How to Plan and Design your Kitchen Perfectly the First Time
When designing your new kitchen, there are a plethora of problems that you could face later down the line if your layout is not correct, features don’t fit your needs, if the materials aren’t right or if you miss opportunities to maximise space. That’s why getting your design right first time matters all the more! By carefully planning your kitchen design, you can forgo those issues later that are much harder to fix in hindsight and ensure that your kitchen space works seamlessly from the get-go.
To help you achieve this, our professional kitchen designers have collaborated with kitchen planners and joiners from across the pond, CAD Joinery, who digitally design and plan all kitchens before they craft them from scratch.
Since kitchen remodeling is such a big project, that is both time consuming and a big financial investment, learning some tips from the pros will help you maximise storage, place features in the optimal layout, and find smart alternatives to costly materials. These all start with good planning, and by following these kitchen design steps, you can ensure that you get it right first time.
Map it out
The first step is to draw up a scaled map of your kitchen including notes that show the electrical outlets, plumbing, and heating, as well as any windows and doors. You can do this using a range of 3-D kitchen design software or if you’re working with an architect, they can help you with this stage.
Work Out Your Aims
When designing your kitchen you have to know what you want to get out of the room, from creating more space with more shelving or by utilising the nooks and crannies better (such as the notorious corner cupboard), to simply a change in style.
You can even list ideas that would be part of your dream kitchen such as built-in features or appliances that suit your needs, such as an InSinkErator or something more quirky like a chalkboard wall for the kids. Get it all down and then note the priorities – extra ideas can be worked in later, as and when your budget allows.
Keep an Eye Out
Always keep looking for inspiration! Keep a folder (online or offline) of themes, colors, styles, and appliances you like. Pinterest, Evernote, and other such sites can be incredibly useful for this – especially if your partner wants to collaborate and add things to your notes!
Assess What You Like
While you’re keeping an eye out for good design ideas that you enjoy, think about what it is that you like about them. Do they have a bright design or a muted one? Do they use natural, homely materials or clean, minimalist synthetics? Are there certain features you always like, such as a modern tap faucet, or a traditional one? Notice what you don’t like also, as this can often be very telling too – and make notes on what you discover about your likes and dislikes in your folder!
Whilst it’s important to think about what you like, in most cases, it won’t just be you enjoying your beautiful kitchen – so don’t forget your partner or kids! Get them involved in the process and see what they think. For young children, you can even turn this into a game where they can hold up smiley or frowny scorecards to some of your final ideas when you’re struggling to choose yourself!
Finally, once you have a good idea of what you like and dislike as well as what you need to get out of your kitchen, you can decide on the layout, and how all of these styles, functionalities, and features will come together.
Some common kitchen layouts include:
The L shaped kitchen
An open layout where everything is easily accessible. This layout might suit your home well if you don’t have a lot of space or don’t need a lot of storage as there are usually limited cupboards.
The U-shaped kitchen
Often used to create an enclosed kitchen space in a kitchen-diner, and can be combined with a kitchen island or a breakfast bar area to create a more flowing and social space. It has more storage than the L-shaped kitchen but features are just as easily accessible since this design is also quite compact.
The one-wall kitchen
This design is typically found in smaller homes, or in larger ones that want to create more space. Kitchen appliances are kept all to one wall making them easy to reach and cooking simple. In this design, the sink will usually be placed at the center of the kitchen but you can play around with this design to suit you and your needs.
The G-shape kitchen
This kitchen layout is in essence very similar to the U-shaped version, however, it extends along a fourth wall slightly, creating a cozy rounded space. This layout over a smaller area may not suit if you have lots of family members who may use the kitchen at the same time, as the entrance-way could become cramped, but the extra use of the space can be exceptionally useful. You can also make the peninsula as long or short as you like, but try to ensure that it is long enough to seat at least a couple of people if you will utilise it as a breakfast bar.
You can also have a G-shaped design that doesn’t connect entirely – ie. Your fourth wall countertop is further away and disconnected from a U-shaped design. This will allow bigger entrance points and more space to work with and is a typical style seen in Australian kitchens.
Gallery kitchen layout
Finally, the gallery layout consists of appliances and table tops extending along two parallel walls, creating a corridor of kitchen. Whilst often used in smaller houses to make best use of narrow space, it can be a very open and encompassing layout in a larger property. This design also includes one wall of appliances with an island lying parallel.
We hope you found this article useful for planning your new kitchen renovation, and that it has given you a few ideas, but if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to help! We, along with CAD Joinery, suggest always discussing your ideas with a designer and they can help you best place your features so that you get the most out of your space and chosen design.