Perhaps it’s because of all the cookery programmes on TV; perhaps it’s because of our national obsession with food; or perhaps it’s because it’s such a sociable place to sit and chat – but the kitchen has become the most popular room in the house.
If you’re planning a New Year kitchen overhaul there are a number of things to bear in mind. The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialist Association (KBSA) advises you to only visit a company that has a showroom “so you can inspect the quality of the product and the standard of installation.” You should also ask to speak to the firm’s past customers - and don’t pay in full, upfront. In fact, say the KBSA, your deposit should be no more than 25%, and you should be sure to ask for a written payment schedule “which includes the timings of any interim payment and final retention.”
Plus, get a written quotation. Obviously.
As for choosing the style of your kitchen? Hmm. That’s a little trickier. The main thing to remember is that kitchens can be knee-bucklingly expensive, so opt for a look that won’t date quickly. For instance, those hi-gloss red units look lovely now, but will they still be fashionable in two years’ time? If you’re a landlord, remember the Sarah Beeny maxim: you won’t be living in the house, so choose something functional that will have wide appeal and won’t bust your budget.
You will almost certainly have read about technological advances relating to driverless cars, flying taxis and hyperloops (a mode of transport that propels a pod at speeds of up to 760mph). Whilst these offer the tantalising prospect of alternatives to commuting on congested road networks, the most common futuristic tools you are likely to come across are available as smart upgrades to your home.