jayne_hunt87

What are you glad you put in your kitchen, and what can you do without

J C
3 years ago
last modified: 3 years ago

I'd be really interested to hear from people who have had kitchen renovations completed, what are you glad you put in your kitchen, and what do you regret?

I think this would be really useful to know what you're happy with? Especially for newbies about to do their kitchens, and find out what's really useful and worth having. One of my neighbours put in a pop up extractor, at a large expense, and said she'd never used it, so wish she hadn't put it in. Another friend bought a stunningly expensive corian worktop, knowing it wasn't her forever flat, and the flat sold to a blind couple, so she said she wished she had bought something a bit cheaper, and saved it for the place she is in now. For others its certain drawers, features, or things that they get comments about, or items that make kitchen life easier, I'm interested to know as I need to fit mine out too. Thank you

Comments (123)

  • J C
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    when I meant breakfast bar, I meant hidden one behind cupboards for shelf, appliances and worktop etc thanks

  • Resh
    3 years ago
    Oh, and this. A pair of towel radiators at one end of the room, replacing a single Best thing ever for drying dishcloths. Excuse pic - this is not the rad's final position (wrong way round and not as far into the room as it will be), as they are being installed this week. They go on either side of the patio doors as seen in the second pic of our unfinished kitchen...where you can see the old radiator to the left of the doors.
    J C thanked Resh
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  • AMB
    3 years ago
    That's a good idea Resh!
    J C thanked AMB
  • PRO
    Feature Radiators
    3 years ago

    Can't live without my soft-close drawers and cabinets, def worth the extra money.

    We get a lot of calls from customers who have designed kitchens and then left the heating consideration till last and end up with very restricted options for a radiator, so my advice is to consider the radiator or underfloor right from the beginning so you are not restricted in your choice. Vertical radiators are commonly chosen in kitchens as wall space is inevitably taken up by cabinets. Its also popular to go for one with a towel radiator to dry tea towels.


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    J C thanked Feature Radiators
  • J C
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    such great ideas. I am just sorting out my kitchen appliances now. I think I have the dishwasher and oven, but need to get hob and fridge and freezer... what are people's thoughts... full length fridge next to full length freezer, or two fridge freezers next to each other? Also I love the Liebherr, but they are £1300 each aghhh the AEG are a bit cheaper, but still around £700-£800 each... I was advised to look online and collate prices, then find a supplier to price match and supply as at least if something went wrong, Bentalls, John Lewis etc, are easier to return to, anyone else have any good advice for appliances?


  • LTS
    3 years ago
    Ahhhh yes totally agree Feature Radiators...currently on holiday at CenterParcs & we are all forever slamming cupboard doors/drawers forgetting they are not soft close. Definitely worth to upgrade to soft close :)
    J C thanked LTS
  • kaur_amarjit65
    3 years ago

    lots of good ideas

    would like to ask anyone had a dishwasher fitted at eye level i have back pain

    would be an fully or semi integrated appliance

    and also dishes drained well in a double bowl sink

    many thanks

  • rainbowgold1
    3 years ago

    Where did everyone get their kitchen cabinets from? I am looking at Howdens as I have an account and it works out cheaper, and thought that if I use expensive nice worktops, no one will look at the cabinets too much... (Also I can't afford a 20k kitchen!) thoughts..

  • Suzanne C
    3 years ago
    Try www.diykitchens.com, we are in the process of getting them fitted and it looks great and good quality too. We are going with a dekton worktop.
  • Sasha
    3 years ago

    We are planning a kitchen currently, have said no to an induction hob because of a joint condition, I fear the induction pots and pans will be too heavy esp when filled with soup, gravy, pasta and boiling water etc. Can anyone comment? Do they find this an issue? Esp with arthritis, bad wrists.... would be very interested as we are just going to finalise the plans tonight. Thanks

  • AMB
    3 years ago
    We had an induction hob. Pan weight was never an issue and I am not sure how it has anything to do with induction? Are copper pans lighter than steel? I find it is the brand of pan - e.g. if you have a problem with weight then don't buy anything by Le Creuset, not even their steel range. I can imagine tri-ply pans are heavier too.
  • AMB
    3 years ago
    I recommend DIY kitchens too. They have a large range and it's not flatpack. I think people pay over the odds for kitchens because the think they need to.
  • Sasha
    3 years ago

    My sister has an induction hob and bought all new "induction" pots and pans to go with it as she was told her ordinary ones wouldn't work on the hob. The induction pots and pans have a solid heavy base which conducts heat beautifully but are very heavy when full. Has anyone else bought special pans?

