If you have to choose just one area of your project to invest the bulk of your budget, make it choosing high quality raw materials. The materials that you use in your kitchen can be just as important to the overall feel and design of the room, as the initial design concept itself. Thoughtful textures, and carefully selected materials can add all the "wow" of a bold colour choice, whilst still remaining subtle and, if chosen correctly, future-proof your kitchen from passing trends. Quite simply, quality is timeless!
The material choices that you make will affect more than just the aesthetic of your workspace, they will have a huge impact on the longevity of your kitchen. Determining how well it wears the knocks and bumps of day to day life. This isn't just about worktop and hardware choices, even if your cabinets are being painted, the underlying cabinet material choice will have a massive impact on how durable they are.
In-frame kitchens (the single design feature which probably best epitomises traditional English cabinetry) is a particularly good example of this. Using dense fine grained hardwoods, mean that those beautiful delicate bead details will remain crisp and sharp for years to come. Far better enduring the bashes and bruises inevitable from day to day use.
As well as this, a good quality hardwood will take a painted finish far better, without the annoyance of the sort of resin stains associated with sappy softwoods. Because these timbers are dense and robust, they resist cracking and denting of the finish far better than softer alternatives, meaning your kitchen stays looking better longer.
It is not just the doors and face frames which are important. If you want a truly timeless piece of kitchen furniture it is time to start thinking about your cabinets internals. The carcass of your cabinets is akin to the skeleton of your kitchen. Every element of your cabinetry, from the worktops to the doors will be attached to it. So this is no the place to cut corners. For a kitchen that lasts, these internals need to be rock solid, and withstand the wear and tear that they will invariably get over the next 30+ years of service.
A good example of this are the internal shelves. Solid hardwood shelving has a lifespan measured in decades, not years. It will not sag and wilt if it gets damp, there is no thin surface veneer to get wear away and no paper like edging to pull off and break. It will also give you the option of sanding and refinishing these cabinets many years after installation to keep them looking as fresh as the day they were made.
The bottom line is this. You can dress up your kitchen furniture with all the latest gadgets and appliances, stunning stone work surfaces and the latest designer colour trends. But if you want your kitchen to be a real, long term investment in your property, you need to start with the basics. Solidly constructed kitchen furniture, built with carefully selected materials and time honored construction methods will stand the test of time. Giving you a kitchen that looks as good tomorrow as it does today.
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- March 2017