During the holidays, more than 190,000 visitors grace Suffolk’s towns, villages and countryside. It’s quite the holidaymaker’s dream with Aldeburgh, Southwold and Thorpeness within easy reach of one another.
With nearly one in twenty homes along the Suffolk Coast being holiday homes, Vale Designs has crafted quite a few coastal kitchens. So, what makes a good holiday let kitchen, and why does it make sense to invest in a bespoke handmade design?
As with any business, running a holiday let must make commercial sense. If you think about your ideal guests (those who are happy to pay a higher fee), they will have set expectations on the interior design of your let. A beautifully designed kitchen will be top of their wish list, meaning you can charge more per night than other properties in the area.
Of course, there’s the additional benefit of good quality cabinets and worksurfaces withstanding the test of time. There’s no reason why a handmade kitchen shouldn’t last you many years.
There’s the beautiful backstory, too, of course. There’s something quite nostalgic about having your kitchen made by a local cabinetmaker. Your guests will enjoy reading about how it has been lovingly crafted using time-honoured techniques.
With holiday let kitchens, it’s important to make allowances within your design for a little more wear and tear than usual.
Thankfully, you can limit the impact of the occasional accidental knock or scrape with a few clever design choices.
If you choose a hand-painted kitchen, it’s relatively easy to repaint the cabinetry. Just remember to keep a note of your paint choice.
Likewise, it’s a good idea to keep your design simple with normal cupboards and drawers rather than too many pull-out storage solutions, carousels, magic corners, rails and baskets, as these can get damaged by guests.
With handcrafted kitchens, you have a lot more flexibility to go from floor to ceiling with your cabinetry to maximise storage space and so there’s less need for storage solutions.
While it’s tempting to reduce your kitchen design cost by opting for wooden worktops over natural stone or composite, it’s not the best idea.
Wooden worktops mark easily and require quite a lot of maintenance. You will need to factor in reoiling the surface at least twice a year. Plus, you’ll be relying on guests using trivets to stop the wood from marking. Even a wet teaspoon or teapot can leave unsightly black marks.
It’s easy to overlook appliances, but they must be carefully considered as they can make a big difference.
There are certain things that guests look for and these are:
- Ample fridge freezer space. Your choice of fridge freezer will largely be decided by the size of your holiday let. For example, if you only have space for a family of four and a small kitchen, a fridge with an icebox might work best. However, if you accommodate more people, they may expect a larger fridge and separate freezer and if you want that premium feel, a fridge with a water dispenser and ice maker will be more than welcomed by guests.
- Dishwashers. Nobody wants to spend their holiday washing dishes, so a dishwasher is a must and slim integrated models work best.
- Washing machine and dryer. With all the walking and exploring on the doorstep, most people want to wash their muddy clothes or sandy towels before going home. If you don’t have the space for both, you might decide to have an integrated washer dryer.
- Easy to clean cooker hobs. Although they’re a little more expensive than regular hobs, induction hobs are far easier to keep clean as induction pans very rarely boil over.
- Combination microwave ovens. If you do not have the space for an oven and a microwave, which guests will want to use, you may choose to install a built-in combination microwave instead. Just make sure you leave instructions.
Equipment and kitchen accessories
Having an ample supply of cutlery, crockery, glasses and a good selection of pots and pans will go a long way with guests.
They’ll remember that you thought about all the little details, from the pizza cutter, garlic crusher, potato ricer, corkscrew and potato peeler to the wine aerator.
A thoughtful extra, which always goes down a treat, is a coffee machine, complete with a few pods or granules.
If your guests celebrate a special occasion, champagne flutes are also a lovely addition rather than wine glasses. For such a small cost, this simple gesture can go a long way!
We hope you’ve found our tips helpful. If you want to view some of our handmade kitchens, we encourage you to visit our kitchen stories for inspiration. Most of the examples are of Suffolk homes.