28 Sep Cool Kitchens
With British Food Fortnight underway (September 17th to October 2nd) your thoughts might be turning to your kitchen. The British Food Fortnight was conceived in autumn 2002 – set at this time of the year to coincide perfectly with Harvest Festivals – the traditional time for celebrating our food.
Since its launch the event has grown massively and has become a national event now firmly established on the calendar. The event is an important influencer for many sectors with a particularly emphasis on British, Fresh and Local; thereby aiming to create a more robust market for small local business to sell their wares locally.
Buying wonderful, fresh local produce is just the start of the journey. Having the kitchen to then create sumptuous meals is the next step. A dream kitchen means many different things to different people.
“It is very difficult to decide on a new kitchen in a house, be it an older style country farm house, a modern flat or a new build mansion!” explains James Wyatt, Partner of award-winning estate agency, Barton Wyatt in Virginia Water, Surrey. He goes on to say, “Should clients ask for our opinion then we always recommend something in neutral colours using the very best kitchen products and appliances that they can afford.”
However this is not necessarily a homeowner’s favourite choice – evident in the diversity offered by so many kitchen suppliers. A cooker or an Aga can be purchased these days in black, white, purple and sky blue or pink. These loud and vibrant colour schemes are created for cooks who want some drama in their kitchen to go with their flambéed pigeon truffles or nitro poached cod eyes.
Wyatt continues: “We try to encourage neutrality particularly from local developers building new homes in the area as these are definitely the most popular. Occasionally we come across a howler which then makes the property incredibly difficult for my Sales Consultants to find a buyer for.
“Recently we had a beautifully renovated Jacobean house with a very cheap B&Q kitchen fitted as a last minute rush job. It was quite apparent that the property deserved a luxury cottage style kitchen and cutting corners definitely slowed the sale of this house quite dramatically and the price was slashed accordingly to reflect the fact that a new kitchen was in order. In contrast another home owner had poured their love and attention into a modern snappy style kitchen which had purchasers queuing up to view”.
Barton Wyatt’s top tips on making your kitchen desirable for a new home owner:
The appliances in the very best houses are from top brand and a luxury kitchen these days will come with an integrated coffee machine, wine fridge, conduction hob and usually a bank of 4 ovens, including steam and microwave. Instant hot water taps and pizza ovens are two of the latest crazes, and many buyers who do a lot of entertaining are looking for two dishwashers.
Choose a kitchen which is hard wearing and won’t date – red on black might seem like a good idea today but will it sell in 5 years time?
Lighting in the kitchen is very important – the ability to have bright lights for cooking and kids homework with the option for something more seductive and moody in the evening when people are gathering round your island for a glass of champagne and canapés.
The floor needs to be very user friendly, easy to clean and hopefully in a colour that will not show up every single dog hair.
Lastly the work surface – the latest designs might be brushed aluminium and toughened glass however granite is hard to beat for longevity and an impartial choice.
James Wyatt talks about the latest kitchen craze coming to Virginia Water:
“We have just been instructed on a new build property on the Wentworth Estate which has the most incredible outside kitchen. I know we live in England and the idea sounds rather optimistic but I believe this will really work. The kitchen area has a large built in barbeque, a drinks fridge, plenty of work surface and lots of storage cupboards.
“Situated right next to the indoor swimming pool and hot-tub with fashionable decking, this area has a gorgeous view down into the woodlands adjoining the property – you really could be on holiday!”
For more details on properties for sale in Virginia Water available from Barton Wyatt please call 01344 843 000 or visit their website www.bartonwyatt.co.uk