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If you are planning a kitchen renovation you will be asking yourself questions such as “what do I want my new kitchen to look like?” and “what do I need it to do?” Planning a new kitchen project should be a fun and enjoyable experience. However there are so many options to think about and sometimes too many choices to be made.

The market is flooded with a wide range of products and appliances and you need to find the products that best suit your needs, style and budget. When selecting kitchen furniture the advice is to buy the best you can afford.

There are certain elements to look out for when selecting quality kitchen furniture such as the construction of the drawer boxes and their slides and the thickness and adjustability of shelves.

kitchen drawer designDrawer slides should enable you to fully open the drawer as well as remove it from the cabinet. Beware of drawers that do not fully open as these make locating items within the drawer difficult especially for drawers situated lower down. Some drawer slides are located on the side of the drawer reducing the available width remaining for drawer space. Look for drawers that have under mounted slides which allow for wider drawer boxes. Another important factor is load bearing. Pick up a stack of six dinner plates to realise the weight of items you are likely to store in a drawer. Ideally the load rating should be 40kg or more.

Shelves – despite their simplicity, shelves are another key component of your cabinets. Thickness and material choice are important factors since they govern both the rigidity and strength of the shelf. Adjustable shelves are obviously more versatile than fixed shelves but you need to check the supports. Metal supports will be sturdier than plastic ones.

Steam ovenWhen it comes to choosing appliances why not look to enhance your cooking experiences by adding an oven with integrated microwave and/or steam oven to your new kitchen? Combination ovens can bake, cook and grill and allow you to use more than one cooking method at a time by combining oven and grill functions for example. You don’t need to defrost and precook in separate appliances and can reduce cooking times by up to half, no need to start your jacket potatoes in the microwave then transfer them to the oven! By adding a warming drawer you will be able to warm plates and keep food gently cooking during meal preparation times or whilst waiting for guests to arrive. We particularly like the new ‘studioLine’ range by Siemens as they offer a great, sleek look and come with a free 2 year guarantee.

kitchen work surfacesFor your kitchen worktops you can now choose from materials such as Laminate, Quartz, Corian, Hi-Macs, Glass and Stainless Steel. Each product has its own qualities and selling points and your decision really comes down to personal preference. One appeal of Corian is the visual seamless finish you will get whereas some people may prefer the more tactile finish to worktops made from natural products such as glass or stainless steel. You will need to think about your priorities i.e how much cleaning/maintenance are you prepared to do and whether you will always need to use a trivet/chopping board? The worktop material you choose will have a large impact on the overall appearance of your new kitchen so try to see and feel a good selection before making your final decision.

To help you take the stress out of the process, we have written a checklist of points that you need to consider before you even look at a website or brochure. We trust you will find it a useful tool and we’d love to hear your thoughts. Click on the image below to access your free checklist.