Shock is probably the first emotion that you experience when you add up all the costs that are involved in renovating and redesigning your kitchen!
After all, it can really run into a heck of a lot of money!
However, it is important to remember that your kitchen is an investment, and if you pick materials and fixtures that are not only stylish but hard wearing as well you can avoid having to replace it again soon.
In fact, if you are smart, and take proper care of your kitchen space, you may well be able to make it last a lifetime! A topic you can get some guidance on in the post below.
Before we even get to things like the work surfaces and cupboards in your kitchen space, it’s crucial that you consider what type of floor you will choose.
Of course, you will be searching for floors that not only look great, but is incredibly hard wearing as well, and will stand multiple cleanings a week, as well as the usual bustle and traffic of a busy kitchen area.
Therefore some of the most suitable materials for the kitchen floor are stone or terracotta tiles, as they are hardwearing and easy to clean. Such materials should also last a long time, even when placed in a high traffic area.
Something that less hardy material such as lino and even laminate flooring will not do. In fact, one of the most significant benefits of stone and terracotta is that they are waterproof.
This means that even if they do fall foul to spills or even leaks, they are unlikely to warp or need replacing, something that can save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run and keep your floors looking great for as long as possible.
Of course, the crucial feature that we all think of regarding the kitchen are the cabinets. It may, however, surprise you to know what this type of cupboard is only a relatively recent introduction, with homeowners previously using freestanding units.
In fact, some people are making a return to these and doing so can be a great way of increasing the longevity of your kitchen as well as boosting its style credentials.
This is because such cabinets can more easily be rearranged when you need change and if necessary one can be replaced without having to change every other one.
This being an essential issue when working with built-in cabinets if you wish to retain your style and ensure they match.
However, free-standing kitchen cabinets and shelves won’t be for everyone, and there’s no need to panic if you wish to continue using the built-in kind that are bolted to the wall.
In fact, these can still be used for an incredibly long time if you keep to a few simple rules.
The first rule is that you make sure that the cabinet part that you don’t see if of as good quality as possible, and that you can change the depth of the shelves within them at will.
Then even if you do decide to change the doors, you won’t have to replace the entire thing.
Stay away from coated or gloss cabinets as they are harder to repaint.
Secondly, when choosing the doors, try and stay away from the plastic or laminate coated variety, because even though they are easier to keep clean, they are also much more challenging to repaint when you want to change the look.
The same goes for stainless steel cabinets, which are not only difficult to keep free of fingermarks and stains when in day to day use but can also discolour over time, and are partially impossible to paint over.
Something that means you will have to invest in all new doors if you do want a change them further down the line.
Paint not paper
Next, when it comes to creating a kitchen that will last as long as possible, it’s crucial that you always go for paint on the majority of the wall space.
In particular, don’t get tempted by printed wallpaper, as this is something that no matter how stylish it looks now will eventually go out of fashion and have to be replaced.
It’s also not very practical in a space where you are using water and cooking either.
In fact, it can collect grease and discolour fast, meaning that you will have to replace it even quicker to keep your kitchen looking stylish.
Instead, it is much wiser to use a paint specially formulated for the kitchen, that is easy to wipe down and keep clean.
Try and keep any paint that is left over from when you decorate as well, as then you can quickly touch up any bits that are looking a little worn.
This being a much more cost efficient way of keeping your kitchen looking pleasant, without having to redecorate the entire thing.
Wallpaper may look stylish but it’s usually a bad choice for the kitchen.
Also, where needed, use plain, white tiles for splashbacks behind the sink and cooker.
The reason being that these will not only be easy to keep clean, and stop the paint being damaged and so help it last longer, but that plain white will also date the slowest, meaning you can keep them for as long as possible.
Fixtures and fittings
Of course, it’s not just the coverings for walls that you have to choose carefully when it comes to your kitchen, but the fixtures and fitting as well.
In particular, picking a stainless steel hob top is wise, as these can be cleaned very simply and with withstand years of heavy use.
When it comes to choosing your oven, and other appliances it’s definitely worth doing some research on how long you can expect them to keep working, especially if they are built in.
This is because finding another with similar measurements to fit the space can be difficult.
A situation that may leave you with the problem of renovating the entire kitchen just so you can fit in the appliances you need, something that isn’t very cost, or time effective at all.
Another aspect of your kitchen you will need to think carefully about is the sink that you choose.
Of course, a sink is a primary practical thing and something that will get a lot of use each and every day.
However, that doesn’t mean that style won’t factor into your choice, especially if you will be living with that aesthetic for a long time.
Luckily, there are plenty of options available like the ones in this range of Belfast sinks that not only look great but are incredibly hard wearing as well.
Something that makes them a particularly good investment over other sink types for a kitchen that you want to be around for as long as possible.
Countertops are also another essential fixture in your kitchen that you need to choose wisely, especially if you want them to last as long as possible.
Of course, the materials that you choose for these will have a lot to do with how much usage you will be able to get out of them, with things like quartz being partially hardwearing and easy to clean.
Do remember though that if you do go for a stone based worktop cracks and chipping can be an issue. Something that means if you know you tend to be clumsy in the kitchen another material may be a better choice!
After all, if you get a significant enough chip or crack you will need to replace the entire piece of stone that you worktop is made from!
Another aspect of ensuring that the countertops you pick last for a long time is being confident that they are installed, fitted, and sealed properly as well.
In fact, if this doesn’t happen you risk them being loose, or not being flush to the wall, something that certainly won’t enhance the style of your kitchen at all.
Also, if water can get down the back of the countertops, bacteria can as well.
Something that can not only cause a health risk to your family but also rot the cabinets under the countertops as well, again leading to premature replacement and defeating the objective of lasting for as long as possible.
Lighting in your kitchen is an essential factor to get right, both because of the cooking and preparation work that you do there, and as many kitchen spaces also double up as dining and even family rooms.
Therefore when it comes to bulbs be sure to invest in LED ones for the majority of the light in your kitchen space.
The reason being that these use much less energy to produce a more efficient light, and will last for way longer than traditional bulbs as well.
You will need to make a sensible decision regarding the type of light fixtures that you use as well if you want them to be usable for as long as possible.
A dramatic light in the kitchen may score high in the style steaks, but they can date quickly, and be problematic to remove.
In particular, stay away from any avant-garde or dramatic central installations in the chandelier style, unless you are 100% sure that you will never get bored of them.
Otherwise, you can end up replacing them reasonably quickly, and defeating your longevity aims, as well as having to battle all the stress, frustration, and extra cost that changing out this type of light can cause.
*This is a collaborative post*