform a space from average to appealing.
In tune with nature: Kitchen cupboard doors in olive from customfronts.co.uk. which can work with Ikea cabinetry
Combining standard kitchen carcasses and cabinets, such as Ikea’s Metod range, with custom-made fronts is an economical approach.
HØLTE pairs crafted wood veneer or durable, coloured fronts with Ikea units (from £6,100).
‘Bespoke cabinets can bring so much individuality to a project, whether it’s a wine rack on the back of an island, or slimline wall cabinets with reeded glass sliding doors,’ says co-founder Fiona Ginnett.
‘A good kitchen needs to flow — work with what you have. We always start by zoning the space to establish areas for cleaning, cooking and prep.
Make a list of the appliances you want to accommodate and find the ideal place for them to give a solid skeleton around which to build the cabinetry.’
Try its High Ford range, whose wood or matt coloured fronts offer warmth and a contemporary feel.
Custom Fronts majors in streamlined, sustainable designs inspired by nature and created to work with Ikea cabinetry too, from £1,486.
‘Forget trends,’ says Custom Fronts founder Rachel Carroll. ‘Think about how you live and what your needs are.
‘Consider colours in your local nature spots that make you feel good and incorporate those tones.’
Rustic look: Open shelves with glass storage jars add a farmhouse feel to your kitchen
Whatever the size of your space, storage planning is key to a good-looking kitchen. A balance that combines drawers, pull-outs and traditional cabinets will make prepping and cooking effortless.
‘If your budget only stretches to an entry level design, opt for a neutral finish, add interest with eye-catching details, from stylish splashbacks through to paint finishes or display shelving,’ says Kitchen Makers’ Ben Burbidge.
‘With open storage, such as shelves and glass-fronted cabinets, display your favourite plates or glassware.’
Display glass jars filled with pasta, fruit and oats on open shelving to add a farmhouse feel to your kitchen. Ikea has Korken 1litre jars from £2.
Instead of ripping out an existing kitchen, try having cabinets resprayed and replacing taps and work surfaces.
‘Opt for tops that have both visual impact and resilience,’ says Graeme Smith at Life Kitchens.
‘Look at materials like quartz for a more cost-effective solution to marble, for example.’
Replacing taps, handles and door knobs can all transform joinery.
Check out the range at Beardmore or Superfront for bespoke alternatives, and Swarf for a modern take.
Flooring-wise, vinyl is chic and affordable, as well as being hard-wearing.
Carpetright’s Mediterranean 575 Nuria, £19.99 per sqm, adds edge to white cabinetry, while Neisha Crosland’s Parquet in Charcoal, £55 per sqm, gives a graphic look.
Savings of the week! Planter
By ANNE ASHWORTH
B&M’s black New Yorker planter, pictured. It costs £10, down from £16
A standing planter adds that certain something to any indoor greenery.
This three-legged pot is available in a variety of designs to suit your decor.
The medium-sized Iggy copper-coloured metal planter from Oliver Bonas was £29.50; it is now £8.50, a cut of 72 per cent.
At B&M, you will find the black New Yorker planter.
It costs £10, down from £16, a cut of 37 per cent.
And a planter from Ferm, comes in black, cashmere, grey and olive is reduced from £209 to £177.70, a 15 per cent cut.
May yours flourish.