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    Choosing furniture for the kitchen


    Summary: Advice for choosing furniture for the kitchen, discussing the different kitchen styles and furniture for a fitted kitchen.



    Having decided how the kitchen will be laid out, you need to choose your furniture. The furniture in a kitchen can help influence the style you want to achieve.


    Kitchen styles

    If you want a classic or country kitchen, choose plain units in a warm natural wood like pine or cherry, or painted in neutral colours. Combine these with reclaimed items like welsh dressers or a scrubbed table. Soft furnishings will also add to the homely feel, so put up curtains or add a comfy chair. If the house is old, there may be some hidden features so look out for closed fireplaces and old beams. Keep modern appliances out of sight behind unit fronts or a curtain, and consider replacing your cooker with traditional style range or, for the ultimate in cosiness an Aga or Rayburn.

    For a contemporary kitchen, do the opposite: keep objects to a minimum, replace curtains with a metallic or wood slatted blind, and make a feature of stylish modern appliances. Keep the look crisp and linear, with wall-mounted worktops and units fitted along one wall.

    Create an impression of minimalism by mounting ovens, microwaves and TV screens on the wall, leaving surfaces clear. White walls and units will make the room brighter, as will surfaces in high gloss or a polished wood like Birch. Contrast is the key to designer décors so combine natural wood or brick with metallic finishes, glass or plastic. Currently, mirror-like glass and tinted glass are fashionable, along with splashes of red or black to ground pale surfaces. Above all, think big and bold in your design.


    Fitted Kitchens

    When it comes to kitchen units, choose a style that will not date. Natural wood and woodboard (chipboard, MDF etc.) are easily painted over in years to come. Stainless steel or plastic are less easily redecorated but are practical to clean and offer a more contemporary look. Laminate has endless possibilities in colour and texture. It is easy to clean and works well in both modern and classic kitchens.

    Look for models with high quality doors and shelves, and shells at least 18mm thick. It is a good idea to visit a showroom and give the units a thorough checking over, testing things like the strength of the door hinges and how far the drawers pull out. Modern units tend to be a standard size, which makes it easy to replace doors and drawer fronts. If you want to put the units together yourself, opt for units with adjustable legs in case your floor is uneven.

    If you are buying a new fitted kitchen then measuring up is crucial so you may prefer to ask your supplier to calculate the cabinet sizing, particularly if you have uneven walls or floors. When measuring up, check that corners are square and floors are level.




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