The kitchen is the hub of the home. They say all parties end up there eventually, and when you have a family the kitchen soon becomes the most important room in the house, hosting meals, family conversation and kids' homework. So while you may want to revitalise your kitchen with a new look, it can be a daunting task to mess around with so many shared memories.
The key to any successful refurbishment is planning, but this is even more important in the kitchen, where you often have to work around features such as plumbing and gas pipes. Moving these around is a big job which requires expert tradespeople, so should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. Simply ripping everything out and working it out as you go along is the quickest way to a disaster! You can get inspiration from what others have done with their space, yet with a room full of stuff and kids running around it can be difficult to establish how much space you have available and how you can utilise it more effectively.
Thankfully, many manufacturers are beginning to recognise this. Kitchens by Wren, for example, can be modelled using an interactive 3D planning tool. It allows you to space out the various Wren units as they would fit in your home, and you can come back to it as many times as you like to try new things until you're completely satisfied. Visualising the final kitchen in this way can give you more confidence in choosing the right look.
When planning, just remember that the kitchen still needs to fulfil its various functions. Sleek cupboard units and a sizeable breakfast bar may be attractive options, but they should not come at the expense of an inconveniently placed sink or a lack of work surface space. Whatever theme you choose to take on, be it a homely country-style kitchen, a retro diner or a clean and minimal ultra-modern look, needs to be able to work with your space requirements. The same goes for appliances - you may have your heart set on a retro tall cabinet fridge, but might not be suitable if you're working with a limited-size area. Themes also need to be consistent - mixing styles can make a place appear clumsy and cluttered, and dramatically reduce the impact of your look. So prepare well and make the most of the planning tools available, and you'll have the perfect kitchen in no time.