September 17, 2021

5 Design Tips for Planning a New Kitchen

It is time for your new kitchen, the one you’ve dreamed about. Whether you are building a new one or renovating your existing kitchen, there is a lot to consider before you even begin with the kitchen of your dreams. This process, as exciting as it is, may become very stressful and time-consuming if you don’t do your homework and create the perfect plan of action. It may be tempting to run to the nearest showroom and pick out the perfect kitchen, but first, you need to make some very important decisions about what it is you really want and how you’re going to achieve it. Your kitchen needs to be designed to your specific needs, as we all have different ideas of what a functional kitchen is. 

1. Consider the Layout

The first step of planning your kitchen is to take the exact measurements of the space. You may want a big island in the middle of the room or a sink under the window (at least, that is what I dreamed of), but is it achievable in your layout? 

It is very important to consider the exact dimensions and shape of the room, so you don’t design a layout that leaves you with no space for kitchen essentials.

2. Function

Think about what you do in your kitchen every day. Each household has different needs and functions for its kitchen. 

For example, do you entertain in your kitchen and prefer an open layout so you can talk with your guests while having a glass of wine?  Do you have children who do their homework on the countertop while you prepare dinner, or would you prefer your kitchen out-of-sight, where you can leave the mess from last night’s party without feeling guilty that everybody will see it in the morning?

As I said, we all function differently in our kitchen, so it is very important to find the best layout that matches your needs, and your needs only.

3. Storage Space

In a kitchen, storage is crucial. Even the smallest kitchen can be functional with smart storage solutions. Think about all the things you need to store in your kitchen and create a list. Include all your big and small appliances, cooking utensils, food, spices, glasses, plates, etc. 

Any items you use frequently should be placed in areas that are easy to access. Leave the items that you don’t use daily for the spaces that are not easily accessible, like higher or corner cabinets. Consider pull-out cabinets for thin and deep spaces to make better use of the depth. With standard shelves, you will not be able to see what is stored in the back, and they might stay there, forever unused. 

Don’t forget to include drawer and cabinet organizers to maximize the space and keep your kitchen free from clutter. 

4. Budget

Now that you know what you want in a  kitchen, it is time to consider your budget. Always be honest about what amount of money you have for your kitchen and think about where to invest in quality and where to save. You don’t want to rush into reckless purchases and be left with no money for the important items. 

My advice is to go for the best worktop you can afford, for this is the most used element in your kitchen. The same goes for the appliances. Even if you do not have large sums to spend, those two elements should be your top priority. You can always change your cabinet doors or backsplash if you want to upgrade, but your worktop and appliances need to be there for quite some time. 

One other piece of advice I can give you is to always have at least a 10 to 15% contingency fund in your budget to cover any unexpected extra costs. I promise you, you will need that money.

5. Design 

Now that you have checked all the important boxes in kitchen planning, it’s time for the fun part – the design work. It is where you put your creativity into action. If you are going to do this yourself, first you need to have the exact dimensions of the room. Every centimetre counts, so do not forget to measure every quirky corner and wall, as well as the ceiling height and any fixed features, like plumbing and electrical outputs. Once you have the dimensions, you can draw your kitchen design on paper, or you can use free online kitchen design tools. 

If you have some extra money in your budget, I will always recommend that you use an architect or interior designer. Not only do they have better software for your project, but they also have a lot of expertise in the field. You would be amazed by how easy it is to overlook some little detail in your design that can have a huge impact on your overall project. Using a professional is always a good idea, as they can save you a lot of money down the line. 

A new kitchen design or renovation takes time and detailed planning. If you want to have the kitchen of your dreams, make sure you have considered all of the above before you move to any ordering or installation. Once you have done all the plans and budget for your design, it is easier to continue with the finalization of your project. Remember, your kitchen needs to suit you and your needs. 

Have fun and enjoy your dream kitchen! 

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An interior design professional with a Master's degree in Architecture and 14 years of practical experience.
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