Ask most people what the kitchen means to them and they will probably respond with the sentiment that it is the heart of the home. Family life revolves around the kitchen, we feed our children and watch them grow at the kitchen bench or table. We entertain our friends and celebrate life’s milestones in and around the kitchen. We retreat to the kitchen for comfort and sustenance in times of need.
The kitchen of our childhood leaves an enduring impression on our minds. Kitchen memories for most of us are of warmth, comfort, joy and laughter. The kitchen is central not just to our homes but also our hearts. When we contemplate buying a new one we experience emotional messages associated with no other purchase except perhaps for the house itself. Since the fire at the mouth of the cave mankind has gathered in the kitchen to take the warmth and nourishment, to be nurtured by family and friends. Do not underestimate the importance of such a purchase nor the emotions that will be triggered.
Most people only buy a new kitchen once or twice in their lives. Even for those with more experience, perhaps in building their own houses (or having them built) it is not something that they do very often. People will hold on to an old worn out kitchen for years after it should have been replaced. The comfort and security of the familiar, the memories; there is more to a kitchen than chipboard and stainless steel. Nobody changes their kitchen the way they change their cars.
After the house and along with the car and boat, the kitchen probably involves the biggest outlay most of us make in one transaction. Buying a kitchen and associated appliances and services is very expensive and often involves a loan with repayments over several years. The kitchen is the centre of home life and therefore of considerable importance for family life and lifestyle. Getting it wrong can have severe implications in terms of future lifestyle, comfort, peace of mind and finances.
For these reasons, buying a kitchen is not to be taken lightly. Yet most people are entering unfamiliar territory and the process can be quite daunting or even stressful. The lack of experience can lead to a concern that you are at a considerable disadvantage to the people who sell them for a living. Nobody wants to feel that they are ‘at the mercy’ of kitchen consultants or salespeople. A kitchen consultant likes nothing more than to tell you what to do, under the guise of advising you of course. It makes their job so much easier to have a customer who asks few questions and makes no demands. You on the other hand are in danger of losing control of this important purchase
It is important to feel in control of the process. Indeed it is important to be in control.