Written by Hugh Metcalf

How to plan a kitchen (without arguing with your partner)

As new figures find that 1 in 4 of couples reach boiling point when planning a kitchen renovation, we look at the ways to keep the process cool, calm and collected.

blue panelled kitchen wall with chopping boards, herbs and scales - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Good Homes 

Whether it’s a DIY project gone wrong or a disagreement over how our homes are furnished, sometimes an argument with your partner over interiors is unavoidable.

As part of its Home Improvements Report 2019, Norton Finance looked at what projects were most likely to cause friction in a relationship – and while we see a lot of fights over wallpaper and paint colour, it’s the kitchen which is the biggest source of dispute.

With 1 in 4 of us arguing over a kitchen project, we’ve come up with some useful tips to help things run smoothly and keep the renovation process squabble-free.

Make your own moodboards

kitchen moodboard with navy and copper finishes - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Original Style 

Start off by each coming up with your own concept for the new space separately. This allows you both to fully formulate your own ideas before being influenced by your other half, and sets things off on a level footing fin terms of input for the design. As a basic first step, this can be done by flagging images on Instagram, or using a Pinterest board.

Later, come together and share ideas – this should give you a little bit more of an idea where each other is coming from before you start formalising the design process. Getting a design that suits both of you is about give and take. What bits do you both agree on? Is there something that one of your is particularly passionate about?

Pulling together some key agreements for the space can make the next step a lot easier.

Get expert input

country style kitchen with exposed brick - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Cult Furniture 

You’ll usually need to rely on a kitchen designer to turn your dream space into a reality, and don’t be afraid to lean on their expertise. While nationwide kitchen chains and DIY stores cater for a range of different styles, if you’re looking for expert advice on achieving a particular style, why not find an independent retailers who specialises in what you’re after? Head into your design meeting with an understanding of what’s important to each of you will ensure that nobody’s wants are overlooked in the design process.

Source reliable tradesmen

wood and green kitchen with white knobs - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Paul Craig 

From plumbing and electrical to fitting the kitchen itself, getting the right tradesmen – reliable, quick and respectful of your home – will make the whole process a lot easier and mean fewer arguments with your partner. You may want to ask for recommendations from your kitchen provider, or if you know that neighbours have had substantial work done, see if they have any good tips. Word of mouth is a great way to source your project team.

Pre-book some time away from home

hotel bedroom with lots of colour and pattern - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Dorset Square Hotel, Via Kayak 

Building work is noisy, messy and disruptive – and while you may need to oversee key moments of the build, it’s worth working out when you may not need to be around and taking a break from the family abode. Whether you head off to stay with friends or family, or take a little mini-break at a hotel, getting away from the action will help to soothe tensions around the project.

Are you planning a new kitchen project? Let us know by tweeting us @goodhomesmag or post a comment on our Facebook page.



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