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Things to consider when designing a new kitchen

There are several things you need to consider when designing a new kitchen, and our guide should help provide you with guidance and tips.

When it comes to designing your new kitchen, it is always best to use the services of a kitchen designer as they will have a wealth of experience in making sure your kitchen functions as you need it to and looks how you’d like it to. However, this should always be done together with you and while they are there to advise and present their ideas to you, the ultimate decision is yours to make.

New kitchen

Pictured: Tillingahm Kitchen

There are then three stages that overlap and are interwoven. These are creating a wish list, set a budget and consider how you’d like to use the space.

Creating your wish list is one of the most exciting and fun parts to your kitchen renovation. Magazines, websites and social media are awash with plenty of striking examples of kitchen design. Create mood boards, draw up lists, add pins, choose whichever method you’d prefer to save items that have caught your eye. Consider the style of your cabinets, what luxury appliances have caught your eye, and what colours are you loving!

How much of your wish list can become reality is down to budgets (and space). Once you have set a budget, order your wish list as to what are items that you really must have or want to have, to those that are nice to have. This will help you decide when it comes to designing your kitchen. Within your budget, make sure to add in ‘pots’ for any electrical work, lighting, appliances, decorating, flooring, plumbing and fitting. As with any building work, a contingency fund is worthwhile having, which we’d recommend at 10% for any unforeseen costs.

Don’t think about how you use your current kitchen, think instead about how you’d like to use the new space. Does your kitchen also function as a space to entertain, eat, work – whether you or your children doing homework. Do you love to cook, bake or have parties. All these can play a role in how your kitchen needs to function, which in turn, can change the layout.

The next stage is to source a kitchen designer. If you have any friends whose kitchens you love, talk to them about who they have used. Visit a couple of different showrooms, both to see examples but also to talk to them and understand their offering and how they work.

new kitchen layout

Pictured: Audley Kitchen

Once you have decided on a kitchen designer, they will work with you to plan the perfect layout as part of designing a new kitchen for you and your family. Ensuring the layout works can provide a more enjoyable experience of using your kitchen. You’ll need to consider prep, cook and wash areas and how they all interact with each other. While kitchens can have several roles, ultimately, they are about cooking.

Lighting

As part of your layout, consider lighting and how natural light will also flow into the space. These are areas that are hard to rectify later on in the process, once the kitchen has been built and installed.

Cabinetry

Most likely, during your wish list phase, you’ll have looked at different styles of cabinetry and what you like and don’t like. Your kitchen designer will be able to show you examples and how each might work in colours you like.

The cabinetry of your kitchen is most likely the biggest investment piece of the whole renovation project so you really need to make sure you love it, and most likely will still love it if you are living in your home in 10 years’ time. The other things to think about and discuss with your kitchen designer are colours, appliances, inside your cabinets – there really are some clever designs that can make life easier. From hidden breakfast bars to baking cupboards, drinks cabinets, pantries, drawers for easy access to crockery and everything in between.

CAD Drawings

A designer will work with you on all these areas to produce CAD drawings and layout plans. You’ll be able to visually see how your kitchen might look in 3D. This helps you to look at the flow and proportions of the room.

Once you are happy and have agreed to the designs, depending on your kitchen designer, it will be then a case of either it being made to order, or built from existing stock. Lead-times are better than they were but there can still be a delay on appliances so be sure to factor this into any planning and hiring of any building tradespeople such as electricians.

New kitchen

Pictured: Holkham Kitchen

If you aren’t sure whether to hire a kitchen designer or go it alone, there are some general rules to remember that all designers follow:

  • Distance between units. Allow a minimum of 1000mm clearance between runs of units. Your typical dishwasher door is around 600mm so this gives you enough room for someone to pass while it is being stacked. 1500mm will allow two people to pass each other.
  • In an ideal world, have 800mm width worktop next to the sink area for food prep and a work area but we know this isn’t always possible.
  • Allow a minimum of 150mm – ideally 300mm – either side of the hob to ensure suitable workspace either side of the cooking area.
  • If you are having seating in your kitchen, you’ll need to leave 1200mm to 1500mm from the seating area to any kitchen cabinets or island. This allows the seating area to be used and for people to pass comfortably behind the chairs or stools.
  • With the triangle – between your fridge, cooker and sink – try to keep the work triangle to a distance of 7 metres or less as this allows for comfort when using your kitchen.

Davonport is a designer and manufacturer of high-end bespoke kitchens, with a starting price of £50,000. For more information, visit www.davonport.com

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