ADDING VALUE

Craig Phillips explains the merits of investing in a new kitchen and bathroom.

TV presenter and DIY expert Craig Phillips knows a thing or two about kitchens and bathrooms… And having just completed work on his own £1m dream home, he’s more than qualified to discuss the finer points of two of the most important rooms in any house.

“I’ve got four bathrooms and a fantastic kitchen that are everything my wife Laura and I hoped for,” says Craig.

“You spend so much time in these rooms it’s important they function around you and your life. “The kitchen especially is the heart of any home – now one of the most social rooms too – and that’s why it’s equally important you focus on quality as much as style. “It has to stand up to a lot of wear and tear,” adds Craig, who’s just become a dad for the first time to daughter Nelly, “and unless you go for good workmanship, it’ll soon look old and worn.” Craig suggests it’s worth thinking about how you use each room and what’s most important for you.

“We have got a big island in the centre of our kitchen so that friends and family who visit can sit and chat with a glass of wine or a coffee while we prepare food.” There can be a huge difference in products available: “So look around and go in and view them, and always go for the best you can. Buying cheap might cut costs in the short term, but it’s a false economy.”

In the kitchen, for instance, solid carcasses are essential: “You lay foundations to build a house and that’s the same with your kitchen, before you start looking at worktops or doors. That way they will last. You can easily change worktops and doors should tastes change. “In terms of the style and finish, it depends on taste and your home. We’ve gone for something modern and contemporary, a glossy, sleek looking kitchen – with soft rounded edges because we were obviously thinking of a young family.

“And we’ve got a stand-alone roll-top bath in our bedroom because, having stayed in boutique hotels, I loved the idea of that.” Craig adds that with both the kitchen and bathroom you’re investing in your home and your quality of life. “Don’t forget that if you sell your home, they’re the two rooms that can sway a buyer. You can easily change the colour of the walls of a home by treating them to a lick of paint – but few people want to move into a house and endure the mess and hassle of renewing the bathroom and kitchen and having to do without them for a time.

“One of the first things an estate agent will look at when valuing a home is the kitchen and bathroom, so paying attention to these rooms can add to the value of your property and/or maintain it. “Until then, you want to enjoy the rooms you spend most time in so investing in their quality is investing in the quality of your life.”