Kitchen Design Checklist – Planning What You Need
Our designer will walk you through the entire process of making choices as we design you an exceptional new kitchen.
Before you get to that stage, however, enjoy imagining the possibilities, the style, lifestyle and all the practical considerations that make a kitchen a dream to use as well as looking impressive.
Layout – What suits your space?
Most people would love an open plan kitchen with an island (and a wine fridge ?) but all kitchens were created equal – when the design layout is done properly. Your room is most likely going to suit one of the following:
Worktop – Usage and style choice
This is a beautiful option – but you need to be prepared to maintain it with regular oiling. You’ll also need to appreciate the personality it takes on over the years. Even a steel can can leave a mark – though a bit of wet and dry sanding will take care of that.
Laminate is a great choice for range of colours and textures as well as being kind to your budget. You can order 100mm upstands to go on the wall to match and complete the look.
Quartz is our most popular choice – the price is a considerable portion of the kitchen cost – but it’s tough, looks amazing and you can have matching window sills, upstands and splashback. If you want to know the pros and cons of quartz as well as the difference between a quartz and granite worktop, read our quick guide here.
Drawers & Pullouts – instead of cupboards
Drawers are more expensive than a regular cupboard. For a cupboard you only pay for the door, whereas a drawer pack has high quality soft close mechanisms and glass or metal sides.
We recommend a minimum of at least 1 drawer pack, ideally a wide one to house your pans and a cutlery drawer at the top. If your budget allows, the more drawers the better. We have a quick video article HERE explaining the virtues of drawers vs cupboards.
Save floor space and add an integrated pullout bin. A pullout fitting will allow for standard and recycling waste and keeps the kitchen neat and tidy.
If you have wall units, you’ll want under cabinet lighting. We install LED strips, with a choice of temperature (how warm the colour of the light is).
Spot lights are a must for a kitchen – we nearly always install new spots. They give an even light and you can have them set in banks (meaning you can choose areas to have lit to suit the mood). Replacing old spotlights is always worth doing as the running cost saving with new LEDs will be worthwhile – plus there’s the planet to consider.
Range Style & Colour Choice
You most likely fall into one of two main categories – traditional or modern. You can blur the lines with the choice of handle, the colour and even the thickness of the worktop you choose. Your choice might be down to taste, or perhaps you want your interiors to be in keeping with the period of your home.
Modern Style Kitchen
If you like modern, straight edges, consider a range such as our Metro if you like a matt finish slab door, or our Image range if you prefer a gloss finish. Another consideration is a handleless slab door, such as our Integra range which comes in matt or gloss.
Traditional Style Kitchen (or classic, as we call it)
The most popular traditional style is shaker, such as our Solent range. The reason it’s so popular is because it has a classic feel, but no fuss – as was the shaker tradition. You can add a hint of history to a contemporary kitchen design with a modern handle choice or go industrial with brushed nickel cup handles.
Cottage kitchen or Victorian Grandeur
If you prefer a little more detail to your traditional or classic kitchen design, we have a couple of ranges with extra elements such as pilasters and corbels. For a country kitchen design you might consider our Pendle range. For a Victorian or Georgian kitchen we have the Haddington range which offers finishing touches such as curved corner units and tongue and groove end panels.
In the land of kitchen design, appliances cover everything from fridges to sinks and taps. For the purpose of starting to consider what you want in your new kitchen, let’s cover the basics.
The placement of the oven is something to consider. Do you want your oven situated under the counter or eye level in a tall unit? How many ovens do you require?
A great choice, if you’re having two ovens stacked or side by side in a tall unit, would be to opt for an oven and a combination oven/microwave. This means you get two regular ovens and there’s no need to have a counter top microwave, saving valuable worktop space.
Another option, though more expensive, is a pyrolytic oven. This essentially means it is self cleaning – and yes, they really work!
This choice will depend on space available, storage required, integrated or freestanding and budget. We mostly install integrated appliances and the most common would be a 70/30 fridge freezer as this suits most family households.
American fridges are increasingly popular, they look impressive and you can plumb them in to provide an endless supply of cold drinking water. Perhaps one drawback to consider is how much storage they actually offer as they have a lot of padding. When looking at fridges, aside from checking the power consumption, make sure you note how many litres storage a model offers.
The choice is enormous. Do you go for Candy, Caple, Bosch, Neff? As with all appliances, a lot will depend on budget, but before that you need to consider if you want to cook with:
Ceramic – a standard electric hob choice
Gas – ease of use, heat control, flame size control etc makes this a great choice
Induction – increasingly popular because it heats the pan and not the hob and offers instant heat adjustment. The downside is you need compatible pots and pans. If you like searing a steak in a cast iron skillet, this is not for you.
Sinks and taps
Here you get to choose from:
Stainless steel (tough and still stylish in the right kitchen)
Resin (choice of colours and tough)
Belfast (a ceramic sink popular for traditional designs)
Everything you need to know about sinks (but were afraid to ask) is here
The choice is endless. The main choices are:
Single lever (great for operating with the back of your hand when you’re covered in flour)
Standard taps (non-lever)
Then, of course there’s all the choices of finish, such as:
Another, fairly pricey, option is a hot water tap. There are a few brands including Quooker or Pronteau by Abode.
Your choice of handle will have a big influence on the look and feel of your kitchen. There’s your arch handles, bar handles, cup handles and edge handles. The range of finishes is even bigger.
You can mix it up with cup or bar handles on drawers, with knobs on the cupboard doors, for example. We bring a big range of samples along when designing with our customers, helping them navigate the choice to match the style they want.
When your kitchen is installed, you’ll have other choices to make, such as deciding if you’ll have wall tiles and what kind of flooring you want. If you choose upstands and a splashback you can avoid tiling altogether.
Spending time looking at ideas on platforms such as Pinterest will give you ideas – often they’re out of budget and not possible in the space you have – fear not as we’ve put together some ideas from ACTUAL houses in the areas close to our offices for real world inspiration, and importantly we’ve illustrated the costs involved. READ HERE
We can help you design your perfect kitchen, whatever your budget. Our expert will visit you or talk via video call. We can design your kitchen space to become the room you want it to be – no obligation.
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