Ten kitchen design tips when planning your dream kitchen

As well as choosing cabinets you’ll love every time you look at them, there are practical considerations to bear in mind: 

Ergonomics

Having an ergonomic kitchen is by far the most important consideration of all – it’s important for your physical and mental health. Remembering the Working Triangle in the kitchen is important: aim to place your hob/cooker, fridge and sink in a triangle formation. This spaces them out well and comfortably, and so you can easily move between these three main working sections.

Sleek modern grey and marble kitchen in flat designed by Absolute Project Management
The kitchen triangle is important to consider whether the space is small or large

Storage

You need more storage than you think. As much as we like to imagine ourselves living life more simply, the kitchen is somewhere you inevitably have a lot that need storing away. Renovating your kitchen is an excellent time to do a major clear-out, but you should still plan for a good amount of storage.

White kitchen with tall cabinets and island. Renovation managed by Absolute Project Management
A kitchen island creates valuable additional storage space

Functionality

Functionality is also key. The kitchen is one of the most important spaces in the house, and an area where functionality has to work well – make sure you’re imagining yourself moving about in the space, as you plan the kitchen.

Lighting

Lighting needs careful thought for ambience and function. Be realistic about the amount of natural light the space receives (and how this might change as the kitchen is going to change), and consider under-cabinet lighting, pendants over islands or breakfast bars, and plinth lighting. It’s important to consider how the space will be used to create attractive ambient lighting, especially as most kitchens are used for eating and hanging out as well as cooking tasks.

Read more in our beginners guide to lighting.

Kitchen island with three pendant lights hanging over it. Design by Absolute Project Management
Pendant lighting over an island is an attractive feature as well as providing useful task lighting

Appliances

Think through the specific appliances you’d like. For the most part, generic housings will fit the majority of appliances, but it’s important to consider size and type in the planning stage.

Splashbacks

Do not overlook splashbacks. A glass or acrylic splash will make future cleaning quick and easy. Tiles add another layer of texture, an opportunity to express the personality of the kitchen owner and can completely change the look of the space. Choosing just upstands is also a great option if you want to add a little bit of wall protection without covering the walls completely.

Grey kitchen with blue tiled splash back. Designed by Absolute Project Management
A tiled splash back adds additional colour and texture to your kitchen

Electrics

Electrical outlets, their spacing and quantity, are extremely important. Count up all the small electrical appliances you consider as necessities in the kitchen and think about where you’ll likely place them. USB ports can also be useful. We normally advise clients to double the number of above-work surface sockets they originally think of.

Dust!

Beware of dust and oil traps. Having wall to wall open-shelving or wall cabinets that finish a good distance from the ceiling can look incredible, but can also be a dirt trap, so it’s important to consider how you’ll use the kitchen and how often you or someone else will realistically clean it thoroughly.

The finer details

Avoid skimping on the small stuff, such as handles, hinges, and drawer runners. They may seem unimportant, but their quality has a huge effect on the look, feel and longevity of the kitchen.

Beautiful handles add the finishing touch to these lovely blue kitchen cabinets

Rubbish

This is often overlooked but extremely important. Although they can be space-consuming if the kitchen is small, including general and recycling bins in the kitchen is vital, whether it means having a space for a bin or allocating a cupboard to go in.

Kitchen with bright yellow splash back

While we often only think of kitchens for their food-related purposes, there are so many more important elements to consider. Please get in touch if it’s an area of your home that you need some help with, and in the meantime, happy planning!