  • Hilary Wilde
    3 years ago
    Hi FJ, I also had to buy some new pots as mine were over 20 years old and didn't work with induction. However, there was no difference in them at all. They were ones from John Lewis and looked and felt identical (except that the new ones worked with induction). Maybe have a look at other pots as many of them now work with induction, they don't have to be really heavy.
  • Sasha
    3 years ago

    Ok thanks will look into it now. Would prefer induction if possible as apparently it's easier to clean than electric? Can't have gas in this kitchen because of the layout....

  • AMB
    3 years ago
    You might find you need to buy new pans. However, unless you can find out already, holding buying new ones until you have the induction hob installed. Some of our pans already worked on the hob so we didn't have to go out and buy a whole new set.

    I really liked the easy clean of an induction hob. Just spray and wipe. Also, if any water spilled over the edge of the pan while cooking I could just pick the pan up and wipe the water away with a tea towel then carry on cooking. Induction is very safe, but you still need to be careful of hit spots.
  • AMB
    3 years ago
    Also, how your hob works will have an impact on your pans, i.e. how big the range is for detecting the pans.

    I would absolutely recommend testing your pans first then trying pans for weight in a shop when you buy new ones.
  • Sasha
    3 years ago

    Ok thanks. Appreciate the input. Love the discussion. Very helpful and interesting.

  • PRO
    OnePlan
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Cheap as chips and light in weight Ikea 365 everyday pans work on mine ! Take a fridge magnet with you when you pan shop - if the magnet sticks to the bottom of the pan - it’s 99% likely to work on induction !

  • LTS
    3 years ago
    F J I have the same IKEA 365+ pans as OnePlan...they work a treat!
  • Catherine HW
    3 years ago
    Suzanne C - how have you found DIY kitchens? Was the design process easy / straight forward...??
  • Suzanne C
    3 years ago
    Yes it was, if you used the planner online, then submit your plan and the DIY kitchen sales team will help you make it into the perfect kitchen. We did make a weekend trip to the showroom to make sure the units were ok and which shaker units we preferred. We got samples of doors sent to us but we preferred to view them in a show room as it was such a big expense of the renovation. We are the middle of putting it together ourselves. I’ll put up some photos of the final thing in a couple of weeks.
  • PRO
    OnePlan
    3 years ago
    we design lots and lots of kitchens for people buying from them - if you want an independent pro onboard to help design - rather than just using the online planner.
  • PRO
    Seasons in Colour
    3 years ago

    Great thread, following with interest!

    J C thanked Seasons in Colour
  • FR
    3 years ago

    In over 10 years, none of my 3 kitchens have had any heating, underfloor, radiator, or towel rack. I have never missed it. If you're in the kitchen, you're working around, using the oven, washing dishes with hot water etc. Just never felt a need for heating. Actually, one of my kitchens did have a radiator in it, but it was turned off for years. And as for drying the tea towel, I just change it daily :) much more hygienic :)

    J C thanked FR
  • rainbowgold1
    3 years ago

    can anyone recommend any full length fridge/freezers that are integrated, cant believe they are around £800 each for a decent make?

    J C thanked rainbowgold1
  • Karen Davis
    2 years ago

    Update. Our kitchen is now booked in, starting mid September. We have gone for an oak kitchen - Stori Clonmel, Blue Pearl Granite and a cream slightly patterned floor tile. All Siemens appliances except for Fridge and Freezer which are Liebherr, Franke Minerva Electronic 4 in 1 tap in which the tank fits under the plinth, Blanco 1.5 bowl stainless steel undermount sink, Insinkerator waste disposal, ufh. Can't wait, very excited. Oh and tip from our kitchen designer, Appliance City gave us a bulk buy discount for our appliances. The fridge and freezer were £1600 ea but we got them for £1200 each. I did compare the prices online so I know they were genuine.

    J C thanked Karen Davis
  • PRO
    Burgess Kitchens Ltd
    2 years ago

    We fit lots of kitchens and of, course, I have my own. Everyone has different priorities but for me they would be a Neff Slide and Hide oven, induction hob, pull out base unit for oils etc, definitely a waste disposal, induction hob, quartz worktops, Karndean flooring, glass splashback for ease of cleaning, back lit shelving, the essential wine cooler and Quooker or similar. Lesser priorities are a convey larder unit, red wine storage etc etc (time to renew my own kitchen I think!).

    J C thanked Burgess Kitchens Ltd
  • Ribena Drinker
    2 years ago

    We are nearing the end (thank goodness) of our new kitchen project. It's something we've been planning for 14/15 years.

    We've moved the kitchen from one end of the room to the other. So we've had to have new electrics, new plumbing, new waste. The new waste required a 3ft deep trench digging across the back garden lawn dug in March - which was a bit of mudbath!

