One of the most exciting projects for any homeowner is planning a new kitchen. A high quality, well-crafted kitchen is an investment and one that you will expect to last for years to come. It’s important to spend time planning your new kitchen to make sure it’s everything you want it to be – rushing in and then regretting decisions further down the line can be costly and upsetting. At Charlotte Williams Design, we focus on functionality first and then making it look beautiful, so you get the result you’ve dreamed of. We have perfected the best approach to planning your new beautiful, bespoke kitchen, allowing you to see it developing and taking shape, step by step.
1. What do you want from your kitchen?
That might sound obvious, but kitchens often now have multiple roles in the house. How does it need to function for you and your family and what else other than cooking will happen in this room? Do you entertain a lot, will it be the hub of family life; do you want things hidden away or do you want to see lots of shiny appliances? Start by looking in magazines and save ideas on Pinterest and Instagram. As your collection of images grows, you will start to see similarities emerging. You are building your wish list of key features and items.
2. Consult a kitchen designer
If you are planning on having structural work carried out (remodelling and / or extending), this is the perfect time to speak to a kitchen designer. We will be able to work with the architect’s drawings and make sure your new space will be used to its full potential, and importantly fulfils all your requirements for your dream kitchen. If you are keeping your kitchen space as is, you can consult us as soon as you think you’ve pinned down the style you like.
During your consultation, which with current social distancing measures will be via Zoom, your kitchen designer will ask you LOTS of questions. This allows us to build a picture of you and your lives and understand what you need from your kitchen. We will then need measurements to create your bespoke kitchen design; these will either be the architects plans or actual measurements of the room we are designing for. At the moment, you will need to provide us with these – but don’t worry, we can guide you through how to do this.
Your kitchen designer will then draw up their own plans for your personal kitchen design. In normal times, we would visit you and go through the plans together. Until social distancing measures are relaxed, we can walk you through the plans online in the first instance. We can then arrange for you to see samples and we take the time to discuss every last detail, tweaking anything as necessary to ensure you have your perfect kitchen. We produce accurate elevation drawings to help bring your kitchen to life.
4. Time to order
Once you have decided you would like to go ahead with your new kitchen, it’s time to check measurements. We measure, measure and measure again! All the details are agreed and confirmed. Cabinetry is ordered! Appliances and ancillary items, like the sink, tap and handles, are ordered. Worktop material is ordered. For us to run a tight schedule, it is really important that we have everything ready on site for when it is needed. We help bring your whole scheme together choosing lighting, splashbacks and fabrics.
5. First fix
We have some time before the cabinets are delivered which allows us to start all the preparatory work. If you’re living in the house, we minimise disruption as much as possible and set up temporary kitchen arrangements as appropriate. Lots of clients choose to go on holiday during the works and we communicate via messaging – that way they are staying in touch with their project but avoiding living through it! If the property is empty, we can start sooner.
This stage sees the old kitchen ripped out (if it is not going into a new extension) and electrics and plumbing put in the right spots. Any making good and plastering is completed. Flooring is also laid at this stage as well as the first few coats of paint on the walls and woodwork. During this stage, it is vital that the room is allowed to dry out thoroughly and come up to normal living conditions in terms of temperature and humidity, to avoid any future issues with moisture.
6. Cabinetry arrives
This is like all our Christmases rolled into one – the arrival of the cabinetry! It is so exciting to unwrap it all and see the drawings start coming to life! You also get a feel for the final look as the cabinetry comes undercoated in your chosen colour – a long awaited moment! We install as many of the cabinets as possible, along with the sink, but any that sit on the worktop won’t be fitted just yet.
7. Worktop time!
As soon as the floor cabinets are in, we can template and measure up for the worktops, have the material cut to the exact size and get the worktops installed. Ta da! – your room suddenly feels like a kitchen! Such a thrilling moment. We can then complete the installation of your cabinetry, including plinths, skirting and cornice details.
8. Second fix
Time to fit sockets, connect appliances, finish off lighting and plumbing, including fitting the taps. We also now complete any tiling or splashbacks required and fit curtain poles and blind tracks.
9. Final paint and finish
The walls receive their final coat and then the cabinets are meticulously hand-painted with two coats of specialist cabinet paint. Then handles are attached, drawers put back on their runners and appliances installed in their fitted positions. Finishing touches like blinds and curtains can be hung.
10. Clean and polish
We leave your kitchen absolutely spotless, ready for you to move straight in and fill your lovely new cabinets with all your things, with everything going into the place designed for it. We can even do this for you if you prefer.
Fitting a new luxury kitchen is not something that happens over a weekend. If planned and managed properly, it will be a painless process for you as we take care of every last detail. We keep you informed every step of the way and put our heart and soul into every single one of our kitchens. If you enjoy living in your kitchen as much as we enjoyed creating it for you, our work is done.
For more information on our kitchens, or to arrange a consultation with the Charlotte Williams Design team, please call 07970 898441 or contact us for an initial conversation.