Peckham Victorian house wrap around extension:  Kitchen by Ar'Chic

The highs and lows of planning a new kitchen

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton

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New kitchens are an exciting yet daunting part of any home renovation project, especially given the fact that planning a new kitchen can quickly become an expensive and time-consuming endeavour. The problem is, every home absolutely needs a food preparation space, so there simply isn't an option to go without and why make do with an uninspiring design when something a little more personal and pretty could be installed?

When it's time to plan a kitchen, this guide will prove to be an invaluable resource, as we've listed every vital step of the process in a bid to make things more straightforward and simple. Alongside hiring a professional kitchen planner, this step-by-step guide will make choosing and installing a new kitchen a piece of cake.

1. Assess your new kitchen needs.

Kitchen interior design needs to start from a practical and common sense place, which is why an objective assessment of what absolutely needs to be included and what can, reasonably, be left out is essential. Is an island a must-have inclusion? Will a dining space be necessary and how much storage is wanted? These are all valuable questions that can and will shape the design of any new kitchen.

It's so important to remember that the kitchen is one of the more practical spaces in a home, so need really should overshadow want, at least in the early design stage.

2. Think about plumbing in a new kitchen.

Peckham Victorian house wrap around extension:  Kitchen by Ar'Chic

Peckham Victorian house wrap around extension


With needs accounted for, the more specialist kitchen installations can be mapped out and chief amongst them is the plumbing. In any kitchen renovation project, the position of the sink and electrical appliances needs to be given serious thought, as there is a rule of thumb that states how far apart they should all be. In terms of plumbing, it is always a nice idea to locate a sink in front of a window, where at all possible, as that allows for a pleasant view while carrying out chores and means that external drains can be easily accessed as well.

Of course, if a kitchen island design is going to include the main sink, plumbing will be a little more of an obstacle, but any professional will be able to navigate the project simply. 

3. Be careful with new kitchen lighting.

Shoreditch EC1: Warehouse Living:  Kitchen by Increation

Shoreditch EC1: Warehouse Living


Kitchen makeovers are fun and allow for a lot of personal expression but one aspect that shouldn't be underestimated is lighting. A multi-layered approach to illumination is critical, with bright main lighting offering a workable arena and then some subtle additions creating the right ambience. Under cabinet lighting is a good idea when countertops will be in the shadows and pendent lamps, above a breakfast bar, are so on-trend right now. 

4. Drink in as much new kitchen inspiration as possible.

The Original British Standard Kitchen:  Kitchen by British Standard by Plain English
British Standard by Plain English

The Original British Standard Kitchen

British Standard by Plain English

With a potential layout in mind, turning attention to the more decorative and aesthetically pleasing elements of a kitchen make perfect sense. In order to really capture the right finished look, it's essential to spend as much time as possible looking at already completed kitchen projects, for inspiration. 

Online scrapbooking sites are a great way to not only look at plenty of projects, but also save particular images as reference material to show a kitchen planner or carpenter.

5. Consider hiring a pro to help with a new kitchen design.

The Leicestershire Kitchen in the Woods by deVOL:  Kitchen by deVOL Kitchens
deVOL Kitchens

The Leicestershire Kitchen in the Woods by deVOL

deVOL Kitchens

A professional kitchen planner is an absolutely priceless resource to tap into, regardless of whether a modern kitchen design or something more traditional is wanted. Able to easily format a fantastic space, planners are worth knowing for another reason; they have great contacts that could mean that discounts on materials and accessories could be levied. When thousands of pounds are going to spent on a space, every pound saved is a god send and tapping into the mind of a kitchen planner can really rack up the savings.

6. Be firm about a new kitchen budget.

W9  |  Eclectic Industrialism :  Kitchen by Davonport

W9 | Eclectic Industrialism


Given how many different kitchen styles there are to choose from, it can be almost impossible to hone in on just one, which is why budget can be used as a deciding factor. By properly assessing how much can reasonably be spent, certain aesthetics will be instantly off the table, leaving a smaller variety of styles to choose between. 

One piece of advice that we really think is worth adhering to is sticking firmly to a budget. It might seem like a good idea to splurge an extra few hundred pounds here and there, but it all soon adds up into a project that is spiralling out of control, which might mean that it takes longer to finish.

7. Get the right team to fit a new kitchen.

Laura Ashley Range:  Kitchen by Hehku

Laura Ashley Range


A lot of people like to think that they can save a serious amount of money during a kitchen renovation, by fitting the entire installation themselves. Yes, in theory, a built-in kitchen is merely a series of flat-pack style furniture, but when fettling and small adjustments are necessary, having a professional team that can simply do whatever is necessary, without worrying a client, is worth its weight in gold. Enthusiastic DIY-ers might fancy having a go and that's all very well and good, but if the overall budget can include a fitting team, it's definitely worth investing in one.

8. Go all out with the new kitchen finishing touches.

Finally, for a really special kitchen aesthetic, the finishing touches need to be really beautiful. A statement tap here, some fabulous cabinet handles there and suddenly, a pretty new kitchen is transformed into a pretty UNFORGETTABLE space. Even something as simple as gorgeous splashback tiles will add a whole new dimension of class and style to a room, so having a little contingency in the budget for fancy finishing touches is a brilliant idea.

Has this guide simplified the new kitchen design process for you?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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