I understand, the kitchen has to last a minimum of ten years and it will probably be double that before it is actually replaced. Your design therefore, may need to traverse a couple of decades. What if the customer considers moving home within that period? The buyers of the house will take the kitchen into account when submitting their offer. All good reasons to keep it all neutral, safe and boring.
Over the years, I’ve lost count of the number of bland, unremarkable kitchens that I’ve had to install.
Kitchens are no longer a room that is shut off from the rest of the home. Walls are coming down. The open plan concept is being embraced more and more and therefore your design can often be on display to other parts of the home. Kitchens are not just a place where your dinner is churned out. People now actually cook less and eat out more often, therefore when they do cook, they wish to be in an environment that will not only motivate but actually inspire them. The cooking shows they watch, all have high end design in the kitchen, the Million Dollar listings they see on the other channel, all have kitchens to die for. Your customers can’t help but be influenced by this and the demand for better design is greater than it’s ever been.
Too many times we install pretty much exactly the same kitchen that’s been taken out and a massive point worth noting in this instance is the intensity of the customers reaction is always very low when we hand over their new kitchen. Compare this to the customers high energy when the new kitchen and layout is different to what it was before. Move the sink, move the cooker, just do something that is drastically different to what they had previously.
There is so much information out there now for kitchen designers to help them push their own boundaries of design. Even jumping onto Instagram and searching the hashtag #kitchens or #designerkitchens, will throw up thousands of amazing design examples and ideas to use, adapt and incorporate into their own plans.
The key thing to remember is, that same information is out there for the customer. Their own expectations of their new kitchen and what it could or should look like, is getting higher and higher. Especially as the more social media savvy youth become older and become potential customers.
Another great source for alternative design ideas is the Houzz website. Use the .com address and not the .co.uk one as this will give you access to the North American site. The use of ideas from the other side of the Atlantic may just be the edge you need to make your design stand out against the others.
Never be vanilla. Life is too short for bland kitchens.
This article was first published in Kitchens & Bathrooms News in November 2019 (pg 41) https://www.kandbnews.co.uk/magazines/november-2019/