Is successful kitchen design a thing? The kitchen is considered to be the heart of the home. From sharing family meals and conversations with loved ones to cups of tea and chats with friends. It’s such an important space.
Life really does happen in the kitchen! So, it’s vital for it to be a space you enjoy being in and functions well around your family’s requirements. Ideally, you also want it to represent your own personal tastes and style. In essence, your kitchen needs to both work hard and look good.
Successful kitchen planning is often the difference between an ordinary kitchen and an extra-ordinary kitchen.
Having an excessive budget doesn’t always guarantee a stylish and practical design. And on the flip side, it’s absolutely possible to have a beautiful and functional kitchen on a small budget. It all comes down to understanding and implementing a few design principles.
Whether you’re starting a new kitchen from scratch or giving your current one a makeover our pointers below will help you achieve a design that ticks all the boxes.
Create A Wishlist
A good place to start is to begin gathering images and samples of things you like. Take some time exploring design magazines, showrooms and online platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram.
Put together a Moodboard of your favourite images and design elements. This will give you a good idea of the direction you are wanting to go in. It will also provide inspiration and direction of what to look for when making selections.
Kitchen Design Wants And Needs
A key part of successful kitchen design is to list all of your needs and wants in order of importance.
Identify non-negotiable items, for example an engineered stone bench top. You may be able to compromise on the colour and select from the standard range. This can save thousands in a large kitchen.
Also, consider the type of cooking you do as this will influence finishes and colours to best suit your space.
It can also be helpful to examine your current kitchen. List all the things you like as well as all the things you dislike.
It’s Time To Think Money!
Getting your budget in place before you begin will allow you to know what you can realistically spend on your kitchen.
Get familiar with material costs of individual components so you’re aware of your budget broken down, and not just as a total figure. Of course, consider things such as benchtops, tiles and cabinetry but also think about the plumbing and electricals. They may not be the most exciting parts of your new kitchen but they are integral parts and can be costly.
If you find the budget getting out of control start refining your wishlist and focus only on the priorities. Where you can try and purchase your items when on sale or find an alternative that’s cheaper.
Assess Your Kitchen Layout
An important step when renovating or building new is to consider the space you have to work in. Play around with a variety of different configurations and layouts. When renovating a current house there may be potential to remove walls to expand the kitchen size. On new builds the layout design is generally suggested, although don’t feel you’re not able to make an alteration or two in order for the space to better suit your needs.
Part of this step is to think about how you’ll use this space and design the layout and fixtures to suit.
In a renovation, does your current layout work for you? If it does, this can be a cost-effective advantage as it reduces costs on moving plumbing and electricals. However, if it doesn’t, change it to ensure it meets your needs, otherwise the entire exercise will be a waste of money.
Another important consideration is the ergonomic design rule – ‘the workflow triangle’. If you don’t already know what this term means, its where the kitchen sink, fridge and cooking areas are linked in the shape of a triangle. Designing your kitchen using this principle will make your space more functional by avoiding wasted steps.
When going through this step, ask yourself questions such as: Can family members move around safely while cooking is in progress? Where would you prefer to be looking while you prepare and cook meals? Into the garden, out to your pool area or into your lounge? Is entertaining while you cook a priority? Would you like an island bench? Is there room for an island bench?
Also consider ventilation, electrical and lighting needs and ideas. You may want to think about appliance sizing and whether you would prefer a freestanding on a built-in oven.
Stock Take Kitchen Items
Stock take items that need to be stored. Don’t miss out on this step as it is vital that your cabinetry is deep enough to accommodate your appliances/cooking items.
Decide On Your Kitchen Style
Decide on a style you like as this influences profiles of cupboards, drawers and end panels.
For example, if you want a Hamptons look you will select a “shaker” profile with handles, a subway tile splashback and in a matte or satin finish.
On the other hand, if you desire an ultra-modern contemporary kitchen you will prefer a flat profile, no handles, in a gloss finish with maybe a glass splashback.
The style you opt for should suit the joinery elsewhere in your home to help keep spaces relatable.
Planning your cabinetry height, depth and location will determine what you can store where, and how easily items can be accessed. Consider what things you may want to store near specific work zones or appliances to help create a successful kitchen design.
Use drawers wherever possible rather than cupboards, even under the sink. They are more expensive but worth every cent.
As well as providing organised storage, your cabinetry choice will have a huge part in your kitchen aesthetic. Surface finishes, textures, colour and fittings make all the difference no matter what you choose. Don’t be scared to mix materials or colour. Laminates are not the poor cousin anymore and come in some wonderful textures. You can mix finishes and have some of the cabinetry in polyurethane and others in wood grain laminates.
Make your kickboards the same as the corresponding cupboards and drawers.
Like cabinetry finishes and materials, your choice of countertop is significant and contributes massively towards the overall kitchen aesthetic. Popular choices include marble, quartz, granite, timber and engineered stones – each have their own pros and cons.
It’s important to try not to make selections purely because they are ‘on trend’. Selecting colours and materials because you love them will ensure you still enjoy your kitchen long after the trends have passed.
For inspirations on your next kitchen style, have a look at our kitchen design ideas.
Select The Splashback
Finalise splashback colour once cabinetry and benchtop are installed. This is an opportunity where you can be bold with colour or texture.
If you are using a glass splashback always insist on a colour glass sample before signing off.
Ensure glass splashback is made of ‘Starphire’ glass otherwise there will be a green tinge to your final colour. Clear glass contains a high content of iron and is therefore quite green in colour. You can see this when you view the glass from its side. ‘Starphire’ glass has less iron which means less green. So best to use especially when selecting light neutrals and whites.
Lighting Is Important In Successful Kitchen Design
A well-designed lighting plan is essential for a successful kitchen. There are three types of lighting to consider which are task, ambient and accent.
Task lighting aids you in performing tasks, such as lighting above the island bench making food prep easier. Ambient lighting is the overall illumination of an area. Think of downlights to lighten up your kitchen. And lastly, there’s accent lighting. This is that final layer of lighting that adds creativity or interest to your space.
Heard Of A Pot-Filler?
A swing-out tap, also called a pot-filler, can be installed near the cooktop. It fills pots near where you heat them. Saves the lugging of water-filled pots from the sink to the cooktop. Alternatively, you can install an extra-long hose attachment on your main faucet to fill pots on the cooktop.
Placing The Fridge
Always place refrigerator on the outer edge of the kitchen layout to prevent congestion within the workspace.
Make Recyling Easy
Plan spots for waste and recycling to make sorting as easy as possible. Allocate and equip a cabinet with separate containers for glass, plastic, paper and metal. Click here to read more on future proofing your kitchen design.
Double-Check The Kitchen Plans
Double check all details before signing off with cabinet maker as if it is your responsibility and cost if it is incorrect. This is especially important if you are using different colours throughout the kitchen. Measure, measure and measure again!
If you’re uncertain about the bench height, have a look at the typical measurements used in Australian kitchens.
Compare Kitchen Quotes
When comparing quotes ensure you are comparing apples with apples. If there is several thousand dollars discrepancy between quotes establish why. It may mean the cheaper quote does not add increased support in extra wide drawers, hinges may be inferior or sides of drawers may not be metal.
Nothing is a deal breaker, just be aware so you are not disappointed. Download our free builder’s comparison template to assist you with this process.
We hope you have found our blog on successful kitchen design useful.