    We had an exposed Cotswold stone wall framed out and plastered, along with all the other walls. We've had doorways moved and resized, and had 2 sets of new double doors. We've had a window created and another removed and replaced with Panoramic doors onto the patio.

    We've had dry UFH and new Amtico flooring. We've had to have steps into the kitchen remade and a shed load of self levelling on the floor.

    Our must haves were:

    Neff Slide & hide Pyrolytic ovens x 2

    Neff built in microwave

    Neff deep warming drawing

    Neff 80cm induction hob

    Fisher & Paykel American fridge freezer

    Fisher & Paykel Double drawer dishwasher

    Quooker Fusion Flex Combi

    Franke 1.5 (both large bowls) sink & drainer

    Corian worktop with upstand

    Movable Island with inset flip top power socket in the top

    Hidden rubbish and recycling in the cupboards in the island

    Although it wasn't a must have, we've also got some tall seating for the end of the island, because the OH has a fantasy about sitting there on a Sunday morning with a Nespresso from his new Nespresso machine, living the dream. LOL

    We've also had a free standing wine fridge which will live in the diner part of the new kitchen.

    Luckily, we have a fairly large utility room which has the washer & tumble drier - The utility incidentally, has made a brilliant makeshift kitchen since May.

    We've also re-done the boot room off the kitchen, with a new tall cupboard for brooms etc. a new 70cm bog standard fridge/freezer for extra capacity at Christmas etc and commercial racking.

    It's been a long old job, and I've had a couple of wobbles and crises of confidence along the way, as we've designed, specc'd and bought it all ourselves and project managed the whole thing.

    That said, we've had a brilliant bunch of fellas working on it, who have been a joy to work with.

    Another 2ish week should see it all done.

    Regrets as to what we have done or didn't do - maybe had a Neff combi oven/microwave instead of the microwave on it's own.

    But my biggest regret is worrying that it's not going to look special enough and it may look too mundane, without a lot of design flair and thinking it's missed the mark somehow compared to other people's kitchens.


    J C thanked Ribena Drinker
  • Resh
    2 years ago
    ours is all done now, as part of a full house renovation. I went for a country eclectic style: even though we live in London, I wanted to avoid super sleek and go a bit more rustic. It hides all the up do date stuff I discussed earlier though - those old-fashioned dark green cabinets and traditional materials (oak, walnut, no stone etc) belie all the Wi-Fi and voice/app-controlled tech and modern appliances, extraction etc. I'm happy with it, although it probably makes the house a bit hard to sell as most buyers here want make grey/white. lucky we intend to stay a while!
    J C thanked Resh
  • Resh
    2 years ago
    limestone, not no stone!
  • Ribena Drinker
    2 years ago

    I also agree with the comment about having drawers for storage - even hidden behind doors. Plus pan drawers - loving those.

    We also now wouldn't be without in drawer & cupboard lighting.

    J C thanked Ribena Drinker
  • Gillian Spark
    2 years ago
    The best thing ever is my aga. I had one is my fist domesic science room when I started teaching but had to wait until my 50th birthday to have one at home. I still love it especially on a cold winter night.
    What to live with out are the many many gadgets aquired over time that are now languishing on the top shelves of the pantry. ie a bread maker, a slow cooker,a vegetable steamer , various gadgets that seemed such a good idea at the time.
    This then has been an interesting question with fascinating answers. Looks like my winter task is to have a good clear out rembering the wise words of William Morris. Have nothing in your home that you do no believe to be beautiful or useful
    J C thanked Gillian Spark
  • Gillian Spark
    2 years ago
    We do have a microwave and a portable induction hob for the summer and a big Barbecue. Gilly
    J C thanked Gillian Spark
  • Gina Anderson
    2 years ago
    Resh is your kitchen Studio Green by any chance?
    J C thanked Gina Anderson
  • HU-738189336
    2 years ago
    The worst thing was the wood sink surround and draining board. no matter how well you oil and maintain it the wood still goes black. Best thing was biting the bullet and replacing it with granite. Beautiful!
    J C thanked HU-738189336
  • Melissa S
    2 years ago

    We've just had our kitchen done and been living with it for a few weeks now. Best bits so far are the integrated bins (we have 2x medium and 2x small in a 60cm unit) which are so convenient and make recycling dead easy. And the tall units with internal drawers. We used to have a tall cupboard without drawers and nicknamed it "the Jenga cupboard" reflecting the odds of having an unsteady pile of kitchenware fall on you when you opened the door. The drawers mean everything is accessible, all the space is used and the odds of taking a pyrex jug to the cranium are vastly reduced. Pan drawers great for same reason!

