19th Mar 2020
Considering investing in a brand new kitchen, or want to change your kitchen’s facade? We speak to Cash & Carry Kitchens’ expert Marie Browne on what you need to know before diving in.
When it comes to the early stages of creating a new kitchen, the world is your oyster. The layout, shape, materials, colours and surfaces are all still a twinkle in your eye and you’re still deciding if you want a modern, streamlined kitchen with glossy units, or maybe a country shaker kitchen with painted solid doors.
But before you go Pinterest crazy, there are a few key things that you need to ensure that the kitchen you are dreaming of right now is the one you end up with.
Marie Browne of Cash & Carry Kitchens has created budget designs to grand bespoke layouts and everything in between. She reveals the top five things she recommends to any potential customer before booking an appointment with a designer.
Marie Browne is the national showroom designer for Cash & Carry Kitchens
The first thing is to consider the investment you’re about to make. With over 40 years of experience producing high-quality and affordable kitchens at their Castlemartyr factory, Cash & Carry Kitchens know how to get the most out of every budget and design. “If you set a budget, then we can figure out how to spend it to most maximise the design for you,” explains Marie.
Having a firm grasp on your spend from the beginning, designers will be able to show you exactly how far you can stretch it, particularly when it comes to accessories, door selection and appliances. These elements are going to be where you notice the biggest difference. For example, a larger investment might warrant solid doors, particularly if you would like the flexibility to paint them down the line.
Next up is space. “What you actually have [in terms of space] versus what you want can be two very different things,” Marie explains. Cash & Carry Kitchens offers a brochure in advance of each design appointment which includes a handy guide on measuring your kitchen. This ensures that designers know from the beginning what kind of room you have.
“If you come in with detailed measurements, we can say, ‘Oh, great, this is the perfect L-shaped kitchen’, or we can suggest putting an island in or maybe it’s a galley that leads to another space and we’ll talk to you about traffic and storage solutions. However if you walk off the street with your measurements on a bit of plasterboard we will not turn you away”, says Marie, “in fact the challenging projects can be the most rewarding”.
Many builders default to very traditional kitchen layout – “sink beneath the window,” as Marie points out – so your kitchen designers can really be invaluable in creating a considered, well-functioning space. Don’t worry, they will not solely rely on your measurements, they are used as a rough guide for the designers and a fitter is sent out to double-check measurements once the order is in process.
The Aviano Kitchen, Cash & Carry Kitchens
Once you have your budget and space defined, now you can begin to look at the style of kitchen that you want. Marie suggests tying the design in with the rest of your home. Think of it as a large piece of furniture that can really help ground the rest of your interior design.
“If you’re going with a really modern space, then your door style is probably going to be really plain and flat, with a glossy or matt finish,” says Marie. “Or you might want a more cottagey feel with grooves and a raised panel.” If you’re not really sure exactly what you want, it’s best to look around the showroom. At Cash & Carry Kitchens they have all of their styles fitted in the showroom with a designer’s selection of worktops and accessories, so you can decide for yourself what takes your fancy.
If you’re still really not sure what kind of style you want, Marie suggests the shaker door. Made from five pieces, “it can really flip and go either modern or traditional depending on your styling,” says Marie. “The Shaker movement in furniture was based on form and function, appearing without adornment and fuss, it will fit into any space seamlessly.”
These are the finishing touches of your kitchen, including handles and work surfaces. “This can be the most daunting part,” says Marie, “but we do have worktops and handles paired with every door in our showroom displays and this can take the anxiety out of it for you, seeing that we’ve already made the design decisions.” At the moment, Marie is seeing a huge uptake on mixed metal handles, like brass and powder-coated black metal, but everything is completely customisable to your taste.
The one area Marie notes that she feels customers tend to neglect is lighting. Lighting is hugely important when it comes to your kitchen, whether it’s task lights, uplighting or mood lighting. “People tend to see lighting as an extra or an afterthought, but in our showrooms we really think about how our kitchens are lit and it can really add a wow factor when you walk into a kitchen.”
Accessories are where you spend money that you don’t see, and it’s lost when you’re showing off your kitchen at a dinner party. But where it makes up for its invisibility is in time. Think about kidney-shaped rolling pull-outs in place of drawers for corner units, clever extending shelves that allow you to see your spices or an integrated bin unit.
“These are going to be your day-to-day lifesavers, and I’ve left them for last because I think they’re vitally important in finishing off the kitchen,” says Marie. Investing in clever accessories now will save you on time sifting through a cupboard for ingredients, throwing out out-of-date food that you forgot about, or having to empty an entire cabinet to get one pot out.
Cash & Carry Kitchens is Ireland’s leading manufacturer and retailer of fitted kitchens. They have over 40 years of experience in designing, making and delivering units for the Irish public. The business is Irish-owned and has a 130,000 sq ft manufacturing facility located in Castlemartyr, Co Cork. There are 15 Cash & Carry Kitchens showrooms located nationwide where customers will find a beautiful collection of kitchens on display. Book a free design appointment and request a free brochure at cashandcarrykitchens.ie.
Main image: The Hampton kitchen, Cash & Carry Kitchens
Read more: Smart storage and natural finishes: the kitchen trends in 2020
Read more: Here’s what you need to know to avoid a hellish (and budget-busting) home renovation
Read more: Big ideas to yoink for small kitchens