OVER 50 per cent of chartered surveyors in the UK have revealed a growing number of people are focusing on kitchen renovations as the most popular way to improve their existing homes rather than move, due to the economic downturn.

The findings have been revealed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Tim Cove, director of Sambourne Kitchens, which has been producing handmade and painted wooden kitchens since the 1980s, says he has noticed the transition going into 2013.

He said: “One of the most sought-after New Year’s resolutions in our fast-paced and hectic lives is to spend more time with the family. The kitchen has become the main living space to come together.

“Many of our customers describe it as the heart of the home and I think that’s why it’s even more important to create the perfect ambience and style to suit everyone’s tastes.

“We have recently seen a large demand for colourful kitchens - people no longer just want cream units.”

Sambourne Kitchens’ top tips for an inspirational kitchen:

  1. Be inspired by The Great British Bake Off and opt for pretty pastels and vibrant colours. The kitchens featured in the programme have been causing as much conversation as the cakes and pastries themselves. Foods in your kitchen can be a great source of inspiration. Choose colours such as reds, blues, yellows and greens to animate your surroundings. Do not be afraid of colour. If a tone is too vibrant for you, try a pale pastel offset with a cream or neutral shade to create a contemporary look.
  2. Go Green with your interiors, not just your lifestyle. Experiment with shades and tones to find one that works as a backdrop or blank canvas as an alternative to white. Green works particularly well when contrasted with a darker wood. Try a pistachio or avocado hue for a calming and sophisticated look.
  3. Increase your size with neutral and airy colours, which will help brighten a room and bring in more light, particularly in smaller kitchens, giving the illusion of space. If you are planning to paint the room white, try a variety of shades throughout, as it will stop it from looking cold.
  4. Complement and contrast your colours to emphasise your favourite features in the kitchen and to create a focal point. Sambourne Kitchens’ combination colour painting allows you to tailor your kitchen by choosing different paint shades for the exterior and the interior. Contrast your kitchen units by using a lighter shade on the top and a darker hue on the bottom to create an impression of more space and to add impact to your room.
  5. Find a finish fit for your lifestyle. Sambourne Kitchens recommends three main types of paint to choose for your units:


  • Waxed - enhances the natural beauty of wood
  • Sprayed - gives a contemporary feel which is highly durable
  • Painted - offers an easy option for future retouching