Choosing your new kitchen – where to start?
Updated: Aug 4
Choosing a new kitchen is a really exciting thing – there are so many choices and possibilities to help make the heart of your home a truly special place. However, all those choices and options can make the experience quickly go from exciting to overwhelming. With so many different styles, individual design features and a host of new kitchen terminology to get your head around it can be tricky to see the wood from the trees when you start down the road of kitchen design.
We are here to help, with our expert kitchen designers well versed in all the intricacies of the different kitchen ranges and finishes. They are well placed to help you navigate the various brochures and samples to make decisions you’ll be happy with for years to come. We have also put together the below handy guide to some of the most common terms you might see or hear when starting your own research into kitchen buying.
This blog contains some of the most commonly used terms in kitchen design, but if you’re still unsure about some of the differences between ranges or styles, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. One of our helpful and professional team will be more than happy to help with your query.
When we visit your home to conduct your free kitchen design visit, we’ll talk you through all the different options available to you. It’s always great to have an open mind, but most customers have a particular style or vision in mind for their kitchen. In lots of ways that’s the easy bit! Once we’ve narrowed down a style, there are lots of smaller considerations that will help you to decide which range is the right one for you. On the face of it, many of them are very similar, but below we have outlined some of the small differences that you should be aware of to help you make your decision.
In-frame kitchens are incredibly popular at the moment, but what exactly are they? An in-frame kitchen is where the door of the cabinet is inset within a wooden frame, and the frame is fixed onto the front of the kitchen cabinet. The frame is very much considered to be a design feature of the kitchen, but also adds structural support to the cabinet. Some customers choose to add decorative hinges to the frame to highlight this feature and add a further point of interest.
In-frame kitchens have a very classic look and conjure up the image of traditional, quality craftsmanship. These kitchens are usually made of solid wood and tend to be more expensive than lay on doors, but are very elegant and highly durable. They do however offer less opening clearance, meaning there is slightly less space for getting bulky pots and pans into cupboards, so that’s something to consider particularly for smaller kitchen spaces.
Lay on doors
Lay on doors are featured on most of the kitchens we stock, with the term simply meaning the cabinet door in laid on the front of the cupboard carcass. The hinges on this kitchen door style are concealed, giving the opportunity for soft-close hinges to be used.
Lay on doors offer a more contemporary finish, particularly with sleek, modern styles where units appear to seamlessly fit together to give a very striking appearance. These doors are hung using the excellent Blum hinges, which give a wonderful soft-close effect to doors and provide a fantastic level of stability.
Lay on doors are the most popular door type with our customers. There are a wide variety of them available in materials to suit most budgets, and they tend to be less expensive than in-frame designs.
Handleless kitchens are an incredibly popular design choice, but some of the terminology used to describe the different types of handleless cabinets can be confusing.
A ‘true handleless’ kitchen involves the installation of a recessed rail into the cabinets. The cabinets are cut to accept the rail, which creates a recess allowing for a hand to fit in to open the kitchen. These kitchens are considered a premium product due to the amount of work that’s required to allow for the rail system to be fitted and can therefore be more expensive than other types of handleless kitchens. They do however provide a very sleek, modern, high quality finish.
J Pull is a term used to describe another type of handleless kitchen. Unlike the true handleless kitchen outlined above, J Pull means a handle is cut into the cabinet door, allowing doors and drawers to be opened. This style does not require any routering to units or the fitting of rail units, which makes it an excellent cost-effective alternative to the true handleless design, which offers a very similar look.
The term Slab is used to describe the flat-door, modern looking kitchens that are a staple of kitchen showrooms all over the country. This sleek and sophisticated design makes a contemporary statement and usually comes in either high gloss or matt colour options. Slab kitchens can usually be fitted either with or without handles, which makes this a very versatile kitchen style.
One of the things we love most about slab kitchen styles, other than the super-sleek look, is just how easy they are to keep clean, with no nooks or crannies for any dirt to cling to. They are a super stylish and highly practical option.
Shaker style kitchens refer to doors and drawers that feature a flat centre panel and square edges, with minimal detail or profiling. This kitchen style has been around for many years and remains and incredibly popular choice today for those seeking a classic and traditional kitchen style.
Shaker style furniture has been around for centuries, and these days kitchen designers opt to pair the timeless style with modern features to give a classic contemporary look. There are many variations of shaker style kitchens on the market, each with subtle differences to give them slightly different looks and finishes. They are available in both painted MDF and solid wood, with a wide variety of colours to suit any taste.
Prices for shaker style kitchens vary depending on the materials used, but we stock ranges at price points to suit most budgets.
Beaded is a term used to describe a piece of additional raised detail on some Shaker Style kitchens. A traditional shaker style door features a flat middle panel with square edges, but some styles include an additional thin rounded off piece of wood framing the square shaker edges. This is known as beading. It gives a slightly softer look to a shaker door and provides an additional point of interest on your cabinet.
Some of our kitchen styles come with and without beading, such as the Faringdon, which demonstrates the difference between beading and none very well.
When looking at shaker style kitchens, you will sometimes hear us talk about some of them being chamfered. This is a style choice which sees the inside edges of the shaker frame slightly bevelled or sloped.
Much like beading, having a chamfered edge adds an additional design feature to the traditional shaker door, giving it a slightly softer look. It is a popular choice for those who don’t want as traditional a look as beading gives, but prefer the slightly softer lines than a traditional shaker offers.
Matt and Gloss Finishes
We’re sure this one doesn’t need too much explaining, but we have a wide selection of kitchens available in both matt and gloss finishes – with gloss finishes having a sheen and shine, and matt finishes being a flatter, paint type look. What’s important to state here is that none of our doors are vinyl wrapped, they are all painted MDF or solid wood which offers far greater durability.
The majority of our kitchens come in a series of stock colours and finishes, with a paint to order service for any colour you’d like available for a small additional cost.
At Kitchenroom we are proud to deliver a personal service and really care about helping you to make all the detailed decisions which will elevate your kitchen to the next level. We’re dedicated to helping you find the perfect tap, or handles, or worktops and all at the best possible price. This is just one of the benefits of working with a local kitchen design company, and it’s one of the things we love about what we do.
If you are looking for a new fitted kitchen in Oxford or the surround areas, including (but not restricted to) Abingdon, Didcot, Wantage, Thame, Radley, Wallingford etc, please do get in touch with us today to arrange a free home visit and new kitchen design.
With Kitchenroom you can always be assured of:
1. First class personal service from start to finish
2. 18 mm Rigid (assembled) wall and base units with doors already fitted
3. 10 cabinet colour options (so not just white / ivory or oak) to match the colour of the kitchen
4. 2 mm ABS edged cabinets
5. Soft close Blum doors & drawers that come with a lifetime guarantee
6. 25 year guarantee on our units / 10 years on Solid wood kitchens / 7 years on MDF kitchens
7. A typical lead time of 3-4 weeks
8. We can supply only or supply and fit your new kitchen where we will take care of the whole project from start to finish
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