Jjo Colonial Olive Shaker Kitchen With Island | My Kitchen Specialist

How To Choose Your Kitchen Furniture, Appliances and Accessories

Choosing kitchen cabinets

Kitchens have changed a lot over recent years, so make sure you get up to speed with the latest trends, colours, and materials. A good place to start are web sites such as Houzz, Pinterest, and Instagram. These are invaluable sources of inspiration and ideas. You can search these sites for terms such as “farmhouse kitchen” or “a light blue kitchen” and see what comes up. Read through some of the specialist kitchen and interior magazines. Visit at least four kitchen showrooms in your area. Speak to the sales staff learn as much as you can. Be your own interior designer and create a Mood Board. This will be useful to help you narrow down your choices when speaking to your selected retailer. Also, think about some of the features you want to include on your new kitchen for example: Do you want to add an island, a pull-out larder, or waste bin storage system etc. Are you creating a kitchen diner? If so, you will need to think about the seating arrangements. Sitting at a high breakfast bar maybe okay for a quick snack, but it will not be so comfortable to eat a leisurely evening meal with friends. The options are all most limitless, but remember that most of these items, such as drawers and pull-outs will have an impact on the final price. The clearer the final brief you give the retailer, the more this will help them deliver what you are looking for.

My Kitchen Specialist Top Tip

The secret to achieving your dream kitchen is to do as much research as possible before you commit to anything. You can never research too much! It should be fun, so take your time, do not rush.

So does carcass thickness matter?

One issue you may well encounter in your discussions with your chosen retailer is the thickness of the carcase material used in the kitchen ranges that they sell. The choice of carcase material and its thickness, ranging from 16mm to 19mm, may well have a very slight bearing on the durability of the kitchen, but to be honest, a well fitted cabinet of 16mm will be just as durable as a cabinet using 19mm thickness material. A few kitchen manufacturers are switching over to using water resistant board material. This is useful as if you ever do have a small water leak in your kitchen the units will not be affected. The most common carcase material is still MFC (chipboard) which once it gets wet will loses its core strength and will probably need replacing.  

My Kitchen Specialist Top Tip

Our advice is not to be put off buying a kitchen just because it only has an 16mm thick carcase. More important is the density and quality of the board used. As rule, the cheaper the range of kitchens, the lesser quality the board material used. However in reality over the life of the kitchen it really will not matter. 

Choosing kitchen appliances

What appliances do you want to include in your new kitchen, for example a large capacity dishwasher or tall fridge freezer? Appliances are expensive and so their cost can quickly add up and will have a significant bearing on the final cost of your project. Is the retailer going to supply the new appliances or are you going to source your own or are you going to use some of your existing appliances? Remember that most retailers will charge for fitting appliances not supplied by them, and if there are any problems or delays in supply, they will look to you to cover these additional costs. So, any potential saving you have made in purchasing your own appliances may well be offset by these additional costs. Appliances are much more energy efficient now, so in the long run it may save you money if you switch to a brand-new low energy appliance rather than using your old one.

My Kitchen Specialist Top Tip

Talk to your retailer about the appliance cost. Many will match the online price. If you can purchase everything from your kitchen retailer, do so, it will give you greater peace of mind if the retailer manages everything for you. 

Appliance costs vary wildly, from budget own brands to high-end premium brands. There is a huge choice available to you. From the latest designer hobs with built-in extraction, whisper silent ceiling mounted extractors, fashionable wine coolers through to boiling water taps and built-in coffee machines that will grind your favourite coffee beans the list goes on and on. As a rule you get what you pay for, the more you pay the better the quality and probably the better the energy efficiency. If you want the very latest features such as wi-fi connectivity or specialist appliances such as a sous vide oven, then make sure you have allowed for these in your budget.  

How to choose Kitchen Sinks & Taps

The kitchen sink is one of the most hard-working items in your kitchen but is often overlooked. Our advice is don’t cut corners when buying your new sink. Cheap sinks are usually of poor quality, pick a branded sink and tap backed by manufacturers guarantee and they will give you years of great service. Stainless steel remains the most popular sink material, but china (often known as Belfast sinks) and composite material, in a wide range of colours, is also available. Speak to your retailer about what they offer and look at the sinks on display in their showroom. A product that has grown rapidly in popularity is the hot water tap. This uses a storage tank below the sink to deliver boiling or near boiling water from the tap. There are a growing number of brands available, pick one that your retailer recommends so they can confirm the quality and back-up service. If the retailer has one n display, ask for it to be demonstrated to you, as we know of that some models that can spit when used, not ideal when the water is boiling hot and there is chance of being scolded.

How to choose kitchen worktops

There is a large selection of worktop materials available, from the classic natural look of granite or wood, through to stone, synthetic and composite materials, the industrial look of metal, concrete, even glass and of course popular laminate. As some of the worktop materials require special fabrication, once installed, your kitchen will be templated and your new worktops manufactured exactly to size, including any sink and tap apertures etc. A few days after templating, your new worktops will be fitted by specialist installers. In terms of cost, your new worktops can range from a few hundred pounds to many thousands. This will depend on material chosen and size, plus some manufacturers will change extra for special colours and features such as a sink manufactured in the same material as the worktop. Remember that not all worktops are as durable as you may think. Some will stain, others may also easily chip and mark if you put a hot pan directly on the top. Your local Mykitchenspecialist will show you samples of the many worktop options available and tell you about the advantages and disadvantages of the various materials.


So often overlooked, but make sure that you allow some money in your budget for quality lighting in your kitchen.

My Kitchen Specialist Top Tip

Even if you need to make some savings, do not be tempted to reduce the lighting budget. Trust us, good lighting will make such a difference to the end-result.

We are not just talking about ceiling lights, we also mean ambient mood lighting, under the wall units, worktop edge or plinth areas. Your retailer should be able to show you examples of what is available and the different effects that can be achieved. Over recent years there are so many more lighting products available such as low energy linear lighting and multicoloured lighting all controlled through your Smart home hub. These will give amazing results and transform your kitchen for very little additional cost. Good lighting can lift even the most basic kitchen into something that will be the envy of your friends. 

If you have a breakfast bar or an island arrangement with seating, what about kitchen stools? Flooring and wall coverings, glass splash backs, right through to radiators that match in colour to your kitchen, your local Mykitchenspecialist will explain what accessories are available and help guide you to make the right choice.    

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