    J C thanked Melissa S
  • Huw Buckley
    2 years ago

    Currently planning mine, Neff gas 5 burner hob and Pyrolytic Slide & Hide over will be on the last, as will a dishwasher (never had one of my own!). I wouldn't miss a kettle in mine either, as planning the house refurb, especially the kitchen is requiring a lot of tea powered though!

  • Emma Lamb
    2 years ago
    Hot water tap....found mine on eBay, brand new, at a fraction of the cost you find in the shops! It's my new best friend.
    J C thanked Emma Lamb
  • iyanini14
    2 years ago

    Emma- which hot water tap did you get? The price of the qoouker tap is shocking!

  • Ribena Drinker
    2 years ago

    Whilst the Quooker may be expensive, it is the only boiling water tap, that only needs a cold feed (as far as I'm aware).

    Also, currently there is a free installation offer on the taps and it comes with a 2 year warranty.

  • catkin001
    2 years ago

    Granite work surface was the best thing! Beautiful, practical and cost effective because we saved money on not tiling our kitchen. It is worth the cost because a beautiful element enhances the house and lasts forever - making it valuable piece of design if you need the sell the property one day.

    No real regrets but perhaps should have had a built in Fridge freezeer. Instead we have a stand-a-lone one which sits inside a new kitchen cupboard unit that was built purposely for it as we wanted a large fridge freezer. The Lieberr fridge door is matt silver which looks great but still wished we had a built in one covered with unit door. But then we would have had a smaller fridge freezer unit. With past experiences of fridges - Bosch is the best and better than Lieberr!




    J C thanked catkin001
  • liz gear
    2 years ago

    Regret my choice of Bosch gas hob. It is very robust but although it looked a reasonable size in John Lewis , it has proved rather small for average size saucepans. Should have gone for the swing out corner shelving in the base units- would avoid much grovelling on the floor searching for infrequently used items.

    Big plus for granite worktops- look good and indestructible!

    J C thanked liz gear
  • Emma Lamb
    2 years ago
    The boiling water tap is called insinkerator. Hubby just reminded me it came from Amazon from America. It had switchable voltage...cost £175!! Can get them in b&q but is about £350.
  • Emma Lamb
    2 years ago
    p.s Generally all these taps regardless of brand only need a cold water feed.
  • J C
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thank you for everyone's comments, had no idea this thread would prove so popular when I started it. We are plastering this week and we have finally bought most things for the kitchen. I did find some real 'finds' though if anyone is looking. Not sure where you are based, but regarding electrical goods we researched all our own and narrowed down our list, and once we had that we looked online for the best prices for each appliance. Instead of buying from lots of different places we took it to Bentalls, who not only matched, but also cost us less, and beat some online prices with a good 'deal' price they also then will hold on to them until you need them, but if anything goes wrong you have 'bentalls' rather than several online dealers to return items to. RDO Appliances also do this if there is one near you, but i'd advise you to research prices first. Another thing we found was inserts for the kitchens. Through our kitchen supplier these were expensive, bin inserts, pull out drawers, pull out larders, even the pop up sockets, sourced seperately through ebay and online we managed to save quite a lot of money by doing this, so our fitter will still have the right things on the day, but we are not getting the inserts from the supplier. What else..... erm kitchen worktop, unbelievably the exact same worktop, same material, same cut outs etc.. same sizes differed between suppliers by 3k! so do shop around for your quartz and granite.

  • Ribena Drinker
    2 years ago

    Good grief, I've just realised one of the most important must have's for our kitchen!

    A movable island, that was a proper island, not a butchers block! Which has been a feat of engineering to achieve.

  • Gabby
    2 years ago

    @Ribena I was going to ask, how did you achieve that?? presumably it doesn't have a hob/electrics or a sink in it!?? Otherwise I can't even start to imagine how that would be done!


  • Emma
    2 years ago
    Lovely hearing all the ideas, we r currently building our house and have just designed the kitchen which incorporates a lot of the ideas. However, no one has mentioned an induction hob with a down draft extractor bora do one, also Bosch.... it is open plan living with a stairs void too enabling smells to go upstairs too - I hate cooking smells! Does anyone have one? Do they work? Hob going in island so don't want one in ceiling if I can help it. The ones within the hob unit look amazing but need to know if they work? Thanks
  • Suzanne C
    2 years ago
    Hi Emma, we have just installed a Siemens hob with an integrated extractor fan. It works perfectly! Similar to Bora and Bosch. Just remember to put in the extractor fan ducting when screeding the floor if you want the smells to go outside. Otherwise a recirculating will do.
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