One of the biggest challenges when starting out with your kitchen renovation, is settling on a direction to steer the project in. Before any plans can be drawn up, layouts discussed, or installations booked, you need to have a clear idea of how you want the space feel and work.
A good designer will be able to take a very basic outline of your ideal kitchen, and create a beautiful space. However even the best kitchen designer needs a little input. A good starting point for this can be creating a mood board, especially as the excitement of a new project can often lead to a torrent of ideas, and inspiration overload! By sticking to the most important fundamentals of tone, colour and texture, a mood board helps you envisage a coherent picture of how the room should feel, as well as helping maintain the integrity of the overall design concept.
Your mood board doesn't need to a comprehensive outline of all the ideas that you want to include in to your new kitchen, more a collection of colours, materials and textures which represent how you want the space to feel. It is surprising how much can be gleaned from this basic palette of materials, and it is a great way for you to quickly explore ideas, and test different combinations of elements.
Of course if you already have a more complete view, with every minute detail of how your new kitchen should look, feel and flow ironed out, then that is great too! Creating a portfolio of all the spaces you have seen which have inspired you, and highlighting the particular areas that captured your interest, will be an invaluable resource when you approach your designer. This could take the shape of a scrap book full of magazine clippings, photos, pages torn from brochures, and annotated sketches, or a more complete design drawn out and detailed. The measure of success of any design is how it meets and hopefully exceeds the expectations of the person it is designed for, and that is you! So never be afraid to take a confident vision of what you want to achieve to your designer, they want you to be ecstatic with their results, they need to know what you like.
Another fantastic resource for this stage of the project is Pinterest. Pinterest is an app which allows you to create a digital scrapbook of all the ideas you love. By creating different folders, such as "worktops", "sinks" and "cabinet ideas", you are creating a really clear map, which can be handed over to your kitchen designer for them to follow. One of the real advantages of Pinterest is the volume of inspiration and ideas that you are able to collate together. There are literally hundreds of thousands of images sitting there waiting for you to look through, from overall layout, to the finish of your cabinet handles, making it probably the most valuable resource available to you when you're at this stage of your project.
In spite of my praise for Pinterest, there is still a definite and important place for mood boards. Nothing beats being able to touch and feel the textures of the materials and finishes next to each other. Or being able to see the sheen of a paint finish in the natural lighting of the room in which it is going to be used. For these absolutely imperative decisions a mood board cannot be beaten.
Hopefully you feel a little less daunted about taking your first steps towards getting a clearer vision of your dream kitchen. Now have a fun looking at worktops, going to tile shops for samples, decorators stores for tester pots, hardware shops for handles and trying out all your ideas. Getting something bespoke, handmade and designed just for you should be a pleasure from start to finish, so enjoy the process.
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