Make sure your kitchen is fit for two with these couple’s kitchen tips

Taking the first steps toward a major home improvement is a seemingly overwhelming task for couples. With so many options out there, getting the results you you want can seem pretty impossible. This, couples with how well your chosen team of designers and fitters get the job done, can bring on many sleepless nights. As one of the major refurbishments of any home is the kitchen area, here are a few rules of thumb to ensure you get the dream kitchen you’ve always hoped for.

1. Take your time to think about how you want to use your kitchen. The stronger and more detailed your criteria for the kitchen layout, the more likely you are to end up with a finished kitchen design that works for you.

2. Research your appliances. You’re going to use these the most, so make sure to select your appliances wisely. If you require a professional-grade kitchen, then concentrate on the brands that cater for finer control of the cooking process. Grundig’s Divide & Cook Oven, for example, allows you to cook two different meals at different temperatures – at the same time! Your choice of hob – induction, gas or ceramic is also a key consideration, as it will impact the installation. For more flexibility, opt for something like the Grundig FlexiCook+ Induction Hob with 11 cooking zones.

The Grundig FlexiCook+ Induction Hob. © Grundig

3. Choose your kitchen designer wisely. It’s important that you have a good relationship with your kitchen designer. This is a very personal project and a pretty large investment. So you have to get along well, so things run as smooth as possible. Budget is always a strict consideration, so weigh your options to get as many quotes as possible before deciding. Ask a few searching questions to ensure that your initial criteria are met with a reassuring understanding rather than a vacant nod of the head.

A kitchen designer will work around your budget. © RRA

4. What worktops are you looking for? There are seas of kitchen worktop options to choose from. From natural stone to manmade quartz or seamless worktops like Corian. Be aware that there are drawbacks that may not be immediately obvious to you or your designer. For example, glass worktops are fantastic, but will be a nightmare if you can’t stand fingerprints. If you put a hot pan on Corian, it will melt a ring into it. Steer clear of marble or limestone as these are highly porous materials that will only be suitable to kitchens that aren’t heavily used.

5. Get the lighting right. The lighting needs to work hand-in-hand with the kitchen layout. Most larger chains won’t be involved in this at all, which is where a smaller company may integrate and install your lighting plan with your cabinetry.

Pay extra attention to lighting in your couple’s kitchen. © Donal Murphy

6. Check the fine print. Make a checklist of everything you’ll need to design your perfect couple’s kitchen, including small details like decorative wall sockets and internal wiring. Most importantly, check that you have all drawer organising systems you need i.e. cutlery inserts, plate stackers, herb holders etc. There is a storage solution for almost anything, but these can be a hidden extra. Hidden extras are horrible when you think you’ve covered everything and still have to fork over more money.

7. Be patient. No couple’s kitchen installation should ever be rushed. Renovation takes time. For galley kitchens or larger bespoke kitchens, allow two to three weeks for cabinetry installation, then a week to two for stone templating and installation. Take your time when planning the perfect couple’s kitchen and enjoy the process. Taking a considered approach will reap long term benefits.