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Most important room in the house? How to redo your kitchen...

To find out what people these days are doing with kitchens, TheJournal.ie spoke to Derval Phelan of Nolan Kitchens.

WITH A SEEMINGLY endless glut of celebrity chefs and cooking programmes, people these days are paying more attention to their kitchens.

Once a room built around the preparation of food, it now is a focal point of many households – often incorporated into an open-plan downstairs area.

To find out more about what’s popular in the world of kitchens, TheJournal.ie spoke to Derval Phelan, a designer with Nolan Kitchens.

Are people not too busy to bother cooking anything these days? 

I think the last ten years has seen the kitchen become more of the central hub of the house in that it is very much a social area now. People very much invest in kitchens. That’s what we would find ourselves anyway.

homer cooking

Before, the kitchen was a small room at the back of the house. You didn’t socialise there. Now it is a social room. People have big islands where they can sit around and so I think people are investing more money and time into creating the space.

Ok, well, what sorts of things are people spending their money on then?

One of the biggest trends at the moment is In-frame kitchens. Which is solid wood painted with the door set into the frame. It is quite an old way of making kitchens and it has become very fashionable again over the last five years. People have gone for a really contemporary take on it.

The colours would be very muted, quite neutral colours – like sort of light greys – would be a very popular at the moment.

So, to get down to brass tacks, how much could a person expect to pay out for all of this? 

Depending on what they go for, the average kitchen with ourselves would be between €8,000 and €10,000. That would be for a normal standard kitchen. Our In-frame kitchens would be from about €15,000. That would include a stone worktop as well.

The price would be for the kitchen and the worktop itself. Appliances would depend on brand and the model within the brand. An oven could cost you anywhere between €500 and up to €2,000.

shutterstock_132959180 Kitchen appliances do not come included in the price of the kitchen Source: Shutterstock/wavebreakmedia

So a pack of appliences could range between around €1,200 up to anything like €15,000 completely depending on the brand that the customer goes for. An average kitchen with a standard set of appliances would set you back €10,000 to €12,000.

Would someone not just as easily go to IKEA and save a bit of cash?

I don’t really have an opinion as such, but the difference between them and us is that we fully assemble the kitchens and take full responsibility for the project all the way through to it being finished.

In IKEA you are picking it out yourself, designing it yourself and then having somebody else fit it. There could be differences in the quailty of the product for that reason. Because you have a specialist assembling the unit rather than assembling it at home from a flat pack there could be quite a big difference in quality – although that depends obviously on who is going to put it together.

What would be some of the stranger things you’ve seen people do? 

People would do unusual things, although these would tend to be more things like colours. There is never anything too drastic. It would often be with appliances, very unusual looking extractor hoods. There was a trend for a while of chandelier-type extractor hoods. It isn’t very popular any more but it was for a while.

Generally though, we would guide people to keep things quite neutral and functional.

Derval Phelan’s top tips on refitting your kitchen 

  • Kitchens are more of a social hub than they once were.
  • Keep colours neutral and functional to ensure longevity.
  • A kitchen specialist will offer assistance through the process of having the kitchen fitted.
  • Expect to pay out between €8,000 to €15,000 for a fully fitted kitchen.
  • Avoid trends and fashions when it comes to kitchen design.

Read: Is buying a house abroad still a risky move?

Also: What else could I get for the pricetag on … the €500,000 home of Oscar Wilde’s dad

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