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Planning a kitchen redesign is an exciting prospect, something that a lot of people dream of doing – but it can also be a very stressful process if it’s not done properly. Gone are the days when a kitchen was simply somewhere you’d prepare food. They’re now more often the heart of the home where we spend time relaxing, socialising and even working the day job.

So not only does a kitchen need to function for food preparation and cooking, it also needs to become an inviting, versatile space that captures your personal style and provides the necessary comfort. Which is why it can be difficult to know where to start when planning a kitchen, whether you’re updating an outdated style or building an extension.


What do you need in your kitchen?

One of the best places to start is to list out everything that you would both like and need in your new kitchen. This is much more comprehensive than just cabinets and a sink, and provides a good starting point of the different elements you’ll need to think about.

We’ve compiled a few to consider, though you may not necessarily need all of them in your own design:

  • Cabinets (wall units, base units, larder)
  • Island unit / breakfast bar
  • Worktops
  • Ovens (oven housing unit)
  • Hob
  • Extractor unit
  • Sink
  • Taps
  • Lighting (downlights, spotlights, pendants)
  • Pantry
  • Utility room
  • Dining space
  • Living space


4003 Sleek Concrete

Draw a floorplan

Another thing you need to do early on in the planning process is to fully understand the available space you have to work with. Things like doors, radiators and windows can have a big impact on the layout of your future kitchen, or lead to additional costs should fixtures need moving.

Draw out the space to scale using graph paper or ask a kitchen company or architect to draft it, which will allow you to start planning exactly how to make the best use of what you have. This will help you visualise the layout of your kitchen and give an initial idea of how much a design may cost based on size.


Design the layout

Arguably one of the most important aspects of the design is your kitchen layout. You need to decide on a layout that best fits the space as well as your lifestyle – from how it will function when being used to prep and cook, to its connection to other aspects like the dining or living areas.

The concept of the working triangle is still a good place to start, referencing the three main points of the fridge, sink and hob. These elements need to be positioned closely for maximum efficiency though not too close to feel cramped. You can then implement this triangle onto various traditional layouts, including a galley, U-shape or L-shape. For more ideas, take a look at the 5 most productive kitchen layouts.


5031 Statuario Maxima

Select a style

If you’ve started thinking about a kitchen redesign, then you’ve probably already got a few ideas as to what you’d like it to look like. If not, the internet is definitely about to become your best friend, with Pinterest boards and social media feeds flowing with inspirational shots to spark your imagination.

The main choice is between contemporary or classic. Modern features tend to be more trend-led, often showcasing a monochromatic scheme, with flat-fronted cabinetry, handless designs or high gloss finishes. For a more traditional appearance, panelled doors, natural wood finishes or ornate detailing like pelmets and cornices feature.

You can choose to keep with the style of your house, but don’t feel too trapped. A new-build property generally does suit a more modern style, but a period house can host a contemporary kitchen if done carefully. Elements can be combined to create a balance of both styles – freestanding units, colours, finishes and worktops will all have a huge impact on the overall look and feel of your kitchen. This is referred to as a transitional style.


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Let your worktop do the work

Selecting the right worktop is a huge part of the planning process. Visually, it takes up a lot of space in the design, so it needs to suit your chosen style and budget. But it will also take the brunt of the wear and tear, meaning you should choose the best possible quality you can afford.

There are hundreds of different worktop materials available, each with their own pros and cons. Do your research and understand the maintenance and practicality of styles you like the look of, taking into account how you plan on using your kitchen. If you’re an avid baker, cook or wine buff, for example, you’ll want something that can resist stains. Have a read of the best kitchen worktop to suit your style for more ideas.


5211 Noble Grey


Set a budget

Before you get too far into the design process, you need to be realistic about how much it’s going to cost and what you can afford. Take the time to visit showrooms and get estimates for your project, then figure out how much your design would likely cost. Always add around 10% to the final figure for unexpected costs and remember to include things like labour, shipping fees and taxes.

Your kitchen is a big investment, which means you should buy the best you can afford. In order to stick to your budget, be practical and prioritise certain elements – for example, allocate more money towards high-quality worktops and taps over fancy appliances and cabinetry.

Looking for some inspiration? Flick through our downloadable Kitchen Style Guide, which showcases some of the latest ideas and trends in kitchen design.

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Images Source: Caesarstone